Chevron has opted to terminate the drilling contract for Transocean's ultra-deepwater drillship (UDW) Discoverer Clear Leader, effective November 2017, prior to its expiration in October 2018.
The Discoverer Clear Leader drillship was operating in Walker Ridge 758, in Chevron's Jack field, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmemtal Enforcement's current deepwater activity handout from 18 September 2017. The UDW drillship has been under contract since November 2014 at a day rate of US$575,000, says Transocean's July 2017 Fleet Status Report. Although, the ship has been with the field since 2009, when the Discoverer Clear Leader was built and began work for the supermajor in the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2009, when Chevron received the ship, the company said: “The Discoverer Clear Leader offers the most-advanced drilling capabilities in the offshore drilling industry and will enable Chevron to expand the search for new domestic sources of energy."
The Discoverer Clear Leader was built drill wells in 12,000ft (3650m) of water to a total depth of 40,000ft (12,200m). It was built to use dual-activity drilling, which enables parallel drilling operations from a single derrick, according to Chevron.
In accordance with the contract terms, Transocean will receive a lump-sum payment of approximately $148 million in contract termination fees, which is the present value of the operating dayrate less the operating costs per day. The payment is expected to be received in Q4 2017.
Photo: Transocean's Discoverer Clear Leader