Transocean's Alaska rig contract with Shell starts July 2014


Nov 18 (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc has acontract with Transocean Ltd for a drilling rig to startwork off the coast of Alaska starting July of next year - intime for the state's traditional Arctic offshore drillingseason.

Confirmation on timing of the previously announced contractcame in Transocean's monthly fleet status report, released lateon Monday.

Speculation about Shell's intentions for Alaska next yearhas bubbled since an executive said at the end of October heexpected to submit an Alaska exploration plan in a "few weeks,"with a focus on the Chukchi Sea.

The Transocean rig effectively replaces Shell's Kulluk, adrillship that ran aground in January while being towed southafter a troubled 2012 drilling season for the company offAlaska.

Transocean offered no details on the three-year contract forits Polar Pioneer rig, except that it would earn a rate of$620,000 per day in the summer season from July to October, andthen $589,000 per day the rest of the year.

Shell's other rig for Alaska, Noble Corp's Discoverer, is undergoing maintenance in South Korea. Itscontract currently runs until February 2014.

View Comments (1)