Building the next generation of ships and rigs
- The XLEs will be featured in a new Discovery Channel television series, which will show the Group’s energy supply chain, by following Maersk experts and subcontractors as they design and build the next generation of ships and drilling rigs
- Filming started earlier this year and will mainly take place in Denmark, Norway and South Korea, and the series will be broadcast in late 2016
With legs longer than 200 metres, the world’s largest rig towers over Mekjarvik harbour in Norway, ready to take on the sometimes violent weather and waters of the North Sea.
Known as XLEs (extra-large enhanced), the Maersk Interceptor and her sisters are physically imposing and the most advanced jack-up rigs in existence, capable of withstanding and operating reliably and safely in waves of up to almost 30 metres.
To build them, and the new drillships in Maersk Drilling’s fleet, designers took the best of what they already had. They then scaled it up in size to match the bigger hardware, installed measures to improve efficiency, and introduced a pro-active hiring policy to ensure crews were up to speed from the first day of operations.
In the first half of 2015, four of the five newbuilds that were already in service operated more than 96% of the time, with the Maersk Viking drillship hitting 99.6% operational time. Chief Commercial Officer Ana Zambelli says advanced equipment that has been proven to be efficient and reliable has helped Maersk Drilling to win contracts while the markets are tough, and put it in a good position to take advantage of any upturn.
“It’s very satisfying to have an idea and then see it through to the point where it’s working so well”, says Chief Technology Officer Frederik Smidth. “It’s an engineer’s dream scenario”.
The Viking Team
The Maersk Viking drillship started operations in the Gulf of Mexico last year, for ExxonMobil on its Julia project.