Pacific Drilling’s (NYSE:PACD) new ultra-deepwater drillship has been awarded a five-year contract by Chevron (NYSE:CVX) for operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
Construction on the rig, known as Pacific Sharav, started in March 2012 and delivery to the Gulf is expected in the fourth quarter of 2013 upon completion.
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The Luxembourg offshore drilling company said maximum contract revenue is forecast to be about $1.07 billion, bringing Pacific Drilling’s total contract backlog as of June 22 to about $3.2 billion.
The drillship, which be the third Pacific Drilling ship used by Chevron, will be capable of operating in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drilling wells up to 40,000 feet deep.
The move comes as oil companies ramp up deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as regulations ease two years after the BP (NYSE:BP) rig exploded in 2010, causing the worst spill ever in U.S. waters.