Seadrill Delays Two Drillships at DSME

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.
Photo: Keith Homan / Shutterstock.com

Seadrill Ltd. has emerged as the client who agreed to postpone delivery of two ultra-deepwater drillships under construction at the South Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). 

The offshore drilling contractor confirmed via a statement Friday that it reached an agreement with DSME to defer the delivery of the two drillships, the West Aquila and West Libra, until the second quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019 respectively, 

The two drillships were originally scheduled for delivery by the end of the second quarter of 2016 along with the final payment of $800 million. 

Seadrill says the agreement will provide it with much-needed near term liquidity by deferring its capex commitments to 2018 and 2019, with no payments due to the yard until that time. 

Despite the seemingly good news, Seadrill’s stock took a beating on Friday, falling about 10% by midday as oil fell below $30 barrel.  

We first got wind of the postponed deliveries on Wednesday when DSME said it had agreed with an international client to postpone delivery of two drillships by up to three years. The world’s number two shipbuilder has been struggling for the past year due to crashing oil prices that has led to a severely weakened offshore sector. In October, creditors agreed to $3.7 billion rescue package that would give the shipyard the cash it needs to complete offshore projects not already delayed or cancelled.