Singapore -- Maersk Contractors is planning to place an order for a new deepwater semisubmersible rig with a major rig builder in Asia.
The company is evaluating price offers for the rig, expected to cost more than $500 million, according to the company, adding that a decision is expected by end of August based on offers from South Korean and Singapore yards.
The order is to counter the rising costs of rig building, the company says. It will be a fourth speculative deepwater semisubmersible to be built by Maersk, which also has ordered theMaersk Developer and the two other sister rigs ahead of securing a drilling contract.
But Maersk is comfortable with building speculative rigs given the strong demand for deepwater drilling and production projects globally, the company says.
Maersk has completed theMaersk Developer, which is designed to drill to a depth of 10,000 m (32,808 ft) in 3,000 m (9,842 ft) of water. It has two more similar rigs being built at Singapore's Keppel FELS yards for delivery next year and in 2010.