BP prolongs Diamond Offshore drillship’s stay in Gulf of Mexico

Offshore drilling contractor Diamond Offshore Drilling has got its hands on a contract extension for one of its drillships, which is working in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for BP, a UK-headquartered energy giant.

Ocean BlackHornet drillship; Source: Maersk Training

The two-year contract extension for the Ocean BlackHornet drillship has been secured with a subsidiary of BP in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This part of the rig’s assignment will begin in February 2025 in direct continuation of the current contract. The rig owner explains that the new contract extension represents an additional backlog of approximately $350 million.

Bernie Wolford, Jr., Diamond Offshore’s President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: “This contract deepens our relationship with a key client in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and is a testament to the great work the men and women of Diamond do for our customers day in and day out. This award, along with the recent Ocean BlackLion award, contributes significantly to our 2025 and 2026 backlog and future cash flows.”

This extension comes after the Ocean BlackHornet drillship secured another two-year extension in August 2022 with BP in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The two-year extension was expected to keep the rig busy until early 2025. The total contract value for the extension was approximately $290 million.

The 2014-built Ocean BlackHornet seventh-generation Gusto P10000 drillship can operate in water depths up to 12,000 ft while its maximum drilling depth is 40,000 ft. The rig comes with dynamic positioning, dual-activity capability, a maximum hook-load capacity of 1,250 tons, and two seven-ram blowout preventers.

With $245 million in backlog added in the fourth quarter of 2023, Diamond Offshore’s fleet utilization level rose to 69% while its revenue efficiency remained the same as during the previous quarter. The rig owner got $485 million in new contract awards throughout 2023.

The company also secured $362 million in contract awards in addition to its reported backlog of $1.4 billion as of January 1, 2024. Recently, a rig from the firm’s semi-submersible fleet commenced its drilling program with Petrobras offshore Brazil. Diamond Offshore also won a new contract for one of its drillships offshore Guinea-Bissau.