Operator declares force majeure on Deepsea Metro I contract

  • Exploration & Production

Golden Close Maritime Corp, the owner of the Deepsea Metro I drillship, managed by Odfjel Drilling, has received a force majeure notice on the drillship contract.

To remind, the rig owner in May said it had secured a contract in South East Asia for the DeepSea Metro I drillship with an undisclosed party for two firm wells with an option to extend.

While neither GCMC nor Odfjell have ever confirmed it, it has been widely reported that the company that has hired the rig is the Spanish oil giant Repsol for exploration drilling in Vietnam, in the contested waters of the South China Sea.

BBC last week reported, citing an industry source, that Vietnam had ordered Repsol to cease its drilling operations in the part of the South China Sea claimed both by China and Vietnam, as China had apparently threatened to attack Vietnamese bases in the Spratly Islands if the drilling did not stop.

Repsol apparently obeyed, and the force majeure on the drillship contract can be considered as a logical move.

Following the force majeure notice, GCMC said: “The Company has received notice of force majeure under the contract. The Company is reviewing the
legal implications of the notice and will provide further details of the situation once available.”

Offshore Energy Today has earlier tried to get a comment from Repsol and Odfjell Drilling on the reports claiming Repsol was drilling with the drillship in the contested waters. A Repsol spokesperson declined to comment. Odfjell Drilling never replied.

We have reached out to GCMC today, seeking confirmation that the force majeure is linked to the reported maritime dispute between China and Vietnam. We will update the article if we get a response.


Offshore Energy Today Staff

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