(EnergyAsia, February 20, Tuesday) — US-based Transocean Inc said it has been awarded a large contract by a Marathon Oil Corp-led consortium to drill exploration wells in a deepwater location in Indonesia.

NYSE-listed TransOcean said the 689-day contract, to start in the fourth quarter of 2009, is expected to generate revenue of about $351 million.

The consortium, headed by Marathon International Petroleum Indonesia Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corporation, signed on TransOcean’s ultra-deepwater drillship GSF Explorer to drill a series of exploration wells in the Makassar Strait. The other members of the Makassar Strait Explorers Consortium (MSEC) include Anadarko Popodi Ltd, ConocoPhillips (Kuma) Ltd, ENI Bukat Ltd, Statoil Indonesia Karama AS and Talisman (Sageri) Ltd.

The GSF Explorer is one of TransOcean’s fleet of 18 ultra-deepwater floaters. Constructed in 1972 and upgraded in 1998, the drillship is capable of working in water depths up to 7,800 feet.