The contract signed by Transocean includes rig design and construction management, as well as a five-year drilling agreement.
The offshore drilling contractor said that the contract is subject to the design, construction, and delivery requirements set forth in the construction contract.
Set to be the first ultra-deepwater floater rated for 20,000psi operations, the rig is expected to begin operations in the Gulf of Mexico in the second half of 2021.
Transocean president and CEO Jeremy Thigpen said: “We are extremely pleased to announce that we have entered an agreement with Chevron to construct and operate the industry’s most capable ultra-deepwater drillship.
“Transocean has a long and storied history of introducing new technologies that enable our customers to safely and efficiently access the world’s most challenging reservoirs.
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“Adding to that history, we are proud to be delivering the industry’s first rig capable of drilling and completing wells requiring subsea equipment rated to 20,000psi.”
The drillship will feature dual 20,000psi blowout preventers, a 3Mlb net hook-load capacity, a 165t active heave compensating crane, and an enhanced dynamic positioning system.
In the event the contract is terminated, Transocean will get compensation for its incremental 20,000psi subsea investment in the rig.
Earlier this month, the company completed a transaction to acquire its rival Ocean Rig in a $2.7bn cash and stock deal.
The acquisition is expected to improve Transocean’s position as the major player in ultra-deepwater and harsh environment drilling space.
It will allow the company to gain Ocean Rig’s fleet comprising of nine high-specification ultra-deepwater drillships and two harsh environment semisubmersibles.
Ocean Rig’s fleet also includes two high-specification ultra-deepwater drillships currently under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries.
In September, Transocean’s newbuild, harsh environment semisubmersible Transocean Norge secured a six-well contract for an estimated 300 days from Equinor in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).