R&B Falcon Corporation has confirmed a three-year drilling contract with Texaco for its newbuild 10,000-ft. water depth dynamically positioned drillship Deepwater
IV, as a substitute for previously contracted Peregrine VIII. Texaco expects to begin a drilling program offshore West Africa shortly after the vessel's delivery, which is scheduled for the third quarter of 2000.
Steve Webster, R&B Falcon's president and CEO, stated, "We are pleased to work with Texaco on its ultra-deepwater drilling program. This contract commitment, recently following the commitment by another deepwater operator for our 5th generation ultra-deepwater semisubmersible RBS8-D, reaffirms our view of the relative strength of the deepwater sector of the offshore drilling industry
. Deepwater IV, being built by Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea, is an enhanced design similar to the three Deepwater series design drillships to be delivered by Samsung. The first of these ships, Deepwater Pathfinder, was delivered on schedule and has recently begun its program in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico with Conoco. Based on the outstanding performance of Samsung with the first three ships, we are confident Deepwater IV will be delivered on time and on budget."