March 22, 2012

(Reuters) – Ocean Rig UDW Inc, the drilling unit of DryShips Inc, said it signed a new contract for a rig to drill in offshore West Africa.

Ocean Rig UDW, in which DryShips owns a 73.9 percent stake, said the contract is for 84 days and has an estimated backlog of $67.5 million.

The customer has the option to extend the contract for one additional well for an estimated duration of about 40 days, Nicosia, Cyprus-based Ocean Rig said in a statement.

U.S.-listed shares of Ocean Rig, which went public in October last year, closed at $17.24 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Divya Lad in Bangalore; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)