NORTHERN DRILLING DROPS THE STRANDED DRILLSHIP COBALT EXPLORER

West Cobalt Inc., the 100% owned subsidiary of Northern Drilling, notified Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) that it has cancelled the resale contract for the 7th generation ultra deepwater drillship West Cobalt due to various reasons including repudiatory breach of contract by DSME.
West Cobalt Inc. has made advance payments totalling approximately $49.2 million under the contract, and will claim a refund of the instalments paid, plus interests and damages.
West Cobalt was ordered in 2013, as the Cobalt Explorer by the Houston based offshore driller Vantage Drilling.
In August 2015, pursuant the terms of the contract for the construction and sale of the UDW drillship Cobalt Explorer with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), Vantage drilling terminated the contract. The drillship was expected to be delivered in Q1 2016.
In May 2019, Northern Drilling announced it has exercised the option for the Cobalt Explorer from Daewoo Shipbuilding for a total consideration of $350 million and flexible delivery until end Q1 2021. Cobalt Explorer is a high-spec Tier 1 UDW drilling ship being purchased at close to 50% discount to the pervious owner’s estimated total project cost of $660 million.
(Source: Northern Drilling/Vantage Drilling – Image: Baird Maritime)