State-owned Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) has reportedly agreed with South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) to purchase the Cobalt Explorer drillship.
Multiple brokers reported the 7th generation drillship, also known as West Cobalt, was acquired earlier this month for an undisclosed sum.
The drillship was originally ordered by the US contractor, Vantage Drilling, in 2013, and terminated in 2015. John Fredriksen’s rig investment company, Northern Drilling, picked up the vessel in May 2019, only to cancel the $350m resale contract some six months later. Northern Drilling also terminated resale contracts with DSME for the ultra-deepwater drillships West Libra and West Aquila earlier this year.
The vessel will join TPAO’s fleet of three 6th generation drillships, the 2011-built Fatih and Kanuni and the 2012-built Yavuz, and most likely be put to work in the Black Sea.