Energy major TotalEnergies has struck a creative $199 million joint venture agreement with offshore driller Vantage Drilling International to acquire shared ownership of the specialized Tungsten Explorer drillship.
The deal sees TotalEnergies take a 75% stake in a new entity controlling the ultra-deepwater capable rig, while partner Vantage retains the remaining 25% share.
Per a 10-year contract also announced, Vantage will continue providing operational and technical management for the Tungsten Explorer on behalf of the JV – aiming to uphold the asset’s track record of safe, efficient drilling at sites from Congo to Cyprus.
For TotalEnergies, the unconventional collaboration looks to guarantee rig access amid scarce global supply while also hedging escalating day rates in the high-specification drillship segment. Meanwhile, Vantage secures a long-term income stream and liquates debt via the transaction that CEO Ihab Toma dubbed “transformative” for the firm.
The pact also holds deeper significance as an expression of synchronized interests between one of the industry’s foremost explorers and accomplished niche drilling contractors. Both parties now share incentives around maximizing the Tungsten Explorer’s capabilities and performance, including its dual fuel engines aboard that can burn TotalEnergies’ special lower emissions Excellium fuel.
Currently deployed offshore Namibia, the Tungsten Explorer boasts advanced managed pressure drilling and offline functionalities making it apt for TotalEnergies’ future ultra-deepwater pursuits. Thus the creative JV reflects aligned ambitions to pioneer solutions that embed safety, operational excellence and environmental gains as central tenets – prime drivers enabling sustainable energy transitions.