TotalEnergies Pays $199M for Tungsten Explorer Drillship Buy-In

Tungsten Explorer (Credit: Vantage Drilling)
Tungsten Explorer (Credit: Vantage Drilling)

French energy major TotalEnergies and offshore drillship operator Vantage Drilling have signed a binding agreement to create a new joint venture (JV) that will acquire from Vantage the Tungsten Explorer drillship.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, TotalEnergies will pay $199 million for a 75% interest in the JV owning the rig, with Vantage owning the remaining 25%.

Leveraging on Vantage’s deep offshore drilling experience and longstanding collaboration with TotalEnergies, the JV will contract Vantage to operate the Tungsten Explorer for 10 years.

“TotalEnergies is pleased to enter into this agreement with Vantage to take shared ownership of a drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, which we already used in exploration and development activities in Namibia, Cyprus and Congo.

“Through this innovative partnership, TotalEnergies will be able to hedge deep-offshore drilling costs: the JV will provide us with both value and flexibility. We look forward to continuing our journey together with the experienced Vantage team that will continue to oversee the rig’s operations”, said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

“This is a transformative event for the company. This joint venture underscores TotalEnergies' confidence in Vantage, and our client's belief in the value of collaborating with a flexible and efficient drilling contractor. We very much look forward to strengthening our longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship with our esteemed client, TotalEnergies,” added Ihab Toma, Chief Executive Officer of Vantage Drilling.

Built in 2013, the Tungsten Explorer is designed for deep offshore drilling. With a power capacity of 42MW, thrust capacity of 33MW, the rig can operate in a wide range of meteorological conditions and has a proven track record of safe drilling operations worldwide.

Currently operating in Namibia on the Mangetti-1X well, the Tungsten Explorer is using Excellium additives, a premium fuel developed by TotalEnergies to optimize consumption and reduce emissions - a first for TotalEnergies.

With its hookload capacity of 2.5 million pounds, offline capabilities, and state-of-the-art Managed Pressure Drilling equipment, this drillship meets TotalEnergies’ envisaged future global needs.

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