Transocean’s 24-year-old stacked rig going to mystery buyer next quarter

Switzerland-based offshore drilling contractor Transocean has set the wheels into motion to get rid of one of its stacked ultra-deepwater floaters to turn its attention to its core fleet assets.

Deepwater Nautilus rig; Source: Transocean

The rig owner decided to authorize the sale of the Deepwater Nautilus semi-submersible rig and associated equipment on June 17, 2024, as part of its ongoing efforts to dispose of non-strategic assets.

A few days later, on June 19, 2024, a subsidiary of Transocean sealed a deal with an undisclosed company to sell the fifth-generation ultra-deepwater floater and associated assets for $53.5 million.

The offshore drilling player expects this to lead to an estimated non-cash charge for the second quarter of 2024, ranging between $140 million and $150 million associated with the impairment of such assets. This rig has been stacked since November 2022.

The completion of the rig sale is anticipated in the third quarter of 2024. With a maximum drilling depth of 30,000 ft, the 2000-built Deepwater Nautilus semi-submersible rig can operate in water depths of up to 8,000 ft.

The disposal of the semi-sub comes shortly after Transocean secured multimillion-dollar contract extensions for three rigs with Australia’s Woodside Energy, Germany’s Wintershall Dea, and Norway’s Equinor.