Drilling company Sonadrill has received a ten-well contract in Angola for the new ultra-deepwater drillship West Gemini.

The contract has options for up to eight additional wells in the Southern African country.

Excluding options, the order is valued at approximately $161m, including mobilisation revenue and additional services.

Sonadrill is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between offshore drilling contractor Seadrill and an affiliate of Angola’s Sonangol. The company said that the contract is planned to start in the fourth quarter of this year, with a firm term of approximately 18 months.

Seadrill CEO Simon Johnson said: “Our strategic partnership with Sonadrill is critical to the development of the Angolan oil and gas sector, and to Seadrill’s position as the number one rig operator in Angola.”

The West Gemini will be the third drillship to be chartered into the Seadrill-Sonangol JV. This is followed by two Sonangol-owned units, namely the Sonangol Quenguela, and Sonangol Libongos.

Seadrill will operate and manage the three drillships on behalf of Sonadrill.

Last year, Sonadrill received a 12-well contract, with one option for nine wells, and 11 one-well options in Angola, for the Sonangol Quenguela drillship.

Seadrill said in a press statement: “Together, the three units position the Seadrill joint venture as the premier rig operator in Angola, furthering the goal of building an ultra-deepwater franchise in the Golden Triangle and driving efficiencies from rig clustering in the region.”