While I applaud Transocean's
First it was Pride International
We do know the semisubmersible rig's expected dayrate -- a hair more than half a million dollars a day -- and aggregate revenue for the two-year period, at $372 million. Without further context, these numbers don't really mean squat, so let's drill down a bit.
At first glance, Ensco's deal might look disappointing, compared to Pride's recently signed five-year term contracts. But a closer look at that firm's agreement with Petrobras
Pride estimates that the construction cost of its new drillship, initially capable of operating in as much as 10,000 feet of water, will be $720 million. As with BP, this is at minimum a five-year contract, with expected total revenue of at least $916 million. I figure that Pride will make its investment back over a period of roughly four years.
Ensco's custom-designed 8500-series semisubmersibles, named for their water depth capacity (though they're upgradeable to 10,000 feet), cost a whole lot less than bleeding-edge drillships. The Ensco 8503 is expected to cost $427 million to build. After two years of drilling at the anticipated rate, Ensco will therefore have made back about 87% of the rig's construction cost. Here's the last bit of math I'll throw at you: That's nearly twice as fast as Pride's payback.