Transocean Ltd said on Tuesday that one of its dozen rigs in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico would be taken to Egypt next week, while remaining under contract with Statoil.
It is the second rig owned by the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor to leave the region since the disaster in April that claimed its Deepwater Horizon rig. An explosion on that rig, which was contracted to BP Plc led to an environmental disaster and a US moratorium on deepwater drilling. Earlier on Tuesday, the Interior Department said it was unlikely to extend the moratorium beyond Nov. 30, when it is due to end.
Norway’s Statoil will pay $486,000 a day for the Discoverer Americas, $4,000 more than before, when the new five-month contract starts in October in Egypt.
The rig is then due back in the Gulf of Mexico next March at the same rate, under a contract running until November 2013.
In July, Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc agreed with client Devon Energy Corp to transfer a rig to Egypt for a different operator for a year. Transocean said earlier this month that its Marianas rig was heading out of the Gulf of Mexico with Italy’s Eni, bound for West Africa.
Transocean said in its fleet update report on Tuesday that it had pulled two of its shallow-water rigs temporarily out of service due to lack of demand. That brings the number of Transocean jackups idle or "stacked" to 29 out of 65. The GSF Labrador, in the UK North Sea, had earned $90,000 a day before its contract ran out in July, while the Roger W. Mowell earned a dayrate of $150,000 in Malaysia up until August.