Seadrill Limited
OSLO : SDRL

April 03, 2012 03:02 ET

SDRL- North Atlantic Drilling confirms the order of a new harsh environment semi-submersible drilling rig

HAMILTON, BERMUDA--(Marketwire - Apr 3, 2012) - Oil and gas companies have increased their level of activity in harsh environment and arctic areas considerably during the last years. This has translated into a growth in demand for high specification rigs for operations and a tight supply demand balance in such areas. Continued strong market fundamentals including the recent exploration successes in harsh environment create a sound basis for further growth in the North Atlantic region. In addition to demand for new rigs, there is also a need for replacement of older rigs.

In response to this development North Atlantic Drilling has entered into a turnkey construction contract with Jurong Shipyard in Singapore for the construction of a new harsh environment semi-submersible drilling rig. The new rig will be of a Moss CS60 design, N-Class compliant and be fully winterized to meet the harsh and demanding weather conditions in the North Atlantic areas. Maximum water depth will be 10,000 feet with a maximum drilling depth of 40,000 feet. Further, the rig will be outfitted with both DP3 dynamic positioning systems and complete anchor handling capabilities. The rig will have accommodation capacity for up to 150 people in Norway, whereas internationally the capacity will be 180. In order to meet the highest safety and operational standards, the rig will be outfitted with a six ram blow out preventer (BOP) stack and have the capacity for storing and handling of a second BOP.

The new rig is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter 2015 at the latest. Total estimated project costs for the new rig, including a turnkey contract with the yard, project management, drilling and handling tools, spares, capitalized interest and operations preparations, is estimated to be approximately US$650 million. 20% of the yard price is payable at contract signing, and the remaining 80% at delivery. The first installment has been financed by proceeds from the private placement which was completed on March 27, 2012.

Alf C Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer in North Atlantic Management AS and Chairman of North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. says in a comment: "North Atlantic Drilling was established in February last year with a clear ambition of building the leading harsh environment offshore drilling company. Since this incorporation, the underlying market for drilling services in such areas has shown a tremendous development creating opportunities for further growth. With this newbuild order, we are able to continue developing our growth strategy and utilize a unique opportunity to generate solid returns for our shareholders. We believe the market for modern advanced rigs will continue to develop favorably and offer attractive contracting opportunities."

This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.

North Atlantic Drilling is a leading offshore harsh environment drilling company in which Seadrill Limited currently holds a 74 percent ownership interest. The Company has following the new harsh environment semi-submersible newbuild order, a fleet of six harsh environment units in operation and two newbuilds under construction. North Atlantic Drilling is currently listed on the N-OTC list in Norway, but has initiated the process of listing its shares in the US with a targeted commencement of trading during third quarter 2012.

This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that:

(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and

(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.

Source: Seadrill Limited via Thomson Reuters ONE

[HUG#1599619]

Contact Information

  • Analyst contact
    Jim Datland
    VP Investor Relations
    Seadrill Management AS
    +47 51 30 99 19

    Media contact
    Esa Ikaheimonen
    Chief Financial Officer
    Seadrill Management AS
    +47 51 30 99 19