Atwood said that the contract provides for an operating dayrate of approximately $470,000, if the firm commitment is three years and approximately $450,000, if the option is exercised to extend the firm commitment period to six years.

To provide the drilling rig Atwood Oceanics Pacific (AOPL) has executed a construction contract with Jurong Shipyard to construct a Friede & Goldman ExD Millennium semi-submersible drilling unit. The new rig will be constructed at Jurong’s shipyard in Singapore, with delivery expected to occur in early 2011.

AOPL estimates the total cost of the rig to be between $570 million and $590 million. Financing for the rig construction will be provided from a combination of AOPL’s ongoing cash flow and debt. Atwood said that the new rig will be able to conventionally moor in up to 6,000 feet of water with its own mooring equipment and with pre-laid mooring equipment could work in up to 8,000 feet of water.