Barclays: Summer Could Bring Busy Contracting Season for Deepwater Rigs

Recent deepwater rig announcements could mean an active summer contracting season, according to a June 10 analyst report from Barclays Capital.

Strong demand for deepwater drilling rigs in existing and emerging global markets prompted London-based Ensco plc to order an additional advanced-capability DP3 ultra-deepwater drillship based on the Samsung GF12000 hull design, the company reported Monday.

The Ensco DS-10, which will be the eighth Samsung DP3 drillship in Ensco's fleet, will be constructed at Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd.'s shipyard in South Korea. The rig is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2015. Construction cost of the rig is estimated at approximately $625 million, Ensco reported in a statement.

 Ensco's agreement for the Ensco DS-10 also includes an option for an additional drillship of the same design. The company has two more deepwater rigs, Ensco DS-8 and Ensco DS-9, also based on the GF12000 hull design, scheduled for delivery in 2014. Ensco DS-8, Ensco DS-9 and Ensco DS-10 all will be capable of drilling in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 feet. DS-10 will initially be outfitted to work in up to 10,000 feet of water.

A subsidiary of Kosmos Energy Ltd. awarded Houston-based Atwood Oceanics a three-year contract for its newbuild Atwood Achiever (UDW drillship) for exploratory drilling offshore Morocco, Atwood announced in a statement Monday.

The dynamically positioned drillship currently is under construction at Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in South Korea, the company said in a statement. Atwood Achiever, which is Atwood's second ultra-deepwater drillship, will mobilize to over a 65-day period to its first location in Morocco prior to the contract's start following the rig's delivery from DSME in June 2014.

Atwood Achiever is the company's second ultra-deepwater drillship. The contract award is the third contract recently announced by Atwood. The Atwood Beacon (400' ILC) has been awarded a contract for work offshore Israel, and Royal Dutch Shell plc awarded a contract to Atwood Condor (UDW semisub) for work in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.  


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