Diamond Offshore scores $610m in new drilling contracts

Houston-based Diamond Offshore Drilling has secured new contracts worth around $610m, adding to the company’s backlog of close to $1bn.

The 2016-built harsh environment semisub Ocean GreatWhite has been contracted by an undisclosed UK North Sea operator for a five-well campaign with an estimated duration of 300 days. The total contract value of the committed scope is approximately $80m, with priced options attached for up to eight additional wells.

In Australia, the 1976-built semi, Ocean Apex, has been awarded three new contracts. The first new award commences in the second quarter of 2023, with an estimated duration of 75 days. The second award is also for an estimated duration of 75 days, commencing in direct continuation of the previous award. The third contract has an estimated duration of 150 days with a commencement in 2024. The combined awards add approximately $90m of backlog to the Ocean Apex.

Bernie Wolford, Jr., president and CEO of Diamond Offshore, added that there is a potential fourth new contract currently under negotiation which would fill out the remaining availability in 2023, and combined, keep the rig fully contracted until late 2024.

Meanwhile, in the US Gulf of Mexico, two seventh-generation drillships, the Ocean BlackHornet and a Diamond-managed rig, have had their contracts extended with their clients. The Ocean BlackHornet has secured a two-year extension worth around $290m with BP in direct continuation of the rig’s current term. The two-year extension will keep the rig working until early 2025. 

One of the two Aquadrill rigs managed by Diamond in the US Gulf has been extended for one more year with a contract worth about $150m. The 2013-built Auriga is on contract with BP until Q1 2023, while the Vella will work for BHP until December this year.

“With improved dayrates and approximately 75% of 2023 marketed capacity contracted, we have an opportunity to earn considerably higher margins in 2023, Wolford noted. Diamond reported a loss of close to $23m in the second quarter.

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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