Swiss-based offshore driller Transocean has won a three-year deal for the newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship Deepwater Aquila with a national oil company for work offshore Brazil.

The contract is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2024 and represents approximately $486m in firm backlog, excluding a mobilization fee of approximately 90 times the contract dayrate.

Although the name of the client was not revealed, it is most likely Petrobras since reports emerged that the Brazilian state-owned giant would be spending $1.7bn on chartering four rigs from four companies, one of which was Transocean.

Transocean has also agreed to acquire the outstanding interests in Liquila Ventures, a company formed to acquire the Deepwater Aquila, from its joint venture partners Perestroika and Lime Rock Partners.

Liquila Ventures struck a deal with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering for the ultra-deepwater unit, formerly known as the West Aquila, in November 2022.

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The rig was originally ordered by John Fredriksen-founded Seadrill together with another drillship formerly known as West Libra in 2013 but Seadrill cancelled the order in 2018 after the two agreed on a delivery delay in 2016. Northern Drilling, Fredriksen’s rig investment company, bought the pair for $296m each only months later but cancelled the resale contract in 2021.

Following this acquisition, Transocean will own and operate eight of the world’s twelve ultra-deepwater, 1,400 short-ton hookload drillships. The Deepwater Aquila is expected to be delivered from the shipyard in October 2023.

In connection with the execution of the drilling contract for the Deepwater Aquila and the acquisition of the outstanding interests in Liquila Ventures, Transocean said that it was exploring various debt financing alternatives to partially fund the costs associated with acquiring the rig from the shipyard and preparing it for its contract in Brazil.

Source:  Splash 247


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