HOUSTON – Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) has contracted for 10 years four newbuild ultra-deepwater drillships from Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG). Delivery of the first newbuild is scheduled for mid-2015, with the other three following at six-month intervals.
Transocean says the contracts are expected to begin in 2015 and 2016 and be worth $7.6 billion plus mobilization.
All four of the drillships are designed to drill to 40,000 ft. (12,192 m) and to operate in 12,000 ft. (3,658 m) water depths. Each will have Transocean’s dual-activity drilling technology and two 15,000 psi BOPs, upgradable to 20,000 psi when available.
The newbuild rigs will be constructed at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. facility at Okpo, South Korea, where Transocean currently has two other ultra-deepwater drillships under construction. Construction on the first drillship is expected to commence in 4Q 2013.
"Shell continues to develop its deepwater operations and modernize its contracted rig fleet at fair market rates,” said Peter Sharpe, Shell’s executive VP, Wells. “These state-of-the-art deepwater rigs, on which we are collaborating with Transocean to design, will comply with the highest industry standards for safety, operations and environmental protection for drilling deepwater wells."