The initial equity funding by the partners is expected to be sufficient to cover substantially all of the shipyard and other capital expenditures which require payment prior to the completion and delivery of the drillship.
Paul Bragg, Vantage's Chairman and CEO, commented, "We view this high-spec drillship construction project as an excellent opportunity for Vantage to further grow our presence in the expanding ultra-deepwater drilling market, with only a small capital commitment. Our partners have been some of the most innovative and successful in this industry. STX and our major equipment providers have excellent track records and technical expertise. We believe that the construction contract provides exceptional value, attractive terms and the high end of available technology."
In conjunction with the investment, Vantage and Sigma are entering into (1) a Project Management Agreement, whereby Vantage will provide construction oversight of the vessel, (2) a Marketing Agreement, and (3) a Management Agreement, whereby Vantage will manage the future operation of drilling services.
Vantage, a Cayman Islands exempted company, is an offshore drilling contractor, with an owned fleet of four Baker Marine Pacific Class 375 ultra-premium jackup drilling rigs and two ultra-deepwater drillships, the Platinum Explorer and the Titanium Explorer, as well as an additional ultra-deepwater drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, now under construction. Vantage's primary business is to contract drilling units, related equipment and work crews primarily on a dayrate basis to drill oil and natural gas wells. Vantage also provides construction supervision services for, and will operate and manage, drilling units owned by others. Through its fleet of seven owned drilling units, Vantage is a provider of offshore contract drilling services globally to major, national and large independent oil and natural gas companies.
Vantage Drilling Company press release