Awilco Now A Driller With No Rigs As WilHunter Heads For Scrapyard
UK offshore drilling contractor Awilco Drilling has revealed that it concluded the sale of its only remaining drilling rig.
The now rigless company sold its WilHunter semi-submersible, which has been stacked since 2016, for scrap.
The WilHunter is an enhanced pacesetter semi-submersible, equipped for drilling in water depths up to 1,500 ft. The WilHunter rig was built by South Korean Daewoo Shipbuilding & Heavy Machinery in 1983 and upgraded in 1999 and 2011.
The rig was warm-stacked for some time in Invergordon, but it was prepared and cold-stacked there in late 2016. The last contract for the rig was awarded by Hess in 2015. The cold-stacked rig, according to the company’s previous statements, cost Awilco Drilling around $1,300 a day.
Earlier this year, Awilco Drilling signed a sale and purchase agreement with Rota Shipping to recycle the rig at the Aliaga Shipyard in Turkey. The value of the deal was not disclosed at the time nor following closing, but VesselsValue believes that the scrap value of the WilHunter is $11.4 million.
Until recently, the company had two rigs on its books. The other rig was another pacesetter semi-sub – the WilPhoenix but that rig was sold to the UK-based plug and abandonment specialist Well-Safe Solutions. The sale of the rig was closed earlier this month.
The WilPhoenix rig has also been cold-stacked in Scotland since 2016 without employment prospects and was sold to the new owner for a price tag of $15.5 million.
It is worth reminding that Awilco Drilling did attempt to buy new rigs, but it ended in disaster. Namely, Awilco is in a dispute with rig builder Keppel over two other rigs – the Nordic Winter and the Nordic Spring – which the company had ordered in 2018 and 2019.
Both orders for the rigs were canceled in two separate events in 2020 due to alleged breaches of contracts, which Keppel denied. The company is also seeking a refund of $97.7 million in paid installments from Keppel and the two are currently in arbitration proceedings.
Keppel returned the favor by submitting claims in respect of amounts it considers recoverable due to termination provisions in the contracts for both Nordic Winter and Nordic Spring. The amount Keppel is asking for is $424.9 million for the first rig and $268.9 million for the second one.
Awilco believes it owes nothing regarding the two deals and the end of the arbitration for both rigs will be no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2022.
To remind, Dolphin Drilling was able to secure the marketing rights for the drilling rigs originally ordered by Awilco in 2021.
Now, Awilco will be focusing on the outcome of these court proceedings as previously stated in its financial report and keep an eye out for possible new investments.
“Although the main focus in the short term will be on the arbitration processes, minimizing costs and thereby maximizing returns to the shareholders, the company shall also continue to evaluate new investment opportunities. If an attractive opportunity arises, which complements the Company’s financial and operational aspirations, operations will resume once again,” Awilco stated.
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