Maersk Contractors' Newbuild Deepwater Semisub Wins Work from Statoil

Maersk Contractors has been awarded a drilling contract by Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC for lease of a deepwater development semisubmersible to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. The drilling contract has a duration of four years and will commence when the rig arrives in the US Gulf of Mexico in the summer of 2008. The mobilization from the construction yard in Singapore to the Gulf of Mexico is estimated to take 70 days.

The rig is the first in a series of three highly advanced deepwater development semisubmersibles presently under construction for Maersk Contractors in Singapore. Although substantially larger and even more sophisticated, the design of the rig is based on the experiences gained from Maersk Contractors' latest newbuild deepwater semisubmersible "Maersk Explorer".

With its large capacities and highly efficient drilling equipment the new rig is capable of drilling 10,000 m (30,000 ft) into the subsoil measured from the seabed. This makes the rig particularly well suited to drill deep and complicated wells as seen in the Gulf of Mexico. The rig is able to operate in water depths up to 3,000 m (10,000 ft) and can maintain its station either in dynamic positioning (DP) mode or with a pre-laid mooring system.

A total of 180 people can be accommodated onboard. This will be a combination of Maersk Contractors' rig crew and specialists from Statoil.

"We have delivered a number of projects to Statoil over the years in Norway and enjoyed a very good cooperation. We now look forward to expanding this relationship to the Gulf of Mexico," said Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Contractors.

Maersk Contractors is part of the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group and is a leading drilling contractor and supplier of floating production solutions. The fleet counts 29 drilling rigs and four FPSOs including six high efficiency jack-up rigs, three deepwater development semi-submersibles and one Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel under construction. Maersk Contractors employs an international staff of 3,000 well-trained people.

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