Vela drillship (former West Vela); Source: Diamond Offshore

Diamond Offshore-managed drillship kicks off its new gig in Gulf of Mexico

Offshore drilling contractor Diamond Offshore Drilling has revealed that a drillship – managed on behalf of Aquadrill – has started its new assignment in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Vela drillship (former West Vela); Source: Diamond Offshore

Back in September 2022, Aquadrill entered into a charter hire agreement with Diamond’s subsidiary to provide the Vela drillship for operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, Diamond Offshore manages two drillships – Auriga and Vela – on behalf of Aquadrill Offshore.

The Diamond Offshore-managed, Aquadrill-owned, seventh-generation ultra-deepwater drillship Vela worked for Woodside in the Gulf of Mexico from October 2022 until December 2022. Afterwards, the drillship was expected to work for Beacon from January 2023 until March 2023, according to Diamond’s fleet status report from December 2022.

In an update on social media, Diamond Offshore confirmed on Wednesday, 1 February 2023, that the Vela drillship had started its new contract in support of Beacon Offshore Energy’s 2023 development plans in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, after recently completing operations for Woodside Energy.

As a reminder, the contract with Beacon was announced in September 2022 for a minimum duration of 225 days with a total value of approximately $88 million. This deal also includes options for up to an additional five to seven wells. 
“Thanks to all the effort from the teams at Beacon Offshore Energy, Vela rig crews and the service providers getting us in position to execute what we hope will be another successful campaign by the Vela,” added Diamond Offshore in its statement.

Once the rig completes the work for Beacon, it will move to its new job with BP in March 2023. After wrapping up the work with BP, the Vela drillship will return to Beacon in August 2023 to finish its assignment, which is slated to end in 1Q 2024.