Seadrill continues to see strong demand for modern ultra-deepwater drilling rigs driven by high oil prices and large deep-water discoveries and increased development drilling. Specific interest, mainly from operators in West Africa and the Americas, demonstrate a trend towards higher day rates and longer term contracts.
With yard costs at very attractive levels and Seadrill's proven track record with respect to successful new build construction the Company is pleased to announce the order of a sixth drillship from Samsung with delivery in the second quarter of 2014. The expected total project cost is less than USD600 million, in line with the 5 units under construction and with delivery in 2013 and 2014. The yard contract was originally between a party related to Seadrill's major shareholder Hemen Holding and Samsung, as part of a larger shipyard deal, but Seadrill has been given the right to take over the contract at original terms.