Transocean’s Backlog Boosted by $392M Ultra-deepwater Drillship Brazil Deal

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean said Tuesday it had secured a long-term deal for one of its ultra-deepwater drillships.

The contract, awarded by “a national oil company” for work offshore Brazil, is for the ultra-deepwater drillship, Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2.

According to Transocean, the drillship has secured a 910-day offshore drilling contract with an estimated backlog of $392 million. This would mean that the dayrate would be around $430,000 per day.

Transocean said that the $392 million amount excludes a mobilization fee of “90 times the contract dayrate,” which would be around $38,7 million.

The new contract is expected to start in the third quarter of 2023.

The Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2 was built in 2010. Its maximum operating depth is 12,000 feet (3657.6 meters), and its maximum drilling depth is 35,000 feet (10668 meters). The rig has been idle since January 2022. 

Before that, the drillship worked for Brunei Shell Petroleum in Brunei, when the dayrate was $190,000. The rig is currently anchored off Pasir Gudang, Malaysia.

Back on October 13, the date of Transocean’s most recent fleet status report, the company said its total backlog was approximately $7.3 billion at the time.

In a recently launched extensive offshore drilling market status report, Westwood Global Energy’s offshore drilling market analyst Terry Childs said that 2023 was expected to be a busy year for offshore rigs, with utilization and soaring.

“The current trajectory of dayrates will continue their upward path, but whether that will be maintained at a similar pace as in 2022 remains to be seen. Most questions surrounding floating rig dayrates are centered around when they will reach $500,000, particularly for drillships,” Childs said. 

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