EUROPEAN companies Aker Drilling Offshore Services, of Norway, and Maersk, of Denmark, have each placed valuable orders for new drilling tonnage in the Far East.
Aker Drilling has awarded a turnkey EPC contract for construction of two ultra-deepwater drillships to Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) of South Korea.
The two vessels will cost around $600million each, inclusive of project management, loose drilling equipment, spares and operations preparations. They are to be delivered in Q4 2013.
The contract includes two fixed-price options for a further two drillships to be declared in June and October this year respectively.
The company said that the dynamically positioned drillships will be the largest and most capable ultra-deepwater units, with a double derrick for efficient parallel operations, capable of operations in water depths to 3,657m (12,000ft) and of drilling wells up to 12,192m (40,000ft) in length.
They are designed for worldwide operations in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, west Africa, India and the Far East.
Geir Sjoberg, CEO at Aker Drilling, said the Korean yard had been chosen because of its “solid track record and quality of work”. “This investment will be our next step in the development of Aker Drilling as a leading contractor in the ultra-deepwater and harsh environment markets,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Maersk Drilling unit of AP Moller-Maersk Group, has contracted Keppel FELS to build two ultra harsh, high-capacity jack-ups.
Maersk said the first rig is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2013, with the second following seven months later.
The total project cost for the two rigs is close to $1.2billion, which includes turnkey contract with the yard, owner-furnished equipment, project management, commissioning, start-up costs and capitalised interest. The contract also provides the option for the construction of one additional jack-up rig, to be declared by July 2011.