Transocean opts to scrap six floaters

US drilling company set to take writes down of $1.4bn on latest round of demo candidates.

Transocean is to scrap a further six ultra-deepwater drilling rigs in the face of the continued poor sentiment in the offshore drilling industry.

The rigs involved are the GSF Jack Ryan (built 2000), Sedco Energy, Sedco Express, Cajun Express, Deepwater Pathfinder (built 2000) and the Transocean Marianas.

Transocean said all six rigs were previously cold stacked and will now be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.

The company will also recognize an impairment charge of about $1.4bn during the third quarter of 2017 associated with these actions.

“We continue to enhance the quality of our fleet through the addition of new, high-specification assets, and the retirement of older, less competitive rigs,” said chief executive Jeremy Thigpen.

Transocean added that it will continue to "objectively evaluate its fleet as the market evolves".

The disposal means Transocean now owns or has partial ownership interests in 38 mobile offshore drilling units.

These consist of 25 ultra-deepwater floaters, seven harsh environment floaters, two deepwater floaters and four midwater floaters.

In addition, Transocean has four ultra-deepwater drillships under construction or under contract to be constructed.

Last week Transocean reported that US oil company Chevron had terminated the contract for the Discoverer Clear Leader.