Italian oilfield contractor Saipem has signed a bareboat charter contract with Samsung Heavy Industries for a new drillship, the Samsung Santorini, which will be delivered in November 2021.

The bareboat charter of about two years duration allows Saipem to strengthen the competitiveness of its fleet without investing in new assets, but by leveraging its consolidated expertise in the selection and management of technologically advanced vessels, the Italian company said on Tuesday.

Saipem pointed out that the contract with Samsung still provides for the option to purchase the ship, which can be exercised at the discretion of Saipem depending on the trend of demand.

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

According to Saipem, 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.

Marco Toninelli, COO Drilling Offshore commented: “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”.

The Santorini drillship was initially ordered by Ocean Rig from Samsung Heavy. In April 2018, Ocean Rig postponed the delivery of the drillship, which was under construction at the Geoje shipyard, to September 2019. Meanwhile, Ocean Rig was acquired by Transocean in a $2.7 billion deal that was completed in December 2018.

Come September 2019 and Transocean cancelled the orders with Samsung Heavy Industries for two Ocean Rig drillships under construction, the Ocean Rig Santorini and the Ocean Rig Crete.

Source: Offshore Energy