Transocean floaters in start-up delays

Transocean drillships Deepwater Invictus and Deepwater Asgard have seen their start-ups pushed into the third quarter, according to the contractor's July fleet status report.

The Invictus is signed to a three-year contract with BHP Billiton in the US Gulf of Mexico at a dayrate of $595,000. It had most recently been scheduled for the second quarter of 2014.

The Asgard is contracted on a three-year gig with an undisclosed operator at a dayrate of $600,000. The June fleet status report located its work in Indonesia, though the current report did not specify.

In a note Cowen & Co said the Invictus had kicked off acceptance testing in the US play. Asgard, which had been scheduled for delivery as early as the first quarter of this year, was onsite for its first well, the firm said.

"Delays of this sort are no longer a surprise and should not cause concern," Cowen & Co wrote in a note.

"Nearly every newbuild this year has moved its delivery date back, citing shipyard delays, third-party supply chain issues or malfunctioning equipment."

Transocean shares were off 2.18% in New York on Thursday morning.

The drilling contractor also said that its 1997-rebuilt semi-submersible Transocean Amirante would undergo 168 shipyard days in "anticipation of potential future contracts."

The 1978-built unit, capable of working in up to 3500 feet of water and drilling up to 25,000 feet, is currently stacked in Malta.

Contract details are still unknown, but Cowen & Co reckoned with Transocean's "aggressive bidding tactics we expect it will prove to be quite low."

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