Italy’s Saipem has received a revamped drillship to perform under its $400 million contract with the Eni and Petroci joint venture developing the Baleine oil and gas field offshore Ivory Coast.

Norway’s specialist Deep Value Driller said that its vessel of the same name — the only one in its fleet — has been delivered to Saipem under the bareboat charter contract.

The contract has an estimated firm period of three years, with options for extensions, and adds $160 million of secured revenue backlog to the Norwegian specialist, excluding any optional extensions.

Charter hire for the drillship will start to accrue from the time of delivery this week, Deep Value Driller said. The company now expects to be in a position to pay dividends from next year.

Chief executive Svend Anton Maier said: “We are very pleased to have completed the reactivation project for the Deep Value Driller drillship and to have successfully delivered the drillship to Saipem.”

The drillship Deep Value Driller is a seventh-generation mobile offshore drilling vessel built in 2014. Earlier this year, it passed its reactivation process at the Westcon Yard in Olensvag, Norway. The company purchased the vessel for $65 million in 2021 and said in its second-quarter report that it invested more than $41 million in its upgrade.

According to the company, equipment and systems of the drillship that are related to well control, drilling, marine, hull & machinery and DNV’s Synergi Pipeline Simulator have been reactivated and recertified.

The Baleine project is the largest finding of hydrocarbons made by an international major in the Ivory Coast, as well as the first commercial discovery there in the past 20 years.

Eni began producing oil in the first of three planned phases of the field in August. The initial production phase is executed through the repurposed Baleine floating production, storage and offloading vessel equipped to handle up to 15,000 barrels per day of oil and 25 million cubic feet per day of gas.

The forthcoming phase two, expected to begin by late 2024, is projected to escalate field production to 50,000 bpd of oil and 70 MMcfd of gas.

For phase two, a cylindrical FPSO, Voyageur Spirit, will be deployed. It is being refurbished in Dubai.

Further expansion is targeted in phase three, aiming to raise production to 150,000 bpd of oil and 200 MMcfd of gas.

According to marine traffic services, Deep Value Driller was still moored in southwest Norway at the time of publishing.