Seadrill buying two ultradeepwater semis under construction

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 5
-- Seadrill Ltd. agreed to acquire two ultradeepwater semisubmersibles currently under construction at Jurong Shipyard Pte. Ltd. in Singapore for $1.2 billion, Seadrill announced on Jan. 3.

The SeaDragon I and Seadragon II are expected to be delivered in this year’s first and fourth quarters, respectively.

The SeaDragon I had a 5-year contract, but Seadrill said the contract is under discussion because the scheduled delivery was delayed. There is no contract for the Seadragon II.

The dynamically positioned rigs will be capable of drilling in 10,000 ft of water and have total vertical drilling depth capacity of up to 35,000 ft. The rigs each have a single derrick with dual pipe handling and offline stand building capabilities, Seadrill said.

Vantage Drilling Co. oversaw construction services for SeaDragon I and SeaDragon II, which are nearing completion. Vantage said a customer, which it did not identify, had terminated Vantage’s management contract for the rigs.

Paul A. Bragg, Vantage chairman and chief executive officer, said, his company considered buying the rigs but decided against it. “We were not prepared to take excessive risks in terms of our offer,” Bragg said.

On Dec. 29, Vantage announced its Platinum Explorer ultradeepwater drillship commenced operations for ONGC in India. Platinum Explorer is contracted for 5 years with corresponding estimated revenues of $1.1 billion.

Vantage owns four Baker Marine Pacific Class 375 ultrapremium jack up rigs and a drillship.



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