Northern Drilling Orders New Drillship at DSME

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 2, 2019

Northern Drilling, which owns a two drillships and two semisubs (including the one pictured), has ordered a third drillship for delivery by Q1 2021 (Photo: Northern Drilling)

Northern Drilling, which owns a two drillships and two semisubs (including the one pictured), has ordered a third drillship for delivery by Q1 2021 (Photo: Northern Drilling)

John Fredriksen's offshore drilling firm Northern Drilling has ordered another newbuild rig having exercised a previously held option for the Cobalt Explorer drillship to be delivered by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) by the first quarter of 2021.

The drilling contractor said in a press release it has exercised the option for the 7th generation DP3 and ultra-deepwater drillship for a total consideration of $350 million.

Cobalt Explorer is a high-spec Tier 1 UDW drilling ship being purchased at close to 50% discount to the previous owner’s estimated total project cost of $660 million, Northern Drilling said. The delivery will also include additional spare parts including two blowout preventers (BOP), which are conservatively estimated to have an additional value of $25 million each, the company added.

Scott McReaken, Northern Drilling CEO, said, “With the Cobalt Explorer acquisition, Northern Drilling continues to execute on our strategy and adds to our premium fleet of Tier 1 drillships, all acquired at a substantial discount to replacement cost. The company’s two harsh environment rigs were acquired on a similar forward delivery basis and we have successfully secured contracts with premium operators at leading day rates in the North Sea."

He added, "The deepwater market is showing clear signs of a recovery providing increased confidence our drillships will continue to appreciate in value and secure attractive contracts by their delivery in 2021.”

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