Italy’s Saipem has chartered a newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries’ after client Ocean Rig earlier pulled the plug on its construction contract at the Geoje Island yard in South Korea

Saipem will take delivery of the drillship Samsung Santorini (formerly Ocean Rig Santorini) in November on a bareboat charter of around two year.

Financial terms of the charter or where the drilling unit will be deployed were not revealed.

"The bareboat charter allows us to strengthen the competitiveness of our fleet without investing in new assets, but by leveraging its consolidated expertise in the selection and management of technologically advanced vessels," Saipem said on Tuesday.

Option to buy drillship

The contract with Samsung carries the option for the drillship to be purchased — for an undisclosed sum — at Saipem’s discretion depending on market trends.

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The Samsung Santorini is a seventh-generation drillship equipped with two seven-cavity blowout preventers, which Saipem said is the highest standard for ultra-deepwater drillships.

The high-performance unit is capable of operating in water depths of up to 12,000 feet.