West Polaris Ready to Drill for Exxon Offshore Brazil

Seadrill has reported the delivery of the ultra-deepwater drillship West Polaris from Samsung Heavy Industries. The drillship will leave Korean waters tomorrow after completing fuelling and some general mobilization activities en route to its first drilling assignment for Exxon in Brazil.

West Polaris was delivered 10 days after original contract schedule with a final project cost as previously reported. West Polaris has a four-year contract for worldwide exploration activities for Exxon. Exxon will pay Seadrill a pre-agreed dayrate for the transit period in addition to fuel.

The ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rig West Phoenix was originally delivered from Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea on March 31 this year. The unit has a three-year contract with Total Norge for operations in the North Atlantic region. The unit is currently in the port of Las Palmas, Spain en route to Norway. In Las Palmas, the unit's main drilling equipment systems are undergoing testing and commissioning activities. These activities are taking longer than previously anticipated. As a consequence, the revised start-up of operations for Total on the Victoria field has been postponed from late August to October this year.

Alf C Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer in Seadrill Management AS, said, "We are pleased to report the delivery of West Polaris, the first of three ultra-deepwater drillships that we have ordered from Samsung Heavy Industries in Korea. The construction of West Polaris was successfully completed on time and at budget and we are now looking forward to taking the new drillship into what will be our first deepwater drilling operations offshore Brazil. In respect of West Phoenix, which will be one of the most advanced offshore drilling units in the industry we see that the commissioning of the drilling package is taking longer than originally anticipated. We are not pleased with the development, but are working closely with our suppliers in order to ensure effective delivery within the revised timeline."

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