Seadrill (SDRL) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with a major oil company for a five-year contract for operations in North America with the ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rig West Capricorn. The potential contract value for the firm five-year period is US$919 million, which includes a US$30 million mobilization fee. The oil company has the right to extend the contract term for two additional one-year periods. West Capricorn is currently under construction at Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.
The unit will commence its transit to North America upon delivery that is scheduled for late December 2011. Start-up operations are scheduled for May 2012. West Capricorn will be the fourth rig of the proven Friede & Goldman ExD Millenium design that Seadrill has taken delivery of from the Jurong Shipyard since 2008. Furthermore, the rig will be the first ultra-deepwater unit in the industry that is outfitted with a 7-ram blowout preventer.
Alf C Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer in Seadrill Management AS, says, "We are pleased to have secured a long-term contract for one of our new rigs in one of the most promising deepwater regions. The contract duration proves the attractiveness of our modern fleet and offers strong earnings visibility for our shareholders. Furthermore, it gives us the opportunity to have two sister rigs working in the same region which provide for operational synergies related to performance and costs."