Seadrill orders four ultra-deepwater drillships

Seadrill has entered into turnkey contracts to build four new ultra-deepwater drillships. Two drillships will be built at the DSME yard and the other two at the Samsung yard in South Korea. The project value price is estimated to be below USD 600M per unit (including project management, drilling and handling tools, spares, capitalised interest and operations preparations). Delivery of the four units is scheduled for the second half of 2015. Seadrill has in addition received fixed priced options for delivery of two further units in the first half of 2016.

The drillships will have a hook-load capability of 1,250 tons and a water-depth capacity of up to 12,000 feet, targeting operations in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West and East Africa. The units will be outfitted with a seven ram configuration of the blowout preventer (BOP) stack and will make allowance for storing and handling a second BOP. The units include design and equipment features that make them particularly attractive for development drilling. Two of the drillships will include equipment to prepare the units for 20K BOP systems.

Seadrill's construction program now totals 22 units, including 9 drillships, 2 harsh environment semi-submersibles and 11 high specification jack-ups. In addition, the company has fixed priced options for two ultra-deepwater units. The four new builds will be financed through a combination of available cash and structured debt facilities.