TotalEnergies, Vantage Drilling partner to own Tungsten Explorer drillship

February 06, 2024

(WO) – TotalEnergies and Vantage Drilling International have signed a binding agreement to create a new joint venture (JV) that will acquire the Tungsten Explorer drillship from Vantage. TotalEnergies will pay $199 million for a 75% interest in the JV owning the rig, with Vantage owning the remaining 25%. Leveraging on Vantage’s deep offshore drilling experience and longstanding collaboration with TotalEnergies, the JV will contract Vantage to operate the Tungsten Explorer for 10 years.

The Tungsten Explorer

Built in 2013, the Tungsten Explorer is designed for deep offshore drilling. With a power capacity of 42MW, thrust capacity of 33MW, the rig can operate in a wide range of meteorological conditions and has a proven track record of safe drilling operations worldwide.

Currently operating in Namibia on the Mangetti-1X well, the Tungsten Explorer is using Excellium additives, a premium fuel developed by TotalEnergies to optimize consumption and reduce emissions - a first for TotalEnergies. With its hookload capacity of 2.5 million pounds, offline capabilities, and state-of-the-art Managed Pressure Drilling equipment, this drillship meets TotalEnergies’ envisaged future global needs.

“TotalEnergies is pleased to enter into this agreement with Vantage to take shared ownership of a drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, which we already used in exploration and development activities in Namibia, Cyprus and Congo. Through this innovative partnership, TotalEnergies will be able to hedge deep-offshore drilling costs: the JV will provide us with both value and flexibility,” said Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.


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