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Valaris Acquires Two New High-Spec Drillships at Bargain Price

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3846
December 21, 2023

Valaris Limited, a leading offshore drilling contractor, has announced it has exercised its options for the delivery of two newbuild ultra-deepwater drillships, VALARIS DS-13 and DS-14, at a highly-attractive purchase price of just $337 million combined.

The purchase of the high-specification rigs reflects the continued positive sentiment in the offshore drilling sector that has emerged from a prolonged downturn.

“Following the successful contracting of six of our stacked drillships since mid-2021, the purchase of VALARIS DS-13 and DS-14 increases our operating leverage to the attractive ultra-deepwater floater market,” said Anton Dibowitz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Valaris. “Based on our positive market outlook, growing future demand, and strong customer interest in these rigs, we believe that the purchase of these high specification drillships at compelling prices will generate attractive returns.”

The DS-13 and DS-14 were constructed by Hanwha Ocean (former Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering) and are designed operated in waters up to 12,000 feet with a maximum drilling depth of 40,000 feet. The drillships will be mobilized from South Korea to Las Palmas, Spain, where they will be stacked until contracting for work is secured.

“We are delighted to add these two rigs, the highest specification drillships remaining at the South Korean shipyards, to our fleet. These additions increase our drillship fleet to 13 rigs, reinforcing its position as one of the most technically capable in the industry,” said Dibowitz.

Valaris Limited was formed in 2019 through the merger Ensco and Rowan Companies, forming EnscoRowan which was later rebranded as Valaris. The DS-13 and DS-14 were originally ordered by Atwood Oceanics from DSME in 2012 and 2013, respectively, with original targeted delivery dates in 2015. Atwood was then acquired by Ensco in 2017.

As a result of this acquisition, Valaris expects its capital expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2023 to increase by approximately $355 million. This figure includes the purchase price of the rigs and expenses associated with their preparation for mobilization from South Korea to Las Palmas. Additionally, the company forecasts capital expenditures of approximately $35 million in 2024, primarily related to mobilization costs.

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