Seadrill has secured a five-year contract worth $1.18billion with Husky for the new-build harsh environment semi-submersible rig West Mira.
Husky’s plan is to use the rig for operations offshore Canada and Greenland.
The West Mira is currently under construction at the Hyundai Samho Shipyard in South Korea and delivery is scheduled for Q4 2014.
The current estimate is that the rig will start working for Husky during Q2 2015.
The West Mira is designed for drilling in harsh environments and water depths to 3,048m (10,000ft). It will be equipped with DP-3 (dynamic positioning) as well as 12-point mooring capability.
Expectation is that the rig will be fitted with two six-ram blowout preventers.
West Mira is one of 10 semi-submersibles in the Norwegian company’s fleet capable of operations in harsh environments, eight of which have been delivered since 2008.
Global deepwater leader Seadrill has another harsh environment unit, the West Rigel, on order and which is scheduled to be delivered from the Jurong shipyard in Singapore in Q1 2015.
West Mira will be the second rig Seadrill will operate in Eastern Canada.
Chairman John Fredriksen said: “The award of a five-year contract with commencement in 2015 is also a clear sign of the present tightness in the harsh environment/deepwater drilling market.
“Seadrill currently has several options/proposals to increase the newbuild programme within this field further.
“Based on close discussions with our customers we also see several additional attractive long-term chartering opportunities. A decision regarding further investment within this segment is likely to be taken shortly and might also include direct investments from North Atlantic Drilling Ltd.”
Seadrill has also reached a deal with Songa Offshore to acquire the ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig Songa Eclipse for $590million.
The rig was delivered from the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore in 2011, and is currently operating for Total offshore Angola on a contract that is due to expire in December 2013. However, the French super-major holds three one-year options to further extend the contract.
Seadrill intends to take delivery of the rig this month.
Fredrik Halvorsen, Seadrill Management’s CEO, said the purchase was in line with the company’s ambition to further build its fleet of modern rigs and drillships through selective acquisitions and organic growth.
“The ultra-deepwater market is in a strong cycle, something we expect to prevail over the coming years and the acquisition increases our exposure to this segment,” said Halvorsen.
“Furthermore, we are pleased to strengthen our relationship with Total in Angola and increase our presence in the region, which adds scale to our operations and could further reduce our relative cost base in the region.”
The Songa Eclipse is of the same Friede & Goldman ExD millennium design as four of Seadrill’s existing rigs in operation, West Sirius, West Taurus, West Orion, and West Capricorn and is therefore highly compatible.
The rig is dynamically positioned (DP 2 class certification) and equipped with Aker Solutions drilling equipment. It has a water depth capability to 3,048m and drilling depth capacity to 11,430m (37,500ft).
The subsea well control system includes a six-ram 15,000psi blow-out preventer (BOP) stack.