FEBRUARY 6, 2019 — Seadrill Limited said today that it has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Empresa de Serviços e Sondagens de Angola Ltda, an affiliate of Sonangol E.P.. The new joint venture, Sonadrill, will operate four drillships, focusing on opportunities in Angolan waters.
Each of the joint venture parties will bareboat two drillships into Sonadrill. The Seadrill drillships will be from its existing owned or managed fleet. The Sonangol drillships, Libongos and Quenguela, both seventh generation high spec ultra deepwater drillships, are currently under construction at DSME shipyard in Korea and expected to be delivered in the first half of 2019. Seadrill will manage the delivery and mobilization to Angolan waters under a separate commissioning and mobilization agreement with Sonangol.
Sonangol originally ordered the drillships back in 2013 with delivery then set for 2016. However, faced with falling revenues, it got into a dispute with the shipbuilder that was finally resolved this past December, when DSME said it would deliver the ships this year.
Seadrill will manage and operate all four drillships on behalf of Sonadrill which will have an initial term of 5 years.
Anton Dibowitz, Seadrill CEO, commented: “We are excited to have been selected by Sonangol to manage their newbuild drillships and to partner with them in pursuing opportunities in this important deepwater basin. Sonadrill will give us the opportunity to gain incremental access to a market that is expected to show significant growth over the next years, further strengthen our relationship with key customers and provides an attractive opportunity to continue expanding our fleet of premium ultra-deepwater rigs.”