Maersk Drilling has ordered the construction of two ultra-deepwater drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea for delivery in Q2 and Q3 2014. 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,” Claus V Hemmingsen, Maersk Drilling CEO and A.P. Moller – Maersk Group Executive Board member, said. “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.”
Year to date, Maersk Drilling has invested US$3.8 billion in two new jackups and four drillships.
Mr Hemmingsen said he sees a strong market for deepwater drilling rigs as the global demand for oil is increasing even as 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 to 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 said.
The two drillships will be of similar design to the two drillships Maersk Drilling ordered from Samsung in April 2011. The 228-meter-long drillships will be able to operate at water depths up to 12,000 ft (3,650 meters) and will be capable of drilling wells of more than 40,000 ft (12,200 meters).
The design includes features for high-efficiency operations, including a dual derrick. They will have accommodation capacities for 230 people.