Saipem Charters Ultra-deepwater Drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries


Italian oilfield services giant Saipem has chartered a newbuild drillship directly from South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard.

Saipem expects the drillship - named Samsung Santorini - to be delivered in November 2021, when the Italian firm will take the 7th generation rig on a two-year charter. 

No dayrate details have been shared. Recent fixtures for 6th/7gen rigs saw dayrates in the $190.000-$210.000 per day range, according to Bassoe data.

While Saipem did not explicitly say it, the Samsung Santorini is a drillship previously ordered by Ocean Rig, a drilling firm that Transocean acquired in 2018. In September 2019, Transocean canceled the orders with Samsung for two newbuild drillships - the Ocean Rig Santorini and the Ocean Rig Crete.

Back to Saipem's charter of the 228 meters long rig. The Italian company, which offers all kinds of services in the energy market, including engineering, construction, installation, and drilling, said the drillship charter deal would allow it to strengthen the competitiveness of its fleet without investing in new assets.

Still, Saipem said the contract with Samsung included an option for Saipem to buy the ship. This option can be exercised at the discretion of Saipem depending on the trend of demand. Saipem did not talk about purchase prices. VesselsValue estimates the current value of the drillship at around $255 million.

"The Samsung Santorini is a seventh-generation drillship equipped with two 7 cavities anti-eruption devices (Blow Out Preventer – BOP), the highest standard for ultra-deepwater drillships," Saipem said.

The drillship is capable of operating at water depths up to 12,000 feet (over 3,500 meters). 

"The vessel holds the latest solutions in the field of digitalization and automation that guarantee high standards of safety and respect for the environment that place it at the top of the offer in terms of technology for ultra-deep-water projects," Saipem said.

Marco Toninelli, COO Drilling Offshore said: "Samsung Santorini enters the Saipem fleet with an innovative rental agreement and expands its offer with one of the best latest generation drillships, capable of carrying out operations with the best safety standards and protection of the surrounding marine environment. 

"Santorini increases our production capacity and allows us to meet the demand for new contracts at a stage in which Saipem's current offshore drilling fleet has almost full contractual coverage for the next few months.”

This will be the third drillship in the Saipem fleet, joining the Saipem 12000 and Saipem 10000 ultra-deepwater drillships.

Saipem’s offshore drilling fleet includes ultra deep-water and deep-water units capable of operating at depths of over 3,000 meters; a high-specifications jack-up for operations at a depth of up to 375 feet; a standard jack-up for operations up to 300 feet; and a barge tender rig.

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