Transocean drillship embarks on maiden gig with Petrobras in Brazil

Switzerland-based offshore drilling contractor Transocean has gotten down to business in Brazil, where its newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship set the ball rolling on its inaugural drilling assignment with the country’s state-owned energy giant Petrobras.

Deepwater Aquila drillship; Source: Transocean

Following a purchase agreement at the end of 2022 for the acquisition of the Deepwater Aquila (ex-West Aquila) drillship for $200 million from Hanwha Ocean, former Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), the Swiss player kicked off a multi-million dollar private offering of senior secured notes due 2028 to partially finance the construction, acquisition, and improvement or alteration of the newbuild seventh-generation ultra-deepwater rig.

This drillship is one of two rigs originally ordered in 2013 by Seadrill. Transocean owns and operates eight of the world’s twelve ultra-deepwater, 1,400 short-ton hookload drillships after bringing the Deepwater Aquila rig into its fold.

The rig, which was expected to be delivered from the shipyard in October 2023, won a three-year contract in September 2024 with Petrobras in Brazil at a rate of $448,000. The work was scheduled to start in June 2024 and end in June 2027.

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“The Deepwater Aquila is officially on the job! The newest addition to our fleet just started her inaugural contract this week in Brazil. Shout out to our team on the Aquila and everyone who worked to get this impressive rig ready to deliver for Petrobras—keep turning to the right,” highlighted Transocean.

Meet the Deepwater Aquila drillship

Shortly after confirming plans to sell one of its stacked ultra-deepwater floaters to turn its attention to its core fleet assets, the offshore drilling heavyweight secured a multi-million contract extension in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico with Hess Corporation.