Deepwater Atlas drillship will start operations at the Shenandoah project in the third quarter of 2022, using dual BOP rated to 15,000psi


Transocean wins contract for Deepwater Atlas. (Credit: C Morrison from Pixabay.)

Swiss offshore drilling contractor Transocean has received a $252m firm contract from BOE Exploration & Production for its newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship, dubbed Deepwater Atlas.

The contract, which includes a mobilisation fee of $30m, provides a significant performance bonus opportunity based on agreed operating metrics, said the company.

The award is a result of BOE’s final investment decision and sanction of the previously announced Shenandoah project in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Deepwater Atlas is expected to commence operations at the Shenandoah project, in the third quarter of 2022, using dual blowout preventers (BOP) rated to 15,000psi.

Transocean president and CEO Jeremy Thigpen said: “This is a significant milestone for Transocean, BOE and the Shenandoah partners, as we jointly venture into this new frontier of ultra-deep-water drilling.

“We are extremely pleased to have secured the maiden contract for the Deepwater Atlas; the first of our two 8th-generation ultra-deep-water drillships that will enter the market in 2022, both of which will be outfitted for 20,000 psi ultra-deep-water well operations.”

The Shenandoah programme is planned in two phases, with the initial drilling is expected to take around 255 days and result in nearly $80m of contract drilling revenue.

Once the initial drilling programme is complete, a 20,000psi BOP is planned to be installed on the rig, which will be the firm’s second asset with a 20,000 psi-rated well control system.

The BOP installation and commissioning, which are expected to drive nearly $17m revenues, will be followed by the second phase, the well completion programme.

Transocean is focused on deepwater and harsh environment drilling services, and operates the high specification floating offshore drilling fleet.

It owns and operates a fleet of 37 mobile offshore drilling units, including 27 ultra-deepwater floaters and 10 harsh environment floaters, with two new ultra-deepwater drillships under construction.

Thigpen added: “We are very encouraged by the growing list, across multiple customers, of 20,000 psi opportunities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

“And, with the only two assets in the world specifically designed to maximize efficiencies for 20,000 psi well completions, we are the undisputed market leader in this space, and thus excited about the future prospects for these state-of-the-art assets.”