Seadrill Breathes Sigh of Relief After Winning $1.1 Billion Charter Deal

west jupiter drillship seadrill
West Saturn, a sister-vessel to the West Jupiter built at Samsung Heavy Industries, (c) Seadrill

Seadrill’s West Jupiter, the second of eight 6th generation drilling rigs being built for Seadrill over the next two years has just signed a $1.1 billion, 5-year charter contract with Total Upstream Nigeria Ltd in support of Nigeria’s EGINA ultra-deepwater offshore project.

Two additional drilling rigs will be delivered to Seadrill this year from Samsung Heavy Industies including the West Saturn and West Carina and four in 2015, none of which yet have contracts attached to them.

A gCaptain source indicates ExxonMobil may be considering the West Saturn for use off Nigeria however.

The West Jupiter is expected to be delivered from Samsung in August 2014.  The rig will be outfitted to work in up to 10,000 ft of water and is capable of water depths up to 12,000 ft and drilling depths up to 37,500 ft.

Per Wullf, Seadrill CEO commented, “We are very pleased to have been chosen by Total and its partners for this important project. This contract provides an opportunity to deepen our relationship with a key customer and strategically increase our rig fleet in Nigeria, adding the West Jupiter alongside the West Capella which has been operating in the Usan field Offshore Nigeria since 2008.  Seadrill takes pride in continuing to build its presence in the Nigerian oil & gas industry”.

Worldwide, approximately 50 rigs will be completing their current charter contracts this year.  Wells Fargo Securities estimates that half will sign follow-on contracts resulting in a glut of rigs on the global market.