Transocean Equinox rig; Source: Transocean

‘Major’ operator books Transocean’s idle rig for work off Australia

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean has secured a new contract with an undisclosed operator in Australia for a semi-submersible rig, which has been in idle mode since October 2022, when the rig finished its assignment with Equinor in Norway.

Transocean Equinox rig; Source: Transocean

Transocean reported on Wednesday, 10 May 2023, that a “major” operator in Australia had picked the Transocean Equinox semi-submersible rig for a five-well contract. This deal represents approximately $137 million in firm backlog, excluding full payment for mobilisation and a demobilisation fee.

According to the rig owner, the estimated 300-day contract is expected to start in the first quarter of 2024. The deal also entails a one-well option, potentially keeping the harsh environment semi-submersible in Australia through the first quarter of 2025.

The 2015-built Transocean Equinox semi-submersible rig is of GVA 4000 NCS design. Constructed by DSME, the rig can accommodate 130 people. With a maximum drilling depth of 8,500 metres, it can operate in water depths of up to 500 metres.

This contract award comes after Transocean revealed deals with an aggregate incremental backlog of around $546 million, which raised the offshore drilling giant’s total backlog to approximately $8.6 billion