More than one year prior to delivery Maersk Drilling has signed a contract with a major oil company for the first in a series of four identical ultra deepwater drillships currently under construction. The contract duration is three years and commencement is expected by end 2013 upon delivery from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and mobilization to the US Gulf of Mexico. The estimated contract value is USD 610 million including mobilisation, but excluding cost escalation and performance bonus.
"With the signing of this contract for the first of our four ultra deepwater newbuild drillship we are able to add another USD 610 million to our contract backlog providing a solid basis for our further growth," says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group. "The US Gulf of Mexico remains a focus area of Maersk Drilling, and we are pleased to enhance our presence in this attractive market. With permitting activity normalizing after the Macondo incident in 2010 and the lease sales in the region, we believe the fundamental demand for our services in this region is in place".
Maersk Drilling has performed deepwater operations in the US Gulf of Mexico since 2009 with the ultra deepwater semi-submersible M?rsk Developer.
Facts about the four newbuild ultra deepwater drillships
In 2011 Maersk Drilling ordered four ultra deepwater drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. The rigs will be delivered in 2013 and 2014. The total investment was USD 2.6 billion. The design and capacities of the new drillships include features for high efficiency operation. Featuring dual derrick and large subsea work and storage areas, the design allows for efficient well construction and field development activities through offline activities. With their advanced positioning control system, the ships automatically maintain a fixed position in severe weather conditions with waves of up to 11 metres and wind speeds of up to 26 metres per second. Special attention has been given to safety onboard the drillships. Equipped with Multi Machine Control (MMC) on the drill floor, the high degree of automation ensures safe operation and consistent performance. Higher transit speeds and increased capacity will reduce the overall logistics costs for oil companies.