Cobalt gets early termination for Rowan Reliance drillship

Cobalt International Energy Inc., Houston, has entered into an amendment to its drilling contract with Rowan (UK) Reliance Ltd., an affiliate of Rowan Cos. PLC, providing for the early termination of Cobalt’s long-term drilling contract for the Rowan Reliance drillship.

The drilling contract was originally scheduled to terminate on Feb. 1, 2018, and the amendment provides for a contract termination date of Mar. 31, 2017. Cobalt will save 45% of the contract value between the original termination date and the new termination date, or $80 million, and will pay to Rowan the remainder of $98 million.

Cobalt also commits to use Rowan as its exclusive provider of drilling services for 5 years at market rates as determined by normal indices.

Delivered to Cobalt in early 2015, the newbuild ultradeepwater dynamically positioned drillship is capable of operating in 12,000 ft of water and drilling to measured depths of 40,000 ft. It has a 2.5 million-lb hookload capacity and two seven-ram blowout preventer systems.

It has primarily performed appraisal operations at the North Platte Inboard Lower Tertiary discovery in the Gulf of Mexico. Earlier this year, it drilled the Goodfellow No. 1 exploration well that failed to encounter hydrocarbons.

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