Transocean Agrees to Purchase High-Specification Jackup from PPL Shipyard

As their 3rd Quarter conference call seemed to allude to, Transocean has just signed an agreement with PPL Shipyard in Singapore to purchase a Pacific-class high-specification jackup rig, currently under construction.  Houston-based offshore drilling contractor Atwood Oceanics, placed a $365 million order for two of these same rigs back in October.

With worldwide utilization of these high-spec jackups in excess of 90 percent, day rates for these specialized rigs is starting to creep into the $150k range.

The press release from Transocean is below.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) (SIX: RIGN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to purchase for $195 million a Pacific Class 400 design jackup under construction at PPL Shipyard Pte Ltd. Delivery of the high-specification jackup is expected in the fourth quarter of 2011.

The jackup rig, which is PPL Shipyard’s latest proprietary design, is capable of operating in water depths up to 400 feet and constructing wells 30,000 feet deep. It will feature the most advanced offshore drilling technology, including offline tubular handling features and simultaneous operations support. In addition, the rig will have accommodation for 150 personnel.

“Our decision to purchase this unit reflects our belief in the strengthening fundamentals of the high-specification jackup market and our strategy to increase our participation in this part of our business,” said Steven L. Newman, Chief Executive Officer of Transocean Ltd. “The one-year delivery schedule gives us sufficient time to pursue a number of opportunities available in the marketplace to secure an attractive contract for the rig.”