Maersk Newbuild Drillship Snatched Up

An illustration of the Deepwater Advanced 2. Image: Maersk Drilling

Maersk Drilliing’s newbuild drillship, Deepwater Advanced 2, will head to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico upon completion in 2014 after being secured in a three year, $694 million contract.

Maersk Drilling says it has signed a contract with ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil for the Deepwater Advanced 2, which is second ultra deepwater drillship in a series of four identical drillships currently under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The estimated total contract value is $694 million including mobilization. The contract duration is three years, with options for up to an additional two years and commencement of operations is expected by mid-2014 upon delivery from Samsung, mobilization to the US Gulf of Mexico, and acceptance testing.

“We are pleased to having been able to customize a drilling contract with ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil combining their respective drilling programs into a three year drilling contract providing security of deepwater rig availability for the two companies while leaving some flexibility in regards to the timing of their drilling programs. In addition, merging the two programs provides us with a contract with an attractive duration,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.

Since 2011 Maersk Drilling has invested $4.5 billion in seven new drilling rigs, including three ultra harsh environment jack-ups at KeppelFELS in Singapore and four ultra deepwater drillships at SHI, which are all currently under construction.

With this latest contract for the second drillship, five out of the seven newbuild rigs have now secured contracts.

“We are pleased to see continued strong demand for our advanced drilling rigs. This contract brings further evidence to our strategic focus on ultra harsh and deepwater drilling and provides firm ground for our ambitious growth plans,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.

Maersk Drilling has performed deepwater operations in the US Gulf of Mexico since 2009 with the ultra deepwater semi-submersible Maersk Developer. In June 2012, Maersk Drilling secured a contract for the first drillship under construction with commencement in the US Gulf of Mexico expected by end 2013.

“The US Gulf of Mexico remains a focus area of Maersk Drilling, and we are pleased to further expand our presence in this attractive market positioning us with three ultra deepwater rigs by 2014,” says CEO Claus V. Hemmingsen.