US-based Diamond Offshore Drilling has signed an agreement that transfers full accountability for blowout preventer (BOP) performance to GE Oil & Gas.

Under the ten-year agreement, GE Oil & Gas will purchase back the BOPs it had earlier sold to Diamond Offshore for four drillships in the US Gulf of Mexico for $210m.

Later on, the company will rent them to Diamond Offshore and service them for a daily fee.

As per the agreement, GE will provide engageDrilling Services for BOP systems on these sixth generation drillships.

"It establishes the roadmap for smart, predictive, condition-based services and maintenance in our digital-industrial future."

Diamond Offshore president and CEO Marc Edwards said: "Subsea equipment repair and maintenance is the single largest cause of nonproductive time across our industry, resulting in great expense to both drillers and operators.

"The purpose of our new ‘Pressure Control by the Hour’ service model is to incentivise all parties to prioritise equipment reliability and availability for the ultimate benefit of our customers."

GE Oil & Gas president and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said: "With improved control, maintenance and servicing of our equipment, we are putting skin in the game and guaranteeing performance."

The engageDrilling Services offering will transfer the maintenance and service of pressure control equipment to GE Oil & Gas and improve BOP system availability.

This will include on-rig GE personnel, management of parts, overhaul and repair, continuous certification as well as data monitoring.

As part of the new service model, Diamond Offshore will start capturing data with the help of GE’s monitoring and analytics solutions enabling condition-based monitoring and maintenance.

Simonelli added: "Our new CSA model addresses the current needs of drilling companies, and establishes the roadmap for smart, predictive, condition-based services and maintenance in our digital-industrial future."