Maersk Contractors Considers More Deepwater Rigs

Chief Executive of Maersk Contractors, Clause Hemmingsen, told Reuters that the company is now operating at full capacity due to the record high trading of $140 per barrel - and is contemplating acquiring more deepwater semisubs.

"Impact is the same across the industry, that is, a very high activity level. Our rigs are fully committed through 2009 and many for several years further," Hemmingsen told Reuters.

Maersk Contractors is a unit of the Danish Shipping and oil group, Moller-Maersk. The company currently operates a fleet of 26 drilling rigs contracted to global oil firms.

In May 2006, Maersk ordered its third deepwater rig from Singapore's Keppel Corp, bringing its total design order to S$1.2 billion (US $877 million).

Maersk is considering ordering more deepwater semisubmersibles in the future, as well.

"We are contemplating further rigs in this series, but have no firm plans," Hemmingsen said.

Hemmingsen will travel to Singapore on Saturday to name the first of the Keppel-constructed deepwater rigs.