Sembcorp Marine Ltd. has delivered the world’s first eighth-generation drillship, the Deepwater Atlas, for Transocean subsidiary Triton Atlas GmBH.

The second one, Deepwater Titan, is expected to be delivered later this year. Based on Sembcorp’s Jurong Espadon 3T design, both are capable of operating in 12,000 ft water depth and drilling to 40,000 ft. The ultradeepwater drillships feature 3 million-pound hook-load hoisting capacity and will be capable of 20,000 (20K) psi operations.

The Atlas can accommodate a crew of 220. It was designed and equipped to optimize fuel consumption and lower emissions.

According to an August 2021 press release from Transocean, the Atlas will drill for BOE Exploration & Production LLC, which awarded Transocean a $252 million firm contract for the newbuild. The contract includes a $30 million mobilization fee.

The Atlas is expected to begin operations at the Shenandoah project in the Gulf of Mexico later this year using a 15K psi BOP. The initial drilling program is expected to last around 255 days, running from fourth-quarter 2022 to third-quarter 2023 at a day rate of $315,000, according to Transocean’s April fleet status report.

After that initial drilling program, a 20K psi BOP will be installed on the rig, making it Transocean’s second asset with a 20,000 psi-rated well control system. The BOP installation and commissioning is expected to last 45 to 60 days, from third-quarter 2023 to fourth-quarter 2023, at a day rate of $185,000, according to the fleet status report.

Following the 20K BOP installation, the Deepwater Atlas will begin the well completion program, expected to last around 275 days. The day rate goes up to $455,000 for the post 20K BOP work, and that work is expected to run fourth-quarter 2023 to fourth-quarter 2024, according to the fleet status report.

When the Deepwater Titan is delivered, it begins a five-year contract with Chevron Corp. expected to begin in first-quarter 2023 with a day rate of $455,000, according to the fleet status report.

Years in the making

In February 2014, Sembcorp announced its Jurong Shipyard had secured $1.08 billion in contracts from a Transocean subsidiary to build the two 8th-generation drillships, along with options for three additional drillships. The design called for state-of-the-art drilling facilities, a large moon pool to cater for a larger riser angle, bilge boxes designed for superior motion characteristics, larger deck space with an enclosed riser bay and round mud pits inside the hull for operational efficiency and safety, and DP-3 dynamic positioning.

They were originally slated for delivery in second-quarter 2017 and first-quarter 2018, but were delayed due to a downturn in the industry. Then COVID happened, further delaying the newbuilds. In June 2021, Transocean and Sembcorp came to an agreement on deferring payment for the delayed rigs.

At the time, Atlas delivery was expected in December 2021 and the Titan in May.

In Transocean’s 10-K filing for the year ending Dec. 31, 2021, the company updated the expected delivery dates to first-half 2022 for the Atlas and second-half 2022 for the Titan.