Maersk declares option for two more drillships

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maerskdrillshipsMaersk Drilling, a business unit within the A.P. Moller- Maersk group, has declared its option to build two ultra deepwater drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and has obtained a new option for the construction of two additional drillships.

The drillships are scheduled for delivery from the shipyard in the second and third quarters of 2014, respectively. The total project cost for the pair is approximately $1.3 billion, which includes a turnkey contract with the yard, owner furnished equipment, project management, commissioning, start-up costs and capitalized interest. Simultaneously, Maersk Drilling has obtained a new option for the construction of two additional drillships.

“We have an ambition of becoming one of the leading drilling contractors in the ultra deepwater segment and this order is another important step in taking a bigger share of this attractive market segment,”says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group. “The order reflects our commitment to grow our rig fleet enabling us to serve our customers in the ultra deepwater segment on a more regular basis.”

So far this year, Maersk Drilling has invested $3.8 billion in two new jack-up rigs and four drillships.

Maersk Drilling had a revenue of $1.6 billion and a profit of $399 million after tax in 2010.

Hemmingsen sees a strong market for deepwater drilling rigs as the global demand for oil is increasing while at the same time production from mature fields is declining.

“This means that about six times the current Saudi production must be brought on stream over the next 20-25 years which will drive a solid growth in the demand for drilling services. The main part of this growth will take place in frontier areas such as deepwater,” he says.

The two drillships will be of similar design to the two drillships Maersk Drilling ordered from Samsung in April 2011. The 228 meter long drill ships will be able to operate at water depths up to 12,000 ft (3,650 m) and will be capable of drilling wells of more than 40,000 ft (12,200 m).

Similar to the design philosophy on Maersk Drilling’s ultra deepwater semi-submersibles the drillship design includes features for high efficiency operation including a dual derrick, which allows for parallel and offline activities. The extensive storage areas and tank capacities provide an advantage when operating in areas with less developed infrastructure and limited presence of suppliers. Together with the higher transit speed the increased capacity will reduce overall logistics costs.

The drillships will have accommodations for 230 people.

July 5, 2011

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