Dayrates soar for Transocean

New gig: drillship Deepwater Expedition gets a new contract after previous one was terminated

Drilling giant Transocean announced new contracts and higher dayrates for several of its rigs, including one that had a previous contract cancelled due to prolonged control issues with the rig’s blowout preventer stack.

The drillship Deepwater Expedition led the fleet with a two-year contract that commences in December this year with an undisclosed customer. The rig will earn an initial dayrate of $650,000 and the contract comes with three priced eight-month option periods.

If the customer exercises those options the dayrate will increase to $695,000, according to Transocean's latest fleet status report dated 15 March.

The ultra-deepwater drillship had previously been under a multi-year contract with BHP Billiton of Australia and Malaysia’s Petronas Carigali for a dayrate of $640,000 for a project off Sabah, Malaysia.

Those two companies decided to terminate that contract, however, due to “non-performance”, according to Transocean.

Industry sources suggested “non-performance” referred to downtime needed to attend to the rig’s BOP controls.

Transocean expects the rig to be out of service for 60 days in the fourth quarter of this year to prepare for its upcoming contract. There was no indication where the rig would be working.

The Deepwater Expedition is equipped to drill to depths of 30,000 feet in water 8500 feet deep.

Transocean also said the drillship Discoverer Seven Seas had landed a three-well, 180-day contract with Italian giant Eni for work off Indonesia at a dayrate of $445,000, up from a previous rate of $295,000. That contract begins this month.

The semi-submersible GSF Arctic III also won a three-month extension drilling for Nexen in the UK sector of the North Sea at a dayrate of $315,000, up from a previous rate of $280,000.

Transocean said its out-of-service time would increase by 284 days for the year. That includes 140 days associated with preparing the Deepwater Expedition, Discoverer Seven Seas and jack-up Trident XIV “for new or anticipated contracts”. It did not say when the Trident XIV might have a contract in place.

Transocean also said it planned to sell two other jack-ups – the Transocean Shelf Explorer and the Transocean Nordic.

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