Beach managing director and CEO Matt Kay said: “We are pleased to constructively engage with Diamond and sign a new drilling agreement, in what has been a difficult time for the industry. It means Beach can move forward with its plans to develop additional natural gas supplies for the east coast gas market. The initial deal for the rig was agreed in late January 2019. The Ocean Onyx was supposed to be delivered to Beach between December 2019 and February 2020 following upgrades, maintenance, and commissioning. According to the company, the OceanOnyx rig will undertake Beach’s Victorian Otway offshore drilling program. Otway Basin; Source: Beach Energy Beach Energy added that the agreementwas inked at a globally competitive rig rate for deepwater semi-submersiblerigs. The deal includes provisions for COVID-19 related costs and delays. Australian oil and gas company Beach Energy has signed a new offshore drilling agreement with Diamond Offshore for the use of the Ocean Onyx semi-submersible drilling rig. The agreement provides for thedrilling of up to nine wells (six firm and three options), with drillingoperations expected to begin between December 2020 and March 2021 – subject toextension, should certain conditions occur that could impact the timing. “We look forward to working closely with Diamond over the coming weeks to prepare for the start-up of the offshore drilling campaign”. Beach Energy said on Monday that thedeal was signed with support from its joint venture partner O.G. Energy. Concurrent with the signing of the agreement,Beach and Diamond also signed a settlement agreement which dismisses allcurrent legal proceedings regarding the termination of the previous drillingagreement. The first well in the drillingsequence is expected to be the Artisan-1 exploration well, followed by a seriesof development wells in the Geographe and Thylacine gas fields. The rig arrived in Victorian state waters in mid-April for the beginning of the Victorian Otway Basin offshore drilling campaign. In the same month, Beach Energy terminated the deal for the Ocean Onyx.