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Ensco Plc (ESV - Free Report) – a leading supplier of offshore contract drilling services – has taken delivery of an advanced-capability, ultra-deepwater drillship - Ensco DS-7.

The drillship has been contracted to French oil major Total SA (TOT - Free Report) for a period of three years beginning this fourth quarter after completion of construction at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea. The rig will function in Angola at an initial day rate in the mid $610,000s.

The newbuild rig represents the third Ensco rig contracted to Total and the fourth Ensco rig operational in West Africa. DS-7 is the fifth of the company’s ultra-deepwater drillship of the eight units ordered till date.

These units are outfitted with advanced technological features for drilling and completing deepwater wells. In addition to DPS-3 certified dynamic positioning, the drillships comprise six-ram 15,000 psi BOPs, superior off-line capability, 2.5 million-pound hook load on main rotary, 6,000-barrel active and 7,400-barrel reserve dual-fluid systems, 165 MT active heave subsea crane, large storage and deck space as well as accommodation for about 200 persons.

The standardized design of the company’s DP3 drillship series simplifies construction, operations, inventory management, training, regulatory compliance, repairs and maintenance. The GF12000 design is distinguished for drilling in 10,000 feet water depth and ability to function in water depth of up to 12,000 feet with some modification.

Ensco placed it order to build the ultradeepwater Ensco DS-10 for $625 million in Jun 2013 with Samsung. It is scheduled for delivery in third-quarter 2015. The other two newbuilds – Ensco DS-8 and Ensco DS-9 – are expected to be delivered in 2014. Both these rigs form part of the $1.2 billion fund that Ensco has allotted for newbuilds in 2013.

Ensco carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, other Zacks Ranked #1 (Strong Buy) stocks – Range Resources Corp. (RRC - Free Report) and Dril-Quip, Inc. (DRQ - Free Report) – hold value for the short term.

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