Transocean has been extremely busy
the past few days solidifying its hold on the deepwater and ultradeepwater
the drilling contractor announced it was selling 37 standard jackup rigs and
one swamp barge for about $1.05 billion to a newly formed company appropriately
named Shelf Drilling International
Holdings. Shelf Drilling is sponsored equally by investors Castle Harlan, CHAMP Private Equity and Lime
Rock Partners. Shelf Drilling will be run by a group of offshore drilling
industry veterans. All but one are former Transocean executives.
is also negotiating with an undisclosed major operator for the charter of four
ultradeepwater drillships to be built at a cost of about $3 billion and
contracted for 10 years each.
the sale of the shallow-water rigs won’t impact Gulf of Mexico drilling since
all of them operate outside the U.S., it does point up Transocean’s continued
strategy to focus on high-specification deepwater floaters and jackups. “This
agreement marks an important milestone in our asset strategy to increase our
focus on high-specification floaters and jackups, improving our long-term competitiveness,”
Transocean president and CEO Steve Newman said in a statement accompanying the news
release on the sale.
a recent report, Barclays Capital said that the jackup sale “streamlines
Transocean’s high-spec assets and provides substantial cash.”
the drilling contractor announced that it is in discussions (as of Sept. 10)
with an undisclosed major integrated international oil company for the
construction of four DP ultradeepwater drillships that are expected to be able
to operate in up to 12,000’ of water and drill wells to 40,000’. While
Transocean didn’t say where the rigs might operate, there are enough clues to expect
it will be in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. For example, the rigs will be outfitted
with enhanced well completion capabilities, a second blowout preventer (BOP), and
have the capability to be upgraded to a 20,000-psi BOP.
rig would be contracted for 10 years, with charters beginning in 2015 and 2016.
Construction cost is about $750 million each — a total of $3 billion. Barclays
said the construction costs, which are about $100 million more than drillships
currently under construction, likely is a result of “unique customer demands
for high-spec equipment and designs.”
also is discussing alternative contracting scenarios with the unnamed operator
that could include a joint venture with the customer that would own the
drillships, provide a portion of the construction financing, and share in the