Tungsten Explorer drillship

After Cyprus gig, ultra-deepwater drillship from Vantage heading to Africa

Offshore drilling contractor Vantage Drilling has secured a new contract with TotalEnergies for one of its ultra-deepwater drillships, which is currently operating in the Mediterranean.

Tungsten Explorer drillship; Source: Vantage Drilling

Vantage revealed on Thursday that one of its subsidiaries entered into a drilling services contract with a subsidiary of TotalEnergies in respect of its ultra-deepwater drillship, the Tungsten Explorer. The contract is for a minimum duration of 225 days with three possible options for extension.

The drillship is currently operating in the Mediterranean where it will be drilling up to two wells and from there it is planned to mobilise to West Africa in the third quarter of 2022 at the earliest. The total contract value over the firm term of the contract is approximately $79 million.

Ihab Toma, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are delighted that the Tungsten Explorer will go back to work for TotalEnergies. This award reflects the confidence our esteemed client has in Vantage’s operational team and Vantage’s track record of delivering safe and reliable operations in West Africa. We look forward to performing up to their expectations, delivering a Perfect Day, Every Day.

TotalEnergies is also part of a consortium for which the Tungsten Explorer drillship is now working in the Mediterranean. Namely, Eni and TotalEnergies started drilling operations in Block 6 offshore Cyprus in May 2022.

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The two partners have previously made a “lean gas discovery” in Block 6 with Calypso 1 NFW, which encountered an extended gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age. The Calypso gas discovery confirmed the extension of the “Zohr like” play in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.

In recent Vantage-related news, the company completed the sale of its jack-up rigs – the Emerald Driller, the Sapphire Driller, and the Aquamarine Driller – to ADES. A subsidiary of Vantage will, in exchange for customary fees and reimbursements, provide support services to EDC in respect of the three rigs operating in Qatar for three years.

In addition, a drillship from Aquadrill managed by Vantage has recently been awarded a nine-month contract for operations in India with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).