Drilling Deals Confirmed for Two Maersk Rigs in Suriname


Following a conditional letter of the award signed with the French oil giant Total last November for the supply of two offshore drilling rigs in Suriname, Danish offshore drilling firm Maersk Drilling said Monday Total has firmed up the contracts.

For Total's Suriname drilling campaign in Block 58, which has so far rather successfully been carried out by the Noble Sam Croft drillship, Maersk Drilling will supply the deepwater rigs Maersk Valiant and Mærsk Developer. 

The two offshore drilling rigs will be employed for an estimated combined total duration of 500 days. Mærsk Developer is expected to start operations in January 2021, while Maersk Valiant is expected to begin operations in March 2021. 

The total value of the firm contracts is approximately USD 100 million, including rig modifications, integrated services provided, and a mobilization fee for Maersk Valiant. The contracts include various extension options.

Maersk Drilling COO Morten Kelstrup said: "We’re thrilled to firm up these contracts, adding further to our long-standing relationship with Total for whom we have a great track record from our collaboration on a number of deepwater exploration projects. We’re happy to add to our presence in the exciting Suriname-Guyana basin and will be able to leverage the fact that Mærsk Developer is already operating offshore Suriname to quickly start up operations including provision of a range of integrated services to maximize efficiency,” says

Maersk Developer is a DSS-21 column-stabilized dynamically positioned semi-submersible rig, able to operate in water depths up to 10,000 ft. It was delivered in 2009 and is currently mobilizing for the Total campaign after recently completing a contract with Malaysia's Petronas, also offshore Suriname. To remind, Petronas in December 2020 said it had made its first offshore discovery in Suriname, using the Maersk Developer.

The second rig under the Total contract, Maersk Valiant, is a 7th generation drillship with integrated Managed Pressure Drilling capability which was delivered in 2013. It is currently warm-stacked in Aruba after finishing a campaign offshore Mexico in June 2020.

Total, which has this month taken over operatorship of the prolific Block 58 from Apache Corp., French oil giant Total and its partner Apache said last week the partnership had made a new significant oil and gas discovery at the Keskesi East-1 well, in Block 58. This follows previous offshore discoveries in the Block at Maka Central, Sapakara West and Kwaskwasi prospects.

The French firm will use the two Maersk Drilling rigs for the appraisal operations designed to characterize the 2020 discoveries as well as for a second exploration campaign in Block 58. 

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