The Maersk Highlander
- The newbuild harsh environment rig was acquired by Maersk Drilling from a subsidiary of Hercules Offshore and has a five-year contract for work on Culzean
- With legs of 167 metres, it can operate in 120 metres of water and has a drilling depth of more than 9,000 metres
- It is capable of handling the high pressure and high temperature (HPHT) conditions present on Culzean and has an accommodation capacity of up to 150 personnel
It was an important milestone for both Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling, which are both part of the new Energy division.
“It’s such a major project, not only for Maersk but also for the UK. It’s really fascinating to be working on such a big plan and being involved from the beginning,” says Corlett, who was among the first batch of MITAS (Maersk International Technology and Science Programme) programme participants in 2006, which gave him the opportunity to build a broad base of experience across the oil and drilling industry.
It has been the most accelerated project that Lars Kasueske, Rig Manager for the Maersk Highlander, has been involved with in his 22 years with the company.
“We basically didn’t really know the rig when it was purchased in late May this year, and yet we turned it into a Maersk Drilling rig with a trained Maersk crew and all the Maersk Drilling systems implemented, and on top of that got the safety case approved allowing us to operate in the UK,” Kasueske says.
“All this was achieved over a 3 month period, due to the dedication of the people involved and having good systems, and the Maersk Drilling team behind us.”
Both Kasueske and Corlett, the Maersk Oil drilling supervisor, point to the quality of the staff and teamwork between Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling as key factors behind the successful start up of drilling – and some interesting ways of building up trust and cooperation.
“We got to know each other through a team building course before we came out here. We were out on a loch in Scotland, where we made a raft from barrels and wood, and sailed out to an island and camped in the woods. It’s an unusual way of working together and learning how the team works,” Corlett explains.
“It’s been really good to work with Maersk Drilling. We share the same values and mindset, and it’s been a great experience to cooperate so well on such a big project.”