Aquadrill Nets Further Work for Vela Drillship in U.S. GoM

September 1, 2022

West Vela - Credit: Jose Perez/MarineTraffic.com
West Vela - Credit: Jose Perez/MarineTraffic.com

Offshore drilling firm Aquadrill has extended a charter hire agreement with Diamond Offshore Drilling to provide its Vela drillship for operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for a drilling contract with a minimum duration of 225 days.

Aquadrill - ex-Seadrill Partners - said the deal also included three market-based extension options for an additional five to seven wells.

According to the drilling contractor, the charter hire for the MPD outfitted 7th generation drillship will be extended if the optional term is exercised.

"The terms of the charter hire agreement are consistent with the current management services agreements in place between [Aquadrill] and the Manager [Diamond Offshore Drilling]. Further, the resulting financial benefits for the company are as if the company had entered into the drilling contract directly," Aquadrill said.

The total contract value for the firm 225-day minimum term of the drilling contract is expected to be $88 million, with start expected in mid-January 2023.

While Aquadrill did not say who the end client was, the Diamond Offshore fleet status report issued Wednesday shows the client is Beacon [Offshore Energy].

According to the fleet status report, Diamond Offshore Drilling currently manages the rig on behalf of Aquadrill for end-client Woodside in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This contract is set to expire in December 2022.

Earlier in August, Aquadrill extended the charter hire agreement for its Auriga drillship with Diamond Offshore Drilling after reaching an agreement on the one-year mutually agreed option in the current underlying drilling contract. The end client is BP. Read More.

The Vela, previously known as the West Vela, is a sixth-generation drillship with operational history in the U.S Gulf of Mexico. It was built by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

Apart from the two drillships, Diamond Offshore Drilling used to manage Aquadrill's semi-submersible drilling rig Capricorn. Aquadrill sold the rig to Brazil's PetroRio in June 2022.



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