Maersk moves to strengthen Norwegian drilling capability

Maersk Drilling has contracted Keppel FELS in Singapore to build two ultra-harsh, high-capacity jackup drilling rigs.

Offshore staff

OPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Maersk Drilling has contracted Keppel FELS in Singapore to build two ultra-harsh environment, high-capacity jackup drilling rigs.

The first is due to be delivered end-2013, with the second following seven months later. Total project cost is close to $1.2 billion, including the turnkey contract with the yard, owner- furnished equipment, project management, commissioning, start-up costs, and capitalized interest.

There is an option for Keppel FELS to build a further jackup, which must be declared by July 2011.
Maersk says the newbuilds are a new generation of jackup, an enhanced version of Gusto MSC’s CJ-70-150MD design, with numerous features that should improve drilling performance.

The rigs are capable of operating in harsh North Sea environments in water depths up to 150 m (492 ft). They will provide offline pipe handling and simultaneous operations and an enlarged cantilever reach, which should increase drilling efficiency compared to conventional units.

Multi-machine control on the drill floor will allow for a degree of automation to ensure safe operation and consistent performance, Maersk adds. A 150-strong crew can be accommodated on board in single cabins

Norway is the main targets sector, and Maersk says the rigs will comply with strict Norwegian regulatory rules.

Currently Maersk Drilling operates five jackup drilling rigs in the Norwegian North Sea and an additional unit is set tol enter Norwegian waters later this year.

02/15/2011

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