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Shell to Pay Record $7.6 Billion to Transocean for Use of 4 Rigs

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe’s largest oil company, agreed to pay a record $7.6 billion to Transocean Ltd. for use of four new offshore drilling rigs over a period of 10 years.

Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling company, will invest about $3 billion, excluding interest, to build the ultra-deepwater drillships, the Vernier, Switzerland-based company said today in a statement. The first vessel will be supplied in mid-2015 with the remaining three expected to be delivered at approximately six-month intervals thereafter.

“These four contracts, at 10 years a piece, or 40 rig years, are a record for the company,” Guy Cantwell, a spokesman at Transocean said by phone. Shell payments don’t include mobilization costs.

The rigs will be able to operate in water as deep as 12,000 feet (3,650 meters) and drill wells to 40,000 feet, Transocean said. They will be constructed at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. facility in South Korea.

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