Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE:DO) today announced that a subsidiary, Diamond Offshore Drilling Limited, has entered into a turnkey contract with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. for construction of a new ultra-deepwater drillship with delivery scheduled for late in the second quarter of 2013. Total cost, including commissioning, spares and project management, is expected to be approximately $590 million and will be paid out of available funds. Diamond Offshore has also obtained from Hyundai a fixed-price option for the purchase of a second drillship which the Company has the right to exercise at any time before the end of the first quarter of 2011.
The dynamically-positioned drillship will have a seven ram blow-out preventer, dual activity capability, five mud pumps and a maximum hook-load capacity of 1,250 tons. The unit will be designed for operations in up to 12,000 feet of water.
Diamond Offshore President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Dickerson said: "The addition of a new drillship to our fleet is part of a continuing effort to enhance our ultra-deepwater capabilities at attractive capital costs. Including our opportunistic acquisitions of the Ocean Courage and Ocean Valor in 2009, we have now purchased, ordered or upgraded six 10,000-foot ultra-deepwater units over the last four years. New drillship construction costs have declined substantially from peak pricing. As a result, we believe this new drillship will provide returns consistent with our long history of value creation for the Company and our stockholders."