SAN DONATO MILANESE, Italy – Saipem has exercised an option to acquire the newbuild seventh-generation, ultra-deepwater drillship Santorini for $230 million.
The company is already operating the vessel under a long-term charter agreement signed with Samsung Heavy Industries in 2021, soon after construction was completed.
Santorini is equipped with two seven-cavity BOPs, automation systems and environmental optimization solutions. It is currently working in the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM) for Eni, with the contract due to end next summer.
Samsung also delivered the drillships Saipem 10000 and Saipem 12000.
Saipem’s offshore drilling fleet currently has a contract backlog of over Eur1.5 billion, with 80% of the fleet committed for 2023 and around 60% for 2024.
The company sees strong prospects both in its traditional deepwater segments in Africa and the Mediterranean Sea, and in areas such as the GoM where supply of ultradeepwater drilling rigs is “close to saturation.”
Dayrates for seventh-generation drillships look set to grow from about $400,000/day in 2022 to above $450,000/day by 2025, it added.