Titanium Explorer Drillship to Start Petrobras Contract in December

Vantage Drilling on Friday announced that its Titanium Explorer drillship is yet to begin its drilling contract with Petrobras in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The drillship was delivered to Vantage Drilling in April 2012. Titanium Explorer was supposed to commence its contract in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico with Brazil’s oil company Petrobras, but due to various setbacks the customer acceptance testing couldn’t be finished on time.

The owner of the drillship informed that the acceptance testing was impacted by Hurricane Isaac , ROV problems, and an engine issue.

Paul Bragg, CEO of Vantage Drilling commented:“We are clearly disappointed by the disruptions and delays we have encountered commencing operations for the Titanium Explorer, but we believe we are very close to a successful commencement of our contract.”

After discovering the engine issue, the company decided not only to repair the problem, but to undertake a preventative upgrade recommended by the manufacturer to all six primary engines onboard. The repair and upgrade is being conducted currently and is expected to be completed in the third week of November.

The drillship will then get back to deepwater Gulf of Mexico to complete the acceptance testing after which it is expected to start the long-term contract with Petrobras in December this year.

Petrobras has the right to re-locate and utilize the Titanium Explorer on a worldwide basis.  Expected revenues over the eight-year contract term, excluding revenues for mobilization of the rig and costs escalations, are approximately $1.6 billion.

Offshore Energy Today Staff, November 11, 2012