Maersk declares option to build ultra-deepwater drillships

Maersk Drilling has declared an option to build two ultra-deepwater drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

The drillships are scheduled for delivery in the second and third quarters of 2014, respectively. The total project cost for the two vessels is approximately $1.3bn (£0.8bn), which includes a turnkey contract with the yard, owner-furnished equipment, project management, commissioning, start-up costs and capitalised interest.

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,’ said Claus V Hemmingsen, chief executive officer of Maersk Drilling. ‘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.’

The two drillships will be of similar design to the two drillships Maersk Drilling ordered from Samsung in April 2011. The 228m-long drill ships will be able to operate at water depths up to 12,000ft (3,650m) and will be capable of drilling wells of more than 40,000ft (12,200m).

In the year to date, Maersk Drilling has invested $3.8bn in two new jack-up rigs and four drillships.