Drillship Offshore Brazil

Oil exploration drillship underway off the coast of Brazil Photo: By marchello77 / Shutterstock

Transocean Announces $486 Million Drillship Contract in Brazil

Mike Schuler
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September 14, 2023

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean has announced a three-year contract for its newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship Deepwater Aquila in Brazil.

The contract was signed with a “national oil company for work offshore Brazil”, .e.g. Petrobras. It will add $486 million in firm backlog, amounting to a dayrate of around $445,000. This excludes “a mobilization fee of approximately 90 times the contract dayrate,” Transocean said.

The Deepwater Aquila is expected to be delivered in October 2023.

Transocean has also agreed to acquire the outstanding interests in Liquila Ventures Ltd., a company formed to acquire the Deepwater Aquila, from its joint venture partners, Perestroika and Lime Rock Partners. Following the acquisition, Transocean will own and operate eight of the twelve ultra-deepwater, 1,400 short-ton hookload drillships in the world.

Transocean’s high-specification semi-submersible rigs and drillships (also known as “floaters”) are in high demand as the offshore drilling market rebounds. The company’s backlog as of June 30, 2023 stood at $9.2 billion, including $1.2 billion added in Q2 at a weighted average dayrate of approximately $456,000, according to CEO Jeremy Thigpen.

Transocean said it is considering debt financing options to partially fund the acquisition and preparation costs of the Deepwater Aquila rig for its contract in Brazil in connection with the drilling contract and acquisition of Liquila Ventures Ltd.

Last November, Liquila Ventures reached an agreement with Hanwha Ocean, formerly known as Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., to purchase the Deepwater Aquila for approximately $200 million. The drillship was formerly known as the West Aquila and was ordered by Seadrill in 2013. 

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