DryShips Inc. announced today that its fully-owned subsidiary Ocean Rig UDW Inc has signed definitive documentation following the previously announced Letter of Award. The contracts were signed with subsidiaries of Vanco Overseas Energy Limited (“Vanco”) for projects in which Vanco is operator and LUKOIL Overseas is majority co-venturer, for a five well contract for exploration drilling offshore Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire for a period of about one year with one drillship, commencing in the second quarter of 2011. The value of the contracts is approximately $160 million. The company has the option to use either of the OceanRig Corcovado or the OceanRig Olympia. The contract may be extended for an additional year or an additional well, prior to the completion of operations on the second well in the program.
“We are pleased to have concluded the contract for one of the first two drillships that will deliver from Samsung in the first quarter of 2011. The option of using the first or the second drillship allows us to service the requirements of the customer and gives us flexibility considering the other tenders we are working on. This contract opens a new relationship for OceanRig with International operators who have strong potential in the ultra deepwater space and have drilling programs well beyond this first commitment. Moreover, this contract builds on the platform we have nurtured in Ghana. Ghana is emerging as a new oil province in West Africa with potential that could match Angola in the years to come," said George Economou, Chairman, President & CEO. "Our highly capable andunique semi-submersible drilling rig, the Eirik Raude, has been drilling offshore Ghana on contract to Tullow Oil for almost two years now. The experience gained over this period and the economies of scale with two rigs in adjacent areas will benefit OceanRig and position us for further business in this region. We are proud to be part of the growth story of Ghana."