Transocean drillships staying longer in Gulf of Mexico and Angola

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean has won contract extensions for two floaters in its rig fleet, prolonging drillships’ assignments in Angola and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Transocean Deepwater Skyros drillship (former Ocean Rig Skyros); Source: Egon Stefanic

Transocean’s latest quarterly fleet status report confirms that the 2014-built Deepwater Asgard ultra-deepwater drillship will stay on with Hess Corporation, a U.S.-based oil and gas player, for another 365 days in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, thanks to a contract extension with a day rate of $505,000.

Currently, the drillship is on a day rate of $440,000 while its previous day rate was $395,000. The work related to the most recent contract extension is scheduled to begin in June 2024 in direct continuation of the rig’s current program.

The total contract value is around $195 million, including a $10.9 million lump sum payment. With a maximum drilling depth of 40,000 ft, the Deepwater Asgard ultra-deepwater dual-activity DSME 12000 drillship can accommodate 200 people and undertake activities in water depths of up to 12,000 ft.

The offshore drilling player also secured a contract extension for the 2013-built Deepwater Skyros drillship in Angola with TotalEnergies, a French-based energy giant. The three-well extension, which comes with a day rate of $400,000, is slated to start in July 2025, in direct continuation of the rig’s existing contract.

With a maximum drilling depth of 40,000 ft, the Deepwater Skyros Samsung 12000 drillship can accommodate 215 people and carry out activities in water depths up to 12,000 ft.

Transocean highlights that the aggregate incremental backlog associated with these two contract extensions is approximately $248 million. Thanks to this, the company’s total backlog is around $8.9 billion as of April 17, 2024.

Since the drilling market upcycle enabled the offshore drilling heavyweight to land a series of new assignments for its rig fleet, the company raked in a $3.2 billion boost in contract backlog last year.