South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) has received a $635m order from a subsidiary of Atwood Oceanics for a third ultra-deepwater drillship.

The DSME yard in South Korea will be responsible for the construction of the new drillship, which will be named the Atwood Admiral, with scheduled delivery by 31 March 2015.

Under the deal, DSME will also provide two blowout preventers (BOPs), project management, drilling and handling tools and spares.

Atwood Oceanics said that the drill ship will be funded through its senior secured credit facility, as well as from available cash and cash flows from operations.

The new drillship marks the sixteenth mobile offshore drilling unit owned by Atwood Oceanics and will be identical to the previously ordered Atwood Advantage and Atwood Achiever.

All three vessels are DP-3 dynamically-positioned, dual derrick drillships and will be capable of operating in water depths up to 12,000ft and drilling to a depth of up to 40,000ft.

The new drill ship will be equipped with two seven-ram BOPs, three 100t knuckle boom cranes, a 165t active heave ‘tree-running’ knuckle boom crane and will be capable of accommodating 200 people.

The recent order also includes an option to build a fourth ultra-deepwater drillship at a similar cost to the Atwood Admiral.

If the option is exercised, which requires commitment from the company by 30 June 2013, the fourth drillship is expected to be delivered in December 2015.

In a separate deal, the company has signed an agreement with the subsidiary of Noble Energy to deploy its second drillship built by DSME, Atwood Advantage, in Noble’s deepwater exploration and development project in the eastern waters of the Mediterranean Sea.