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Ensco in $645m drillship buy

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Bill Lehane ,
05 April 2012 14:06 GMT

New York-listed Ensco has ordered another ultra-deepwater drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries at an estimated cost of $645 million, just days after inking a long-term deal with BP for another rig in the series.

The Ensco DS-8 will be the sixth Samsung DP3 drillship in the offshore driller’s fleet when it arrives in the third quarter of 2014.

Ensco has also secured an option to acquire a further two of the vessels.

The fifth rig, Ensco DS-7, is currently being built in South Korea with delivery slated for the second half of this year.

On Monday, BP hired the fourth drillship, the Ensco DS-6, on a five-year deal that will ultimately garner Ensco $1 billion at a dayrate of around $522,000.

Ensco said the latest order came in response to “the high level of customer demand driven by an ongoing trend of successful offshore discoveries”.

Like the previous five ordered since 2007, the new drillship will be equipped for ultra-deepwater drilling in water depths of up to 10,000 feet, extendable to 12,000, and a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 feet.

Ensco’s three active DP3 drillships are currently contracted into 2016 in the US Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West Africa.

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