Photo: Platinum Explorer drillship; Source: Vantage Drilling

Vantage finds more work for its rigs

Offshore drilling contractor Vantage Drilling has been awarded several new contracts, which will see its rigs operate in South East Asia, Middle East, and Africa.

In a fleet status report published late last week, Vantage said that the Aquamarine Driller jack-up rig had received two letters of award. The first one is for an eight-month contract in South East Asia, starting in 2Q 2021.

The second one is for a multi-year contract in the Middle East, starting in 1Q 2022. No further details have been revealed regarding clients and day rates.

Furthermore, the Platinum Explorer drillship has been awarded an extension of an existing contract with ONGC until July/August 2021.

Following a short contract preparation in the third quarter of the year, the drillship will then start a new contract with ONGC in 3Q 2021.

In addition, the Sapphire Driller jack-up rig has received a letter of award for a multi-year contract in the Middle East, starting in 1Q 2022. Bassoe estimated the day rate will amount to $72,000.

The rig has been preparing for a new contract with Trident since 1Q 2021. The contract with Trident is scheduled to start sometime in the second quarter with options until mid-4Q 2021. Before starting the new contract in 2022, the rig will undergo a preparation period.

Vantage also said that the Topaz Driller jack-up has been awarded a three-month contract for a work-over program in Tunisia for APO in 4Q 2021. Bassoe estimated that the day rate for this contract will be around $75,000.

The jack-up is currently drilling for Eni and Novatek offshore Montenegro. The rig started operations in late March and is expected to continue for a duration of four and a half to six months. The firm contract is set to expire by the end of 3Q with an option period thereafter. After that, the rig is set to work for APO.

Vantage also pointed out that it is now managing three floating rigs – Leo, Polaris, and Sirius – on behalf of Seadrill Partners, which is currently under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

All three rigs are currently stacked while the fourth rig – Capella – is at present not managed by Vantage.

Vantage signed an agreement with Seadrill Partners to manage these four floating rigs back in February 2021 and the agreement was approved by a bankruptcy court in March.

In its quarterly report last week, Vantage noted its belief that the shallow water activity is stabilizing and that the recovery in the deepwater market could begin later this year.

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The rig owner also revealed it had sold its 2012-built Titanium Explorer drillship and booked net proceeds of about $13.6 million from the sale.