In April 2013 Transocean’s Deepwater Pathfinder drillship demanded the highest dayrate of any other rig contracted at that time. Eni contracted the drillship at an astronomical dayrate of $681,000 a day from September 2013 through April 2015 to drill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Pacific Drilling recently secured a contract with Malaysian Petronas for its UDW drillship Pacific Santa Ana at a dayrate of $170,000. The Samsung unit delivered in 2011 is capable to drill in water depths up to 12,000ft.
But the lowest dayrate for one ultra-deepwater drillship has been agreed by Vantage Drilling and India’s ONGC in January 2017 for the Platinium Explorer. ONGC has secured the rig for three years for $118 million which translates to a dayrate below $110,000.
Driven by the deepwater dreams of the early 2010’s, the life of the offshore drilling contractors was not easy. They had to go into a crazy rig building race or risk death. Encouraged by the major operators they had no choice. Glowing daily rates and long-term contracts were there to convince the most cautious of bankers. As in the 1860s in Oil Creek, Pennsylvania, crude prices gave rise to all excesses.
The dayrate collapse is the consequence of an unprecedented over supply as companies overbuilt when crude was above $80/bbl and money easy to borrow.
According to some analysts dayrates of $170,000 for floaters may run until the end of 2018.
Ref – Energy Global News. (2017). LOWEST DAYRATE EVER FOR ULTRA-DEEPWATER DRILLSHIPS – Energy Global News. [online] Available at: http://www.energyglobalnews.com/lowest-dayrate-ever-ultra-deepwater-drillships/ [Accessed 30 Sep. 2017].
Cantu, C. (2017). ONGC awards contract to Vantage Drilling’s Platinum Explorer – Drilling Contractor. [online] Drilling Contractor. Available at: http://www.drillingcontractor.org/vantage-drilling-announces-letter-award-platinum-explorer-43381 [Accessed 30 Sep. 2017].
gCaptain Forum. (2017). Transocean’s Pathfinder Signs $600k Day Rate. [online] Available at: http://forum.gcaptain.com/t/transoceans-pathfinder-signs-600k-day-rate/1257 [Accessed 30 Sep. 2017].
Vantagedrilling.com, (2012), Platinum Explorer – Vantage Drilling [ONLINE]. Available at: http://vantagedrilling.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Plat-Explorer-seaTrial-underway.jpg [Accessed 21 September 2017].