Seadrill reported that the ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig West Eminence has commenced drilling operations for Petroleo Brasileiro S.A - Petrobras in Brazil. West Eminence, which was delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea in March this year arrived offshore Brazil in June and has since arrival prepared for start-up of operations.
West Eminence is chartered to Petrobras under a six-year contract for operations in the Santos Basin nearly 350 km offshore Rio de Janeiro. The commencement of the West Eminence contract completes the delivery of the original eight deepwater rig newbuilds that were contracted in 2005 and 2006. It is the second deepwater newbuild delivered to Seadrill that starts on a long-term contract with Petrobras.
Alf C Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are proud of having successfully completed the commencement of operations for the original eight deepwater newbuilds over the last 12 months on five different continents. This concludes the first phase of developing Seadrill into a truly global offshore deepwater drilling contractor. Furthermore, these units represent a superb order backlog with quality customers providing average contract length per unit just short of five-years and at attractive dayrates. We have in the last two months also seen a clear improvement in the average utilization of the seven newbuilds that have already commenced operation. This confirms that Seadrill delivers a safe and efficient service to our clients. The second phase of the deepwater newbuilding projects consists of further three rigs that are scheduled to be delivered between April 2010 and December 2011 of which one has a six-year contract with Petrobras."
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