Mærsk Contractors, a part of the A.P. Moller - Mærsk Group, has taken delivery of a deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig in Azerbaijan. TheLider, which was named at a ceremony in Baku July 24, is Mærsk Contractors' first drilling rig in the Caspian.
Keppel FELS, Singapore and Caspian Shipyard Co., Baku, built the vessel, which is the largest and most powerful drilling rig in the Caspian Sea to date. TheLider can drill in water depths to 1,000 m, enabling the rig to operate in approximately 40% of the Caspian Sea.
TheLider's deck measures 63.5 m by 64.5 m, with a variable deck load capacity of 4,000 tons. The rig has accommodation facilities for up to 130 people.
The semi's first assignment is a three-year contract, with possible extension, to drill the deepwater Zafar-Mashal structure. Zafar-Mashal (previously known as D-9 and D-38), is about 110 km southeast of Baku in water depths ranging from 550 m to 900 m. The structure covers about 640 sq km.
Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary Exxon Exploration and Production Caspian Sea Ltd. and the state oil company of the Azerbaijan Republic signed the Zafar-Mashal PSA in Washington, D.C., during President Heydar Aliyev's trip to the US in April 1999. According to the agreement, Exxon operates the block. Partners are Socar, Chevron Overseas Petroleum Azerbaijan Ltd., ConocoPhillips (UK) Ltd., and Total Exploration and Production Azerbaijan.