Maersk Drilling names 1st ultra deepwater drillship

Maersk Drilling’s first ultra deepwater drillship has been named Maersk Viking in a ceremony held at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in Geoje-Si, South Korea. Mrs Nathalie Newman, wife of Mr Harry E. Newman Jr., ExxonMobil Global Drilling Manager, had the honour of naming the drillship.

Maersk Viking is the first in a series of four ultra deepwater drillships to enter Maersk Drilling’s rig fleet. The four drillships represent a total investment of USD 2.6B and will be delivered from the SHI shipyard in late 2013 and 2014. After delivery from the yard and mobilisation to the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM), Maersk Viking will commence a three-year contract with ExxonMobil. The estimated contract value is USD 610M including mobilisation, but excluding cost escalation and performance bonus.

Maersk Drilling has been active in the US GoM since 2009 with the ultra deepwater semi-submersible Maersk Developer. With Maersk Viking and the second newbuild drillship, Deepwater Advanced 2, to enter the US GoM, Maersk Drilling is becoming a significant drilling contractor in the US GoM, which together with West Africa, are the target regions for Maersk Drilling’s deepwater activities.