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ExxonMobil Highly Likely to Become Charterer of Sonangol’s Drillships Made by DSME

Sonangol’s Drillships, DSME
Sonangol needs to secure a charter in order for DSME to deliver two drillships and secure the liquidity of 1 trillion won (US$879.89 million).

Angola’s state-run oil company Sonangol are having the last minute negotiation with ExxonMobil Corp., a U.S.-based oil major, on charter contracts for two drillships delievered from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

Sonangol needs to secure a charter in order for DSME to deliver two drillships and secure the liquidity of 1 trillion won (US$879.89 million). As the company is making progress in the negotiations, all eyes are on whether rumors on DSME‘s April crisis will fizzle out.

According to industry sources, DSME president Jung Sung-leep said, “Sonangol is negotiating charter contracts with two to three oil majors and ExxonMobil is the most probable charterer at this time.” Sonangol ordered two drillships for US$1.24 billion (1.41 trillion won) in 2013 and DSME completed the shipbuilding last year. However, Sonangol requested to delay the delivery as its financial conditions have worsened and the company has difficulties to secure a charterer. DSME was supposed to deliver the drillships half a year ago. Accordingly, there have been concerns over DSME’s liquidity.

Jung added, “Sonangol is holding negotiations with other oil majors in case the company fails to conclude a final contract with ExxonMobil. Regarding to the issue securing an O&M company which will actually operate the drillships, he also said, “It is going well as planned.”

The Original Posted by Jung Min-hee/Business Korea

MACNET Korea