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Drilling contractor Transocean has agreed with customer Shell EP Wells Equipment Wells Services, and the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard, to delay the operating and delivery contracts of two newbuild drillships.

Under the agreement, the contracts of the two ultra-deepwater drillships – the Deepwater Pontus and the Deepwater Poseidon, would be delayed by 12 months each.

According to the Switzerland-based company, the delay has no impact on the duration or day rate of the original operating contracts for each of the ultra-deepwater drillships signed for a period of ten years.

Transocean said it would compensate the parties for the delays.

"Transocean said it would compensate the parties for the delays.

Shell’s two other contracted Transocean newbuild, ultra-deepwater drillships, the Deepwater Thalassa and Deepwater Proteus, are not impacted by the latest decision.

Transocean president and CEO Jeremy Thigpen said: "We are pleased that the strength of our relationships with both Shell and DSME has enabled us to reach this mutual agreement.

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"We are excited by the progress that we have jointly made with Shell on all four high-specification, ultra-deepwater drillships, including the Deepwater Thalassa, which was delivered this September, and the Deepwater Proteus, which is scheduled for delivery this December."

In March, Transocean announced its intention to dismantle four offshore drilling rigs, expected to cost the company between $300m and $325m in non-cash charges during the first quarter.

Image: Transocean will delay the contracts of the two ultra-deepwater drillships by 12 months each. Photo: courtesy of suwatpo/