Maersk Wins Woodside Contract for Newbuild Semisub

Maersk Contractors has been awarded a drilling contract by Woodside Energy Ltd. for lease of a deepwater development semisubmersible to operate in Australia. The drilling contract has a duration of three years and will commence when the rig arrives in Australia in the second quarter of 2009.

The rig is the second in a series of three highly advanced deepwater development semi-submersibles 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 technically complicated wells as seen off the Northwest coast of Australia. 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 Woodside.

"We currently have an extensive business relationship with Woodside and we are looking forward to expanding this relationship even further," says 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 semisubmersibles 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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