Ocean Rig UDW Inc. (NASDAQ:ORIG) signed a new drilling contract for its semisubmersible drilling rig “Leiv Eiriksson” with a consortium coordinated by Rig Management Norway for drilling on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The maximum
total revenue backlog is estimated at $653 million for a minimum period of 1070 days. The new contract is a well-based contract for 15 wells and will commence in the fourth quarter of 2012 or the first quarter of 2013. The contract includes three options of 6 wells each that have to be exercised well in advance of the expiry of the firm period. George Economou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Rig UDW Inc commented “We are pleased to announce this long-term contract with a strong consortium for work on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, taking advantage of the Leiv Eiriksson’s harsh weather capabilities. This contract substantially enhances our backlog and is evidence of the strengthening market for high specification ultra deepwater rigs
. We have two further high specification ultra deepwater capable
units open in 2012, the Eirik Raude and Ocean Rig Olympia, and we are focused on securing long-term contracts for them.