Transocean’s new drillship arrives in Gulf of Mexico for Shell gig

Deepwater Proteus; Image: Transocean's Beacon Mag.
Deepwater Proteus; Image: Transocean’s Beacon Mag.

A newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship owned by the offshore drilling contractor Transocean has arrived to a Gulf of Mexico location where it will operate for the oil giant Shell.

In an e-mail to Offshore Energy Today, Shell’s spokesperson confirmed that the Transocean Deepwater Proteus arrived to the Gulf of Mexico and it will start working “in the near future”. The drillship is under a ten-year contract with Shell with a dayrate of $519,000.

Shell’s spokesperson also said: “Starting in 2016, we had 13 deep water rigs in operation across the world with two contracts expiring this year. The new vessels – just like the majority of the other existing rigs – can be deployed throughout our worldwide deep-water portfolio which provides us with the flexibility we require.”

Vessel Finder shows the rig is currently located offshore Louisiana.

According to Transocean’s fourth quarter report issued in February, the drillship was delivered to the offshore driller during the quarter by the South Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

At the time, Transocean said the drillship was expected to be placed into service in the second quarter of 2016.

Back in 2012, Shell hired Transocean’s four drillships, all ordered at DSME, for ten years each. One of these drillships, the Deepwater Thalassa, started its contract with Shell in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in February 2016.

With the Deepwater Proteus now also in the Gulf of Mexico, there remain two more drillships, the Deepwater Pontus and Deepwater Poseidon, to be delivered from the South Korean shipyard. To remind, Transocean, Shell and DSME agreed in October 2015 to defer the operating and delivery contracts of these two newbuild drillships by 12 months each. Estimated contract start date for these two rigs is in the fourth quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018, respectively.

All four drillships have been designed to operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drill wells to 40,000 feet.

In other news, the delivery of Transocean’s other two ultra-deepwater drillships, being built in Singapore by Jurong Shipyard, has been delayed for the second time.

The article has been updated with Shell’s statement

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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