Seadrill has signed an agreement to acquire the two ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rigs, Seadragon I and Seadragon II, which are being built at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

The total project price for the two ultra-deepwater rigs is estimated at $1.2bn, including project management for the remaining construction period, drilling and handling tools, spares, operations preparations and capitalised interest.

Seadragon I, the first rig to be completed, has a five-year contract in place and is expected to undergo further modifications due to postponed delivery.

The second rig, Seadragon II, has no such contract in place.

Seadrill has secured new bank debt to fund the investment.

Seadrill Management CEO Alf Thorkildsen said that the company expects the demand for ultra-deepwater units to strengthen.

“This investment increases our exposure to this growing market segment at an acceptable price and a manageable risk,” Thorkildsen said.

Delivery of the two rigs is due in the first quarter and fourth quarter of 2011, respectively.

The rigs are equipped with NOV drilling equipment and have a water depth capability of up to 10,000ft and a total vertical drilling depth capacity of up to 35,000ft.