Global offshore drilling contractor Transocean said it will lay off as many as 110 employees working on the ‘Discoverer Inspiration’ ultra-deepwater drillship operating offshore the Gulf of Mexico.

The latest news comes after the driller failed to secure a new contract for Discoverer Inspiration drillship due to low oil prices.

Between 75 and 110 employees working on the Discoverer Inspiration will be laid off by September after its contract ends.

According to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter that Transocean sent to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), the drillship will complete its current operating contract and does not have a new contract to perform additional work.

The company considers the layoffs, which are expected to start on 15 September, to be permanent.

Transocean stated: “In the event that (Transocean) obtains a contract for additional work utilising the Discoverer Inspiration, the company may recall a percentage of the employees who were released from the Discoverer Inspiration; however, Transocean considers the layoffs to be permanent.”

In January, Transocean secured $352.9m worth of new rig contracts and extensions, increasing opportunities for its ultra-deepwater and harsh environment drilling services.

In February 2019, Transocean signed an agreement with Norwegian company Equinor to license and install automated drilling control (ADC) systems on five rigs.