Transocean bags 300-day deal for newbuild rig with Equinor

Offshore driller Transocean has scored a six-well contract with Equinor for the newbuild, harsh environment semisubmersible Transocean Norge.

Under the contract, the rig will spend around 300 days drill in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The contract is expected to start in July 2019, following the shipyard delivery of the rig in early 2019.

Transocean will operate the Transocean Norge – formerly known as the West Rigel – and has a 33% interest in the joint venture that owns the rig, with the remaining 67% interest owned by Hayfin Capital. Transocean bought its stake in the rig in May this year. The rig had been ordered at the Jurong yard by a Seadrill subsidiary, North Atlantic Drilling Limited (NADL), but never delivered.

Transocean said that the contract backlog is approximately $89 million, excluding a bonus opportunity and other services. The contract is denominated approximately 55% in U.S. dollars and 45% in Norwegian kroner.

Additionally, the contract includes four one-well options. “We are very pleased to have so quickly secured a contract for the Transocean Norge, which we recently acquired through our joint venture with Hayfin,” said Jeremy Thigpen, Transocean’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“This contract provides further evidence of the strong demand for high-specification, harsh environment semi-submersibles and of the relationship and history of solid performance that we have with Equinor.”

To remind, when announcing the acquisition of the ownership in the Transocean Norge , of the Moss Maritime CS60 design, Transocean said the rig was considered to be among the most capable newbuild semi-submersibles in the world.

Second semi-sub hired this week

In a separate statement, Equinor said that the deal was a part of a previously signed framework agreement between the two companies.

Transocean Spitsbergen was the company’s first rig to be included as per the framework agreement terms, and Transocean Norge will be the second, Equinor said.

The six wells will be drilled for the Tordis/Vigdis, Visund, Bauge and Snorre licenses.

“We are pleased to sign an agreement with a new, efficient, state-of-the-art rig, and to continue our good cooperation with this company. We have a common goal of working safely and efficiently, and we look forward to seeing the rig in operation for Equinor from next year. This is one of the rigs we have chosen for a long-term cooperation,” says Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s senior vice president for Drilling & Well.

This seems to be a good day for newbuild rigs. Earlier on Friday, another offshore driller Noble Corporation said it had bought a new Gusto MSC CJ46 design jack-up rig from Singapore’s rig builder PaxOcean Group. The driller has already secured an initial contract for the newbuild rig. 

Also worth noting, the deal with Transocean for the Transocean Norge marks the second harsh-environment rig deal Equinor has signed this week. Equinor on Wednesday announced a contract for Seadrill’s West Hercules ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig for operation in the Barents Sea. Elsewhere, Seadrill has also won new work for a semi-submersible rig with Exxon in Canada. More here.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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