Dorado drillship; Source: Pelago Management

Another drillship begins its maiden voyage

A newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship has left Samsung Heavy Industries yard in South Korea and started its inaugural journey to Malaysia. This rig was acquired last year by Eldorado Drilling, an offshore drilling player backed by a group of well-known Norwegian investors, including Tor Olav Troim, Jan Haudemann-Andersen, Petter Stordalen, Torstein Tvenge, Harald Moraeus Hanssen, and Gunnar Hvammen.

Dorado drillship; Source: Pelago Management

After deciding to get its hands on the Dorado and Zonda, former West Dorado and Pacific Zonda, newbuild ultra-deepwater drillships from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in 2023, Eldorado Drilling put the wheels into motion to raise $130 million in August 2023 to finance the rig acquisition. The drillship duo was slated for delivery in 2024.

Come September 2023, Pelago Management’s collaborative venture with Eldorado Drilling began, overseeing the interests of the Zonda, Dorado, and West Draco drillship owners. As designated project managers, the firm will oversee the entire process, covering the delivery of these seventh-generation newbuild ultra-deepwater drillships from Samsung Heavy Industries in Geoje to operational readiness and beyond.

According to Pelago Management, the Dorado drillship embarked on its first trip from Samsung Heavy Industries in Geoje, South Korea, to Labuan, Malaysia, on Saturday, April 6. The rig is expected to arrive in Labuan on April 18. The drillship was originally ordered in 2013 by Seadrill. However, the order was canceled in the wake of the offshore drilling contractor’s restructuring quest in 2018.

“This state-of-the-art UWD 7th generation drillship, boasting cutting-edge technology, is primed for the next phase of its voyage. This marks another significant milestone for Eldorado Drilling and Pelago Management, underscoring the collective effort and commitment of all those involved,” underlined the company.

Pacific Zonda, West Dorado, and West Draco drillships; Source: Pelago

A month ago, the Zonda drillship set sail from Samsung Heavy Industries to commence its inaugural journey to Seatrium in Singapore. The rig was scheduled to arrive in Singapore on March 18.  Zonda docked at Seatrium’s yard two weeks ago.

“Safety was our top priority right from the start. In our kick-off meeting at the yard, we set the tone by emphasizing the importance of safety, aligning expectations, and ensuring clear communication in the Project Team. This collaborative effort sets the foundation for a successful project ahead,” explained Pelago Management.