The turnkey contract has a total project value of US $598 million with scheduled delivery of the unit in June 2010. The rig is based on a Samsung design and is similar to the two units Seadrill already has under construction at the Samsung Shipyard.
The new drillship will be dynamically positioned and capable of operating in water depths up to 10,000 feet in challenging deepwater areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, off Brazil and West Africa.
The decision to add another deepwater newbuild to the existing construction program is based on the continued strength of the offshore drilling market, the return that these investments are expected to deliver, the strong financial flexibility generated by the Company's contract backlog and the limited availability of newbuild slots at quality yards with delivery in 2010.
The drillship is the tenth deepwater unit Seadrill including subsidiaries has ordered since the Company was formed in May 2005.
Mr. Kjell E Jacobsen, Chief Executive Officer of Seadrill Management AS, said: "Our commitment to make Seadrill a leading drilling contractor through investing in high specification efficient assets built by quality yards has been well received by our customers. With the most modern drilling fleet in the world and a total contract backlog of US$7 billion, we have created a solid platform for further growth and good basis for a high return to our shareholders. The ordering of the new unit confirms our positive market outlook as well as our good experience with this design and the yard."
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