Italian oilfield services firm Saipem has secured a two-year contract extension, worth worth about $280m, from Eni for the Santorini offshore drillship.

The contract extension, which will be effecieve from August 2023, will enable continued ongoing activity.

Saipem acquired the Santorini seventh-generation drillship from South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries in December 2022.

At that time, Saipem said that the Santorini vessel was operating in the US-Gulf of Mexico for Eni until the third quarter of 2023.

Designed for the lowest environmental impact, the Santorini drillship is capable of performing drilling activities at depths of up to 12,000ft.

In a press statement, Saipem said: “The vessel is equipped with the latest digitalisation and automation solutions, ensuring the highest standards of safety and respect for the environment which place it at the top of the technological offering for ultra-deepwater projects.

“With this acquisition, Saipem confirms its competitive positioning in the ultra-deepwater drilling sector.”

Last month, Eni and its partners formed a new venture to focus on increasing the market value of vibroacoustic pipeline monitoring system.

The technology, Eni Vibroacoustic Pipeline Monitoring System (E-VPMS), is designed to support real-time analysis and monitoring activities on new or existing hydrocarbon pipelines. The technology also allows targeted preventive maintenance to ensure reliable operations.

By 2025, Eni aims to launch five new start-ups by leveraging its portfolio of technologies, internal skills, assets, and innovation.