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Energy: Diamond Offshore Drilling Ltd Orders Second Ultra-Deepwater Drilling Ship

Diamond Offshore Drilling Limited, a subsidiary of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (NYSE:DO), announced on 2nd February 2011 that it has placed an order with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd for a second ultra-deepwater drilling ship.

The ship is expected to be ready at the end of 2013 and cost a total of $590 million. Diamond Offshore has also obtained a fixed-price option for the purchase of a third drillship from Hyundai. Diamond Offshore can exercise this option at any time before the end of the first quarter of 2011. The two new drillships are planned to be named Ocean BlackHawk and Ocean BlackHornet.

Diamond Offshore President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Dickerson said:

“Including our acquisitions of the Ocean Courage and Ocean Valor in 2009, we have now purchased, ordered or upgraded seven units with capabilities in 10,000 ft of water over the last four years.

When completed, the new drillship will bring to sixteen the total number of deepwater rigs deployed by Diamond Offshore.”

The BlackHornet will be dynamically-positioned, have a seven ram blow-out preventer, dual activity capability, five mud pumps and a maximum hook-load capacity of 1,250 tons. The unit will be designed for operations in up to 12,000 feet of water.

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