Maersk Drilling adds second XLE jackup rig to fleet

Posted on 08 August 2014

Maersk Drilling has taken delivery of its second ultra-harsh environment jackup, XLE-2, from the Keppel FELS shipyard in Singapore on time. The rig will start its mobilization to the Norwegian North Sea in approximately two weeks, where it will commence a five-year contract with Det norske oljeselskap ASA (Det norske).

The rig, which will be named at a ceremony in Norway in October, is the second in a series of four newbuild ultra-harsh environment jackups to enter Maersk Drilling’s rig fleet in 2014 to 2016. The four jackup rigs represent a total investment of $2.6 billion. The first three jackups, including XLE-2, will be delivered from the Keppel FELS shipyard in 2014 to 2015, and the fourth will be delivered from the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) shipyard in South Korea in 2016.

With a leg length of 206.8 m (678 ft), XL Enhanced rigs are the world’s largest jackups, according to Maersk, and are designed for year-round operation in the North Sea in water depths up to 150 m (492 ft). Uptime and drilling efficiency are maximized through dual pipe handling. While one string is working in the wellbore, a second string of e.g. casing, drill pipe or bottomhole assembly can be assembled/disassembled and stored in the set-back area, ready for subsequent transfer thus reducing the nonproductive time.

The drill floor features Multi Machine Control – a fully remote operated pipe handling system, allowing all standard operations such as stand building and tripping to be conducted without personnel on the drill floor to ensure a high level of consistency across crews and an improved efficiency.

The total estimated contract value is approximately $700 million. Det norske has options to extend the contract up to a total of seven years. The rig will be working on the Ivar Aasen field, which contains approximately 150 million bbl of oil equivalents.

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