HOUSTON, June 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rowan Companies plc ("Rowan" or the "Company") (NYSE: RDC) announced today that one of its subsidiaries has entered into a two-year drilling contract for the Rowan Relentless, the fourth and final drillship in Rowan's current construction program. The contract is with Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas LLC ("FM O&G"), a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX), for operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The contract is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2015 and will add approximately $425 million to Rowan's current contract backlog.
Tom Burke, Rowan's President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are extremely proud that our fourth drillship will work for FM O&G in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Our two companies have enjoyed a mutually beneficial and long-standing working relationship drilling ultra-deep Gulf of Mexico shelf gas wells, and we are delighted to have been selected for this important ultra-deepwater drilling program." The Rowan Relentless is the Company's fourth ultra-deepwater drillship. All four drillships are based on a GustoMSC P10,000 hull design, capable of drilling wells to depths of 40,000 feet in water depths up to 12,000 feet. The DP-3 compliant, dynamically positioned drillship will be equipped with retractable thrusters, two readily deployable seven-ram BOP systems, five mud pumps, dual mud systems and a maximum hook-load capacity of 1,250 tons. All four of the Company's ultra-deepwater drillships are now under long-term contracts. Rowan Companies plc is a global provider of international and domestic contract drilling services in the ultra-deepwater and shallow water jack-up market with a fleet of 34 offshore drilling units, including four ultra-deepwater drillships, three of which are currently under construction, and 30 jack-up rigs, 19 of which are rated high-specification. The Company's fleet is located worldwide, including West and North Africa, the Middle East, the North Sea, Trinidad, Southeast Asia and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Company's Class A Ordinary Shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "RDC." For more information on the Company, please visit www.rowancompanies.com. Statements herein that are not historical facts are forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, statements as to the expectations, beliefs and future expected business, financial performance and prospects of the Company. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and are subject to certain risks, assumptions, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include oil and natural gas prices, the level of offshore expenditures by energy companies, variations in energy demand, changes in day rates, cancellation by our customers of drilling contracts, letter agreements or letters of intent or the exercise of early termination provisions, risks associated with fixed cost drilling operations, cost overruns or delays on shipyard repair, construction or transportation of drilling units, maintenance and repair costs, costs or delays for conversion or upgrade projects, operating hazards and equipment failure, risks of collision and damage, casualty losses and limitations on insurance coverage, customer credit and risk of customer bankruptcy, conditions in the general economy and energy industry, weather conditions and severe weather in the Company's operating areas, increasing complexity and costs of compliance with environmental and other laws and regulations, changes in tax laws and interpretations by taxing authorities, civil unrest and instability, terrorism and hostilities in our areas of operations that may result in loss or seizure of assets, the outcome of disputes and legal proceedings, effects of the change in our corporate structure, and other risks disclosed in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date hereof, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.