Atwood Oceanics reports that the ATWOOD FALCON and VICKSBURG have been awarded a contract extension and a new contract, respectively. The ATWOOD FALCON 's current thirteen (13) well contract with Sarawak Shell has been extended effective July 11, 2007 for two years. This contract extension provides for the rig's water depth drilling capabilities to be increased from 3,700 feet to 5,000 feet. This water depth upgrade, to be paid for by Shell, is expected to cost $24 million and is planned in July 2006 at a shipyard in Malaysia or elsewhere in Southeast Asia, with the upgrade estimated to take 85 days to complete including rig moving time. The contract extension provides for Shell to pay $12 million at the beginning of the upgrade period and $12 million upon completion of the upgrade plus a dayrate during the 85-day upgrade period of $90,200. The new extended contract now provides for the drilling of one (1) well at a dayrate of $53,000 to $83,000 depending upon its water depth, six (6) wells at a dayrate of $93,000, six (6) wells at a dayrate of $113,000 and, effective July 11, 2007 through July 10, 2009, for wells drilled in water depths less than 3,700 feet a day rate of $160,000 will apply and for wells drilled in water depths greater than 3,700 feet a dayrate of $200,000 will apply. The higher dayrates will commence at the end of the existing thirteen (13) wells drilling commitment or July 11, 2007, whichever occurs first.
The VICKSBURG has been awarded a new contract by Chevron Overseas Petroleum (Cambodia) Limited to drill eight (8) months offshore Cambodia immediately upon the rig completing its drilling commitment with Petrofac Malaysia (estimated September/October 2006). This contract provides for a dayrate of $94,500.
The ATWOOD SOUTHERN CROSS has completed its relocation to the Mediterranean Sea and has commenced drilling one well for Isramco at a dayrate of $60,000. At the completion of this work, the rig will be moved to a shipyard for approximately 50 days for required inspections, Italian certification and equipment upgrades prior to drilling two (2) wells at dayrates of $70,000 and $73,000 for AGIP. Following the completion of the AGIP drilling program, the rig will be moved to the Black Sea to commence a drilling program for Melrose at a dayrate of $125,000.
The Company's only rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the RICHMOND, was safely evacuated in advance of Hurricane Rita. An initial visual inspection of the rig following the storm showed no signs of any major damage. A further inspection is to be undertaken.
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