Offshore drilling contractor Ensco has announced that ultra-deep-water drillship ENSCO DS-7 has been awarded a contract by US company Noble Energy to drill two wells and complete four production wells at Israel’s Leviathan field development in the Mediterranean Sea.

This contract is expected to commence in March 2018 and be completed in December 2018, London-based Ensco said in a press release on August 21. The contract also includes four one-well priced customer options that if fully exercised would extend the contract into 2020.

“We are pleased to announce another significant contract award for one of our high-specification assets – our fourth drillship contract awarded during the third quarter,” Ensco CEO and President Carl Trowell said. “Our recent contract awards underscore that there is strong customer demand for the type of high-specification assets that will be added to Ensco’s fleet through our pending acquisition of Atwood, which will create a leading global offshore drilling company and better position us as the market recovery cycle unfolds,” he added.

ENSCO DS-7 will be upgraded with a second blowout preventer. This upgrade, combined with the rig’s dual derricks and other technical specifications, will make it one of the most capable assets in the global fleet. As previously announced, this upgrade is expected to cost less than $10 million since it will utilise a blowout preventer currently in inventory, Ensco said. Following its upgrade, ENSCO DS-7 will mobilise to the Mediterranean Sea to begin its contract with Noble Energy.

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