Seadrill commits to further drillships

Seadrill has contracted Samsung to build up to four new ultra-deepwater drillships at its yard in South Korea.

Offshore staff

HAMILTON, Bermuda -- Seadrill has contracted Samsung to build up to four new ultra-deepwater drillships at its yard in South Korea.

The first two drillships are firm orders due for delivery in 1Q and 2Q 2013. The project price per rig is estimated at just below $600 million - this includes a turnkey contract with the yard, project management, drilling and handling tools, spares, capitalized interest, and operations preparations.

The option for two further drillships must be declared during 1Q 2011.

Seadrill says the dual-derrick drillships are an improved design compared to the three drillships previously supplied by Samsung. They feature enhanced capacity related to water depth, technical capabilities, and increased accommodation capacity.

The new drillships will be operable in water depths up to 12,000 ft (3,657 m), and will provide a hook load capability of 1,250 tons. Main target areas are the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa. Seadrill adds they will be the first newbuilds outfitted with a seven-ram configuration of the BOP stack.

Seadrill has opted to expand its fleet because of the current strength of the offshore drilling sector, the return it believes these investments can deliver, and the financial flexibility created by its contract backlog ($11.5 billion).
11/11/2010

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