South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has received a new $1.2bn order from Seadrill to build two new ultra-deepwater drillships.
Construction of the drillship pair is scheduled to be completed in the second and third quarter of 2014.
The full project scope includes a turnkey contract with the yard, project management, drilling and handling tools, spares, capitalised interest and operations preparations.
The order also includes an option for an additional drillship, which is expected to be delivered in 2014.
Seadrill chairman John Fredriksen said the company is seeing results of the strategy that was laid in 2005.
"Our long relationship with Samsung has given us access to a proven rig design and favourable delivery slots," Fredriksen said.
"Seadrill will have five new ultra-deepwater rigs scheduled for delivery in the period 2013 – 2014 and four existing units coming off current contracts in the same period."
Seadrill said that the drillships with increased water depth, technical capabilities and accommodation capacities are of the same design as the three previous dual derrick drillships that it had ordered at SHI in late 2010 and early 2011.
With a hook load capability of 1,250 tonne and a water depth capacity of up to 12,000ft, the new drillships will be available to operate in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil as well as West and East Africa.