Diamond drillship fixed

Murphy Oil has struck a $200m contract to take a Diamond Offshore Drilling newbuilding drillship for 265 days.

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The ultra-deepwater Ocean BlackRhino will earn $550,000 per day when the contract begins in the first quarter of 2015, the Houston-based driller said in a fleet employment report.

Murphy, a US exploration and production company, has options to convert the contract into a longer term.

It can turn the contract into a two-year deal at $500,000 per day or it can stretch it out to three years for $485,000 per day.

Murphy must make a decision on the conversion option before the start of the contract.

Led by chief executive Marc Edwards, New York-listed Diamond Offshore controls 45 drillships and rigs, including newbuildings.

The Ocean BlackRhino, which operate in water depths of up to 3,660 metres and can reach drilling depths of 12,200 metres, will be delivered from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries in the first quarter of next year.