Naming Maersk Highlander, the new little sister

A bottle of champagne marked the namegiving of Maersk Highlander, decked out in ribbons in port at Invergordon, Scotland, this week. Maersk Drilling’s newest asset will sail to start work on the Maersk Oil-operated Culzean project.

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The rig can operate in 120 metres of water and has a drilling depth of more than 9,000 metres

The Culzean project

  • Approved by the UK Oil and Gas Authority in August 2015, Culzean is located about 240 kilometres off Aberdeen and is expected to produce enough gas to meet 5% of total UK demand at peak production in 2020/21
  • Its forecast plateau production is 300-450 million standard cubic feet per day, giving Maersk Oil equity production of 30,000-45,000 boepd

With her 167-metre legs and drill tower reflected in the water of Scotland’s Cromarty Firth, the Maersk Highlander rig marks an important milestone in the development of the Culzean project.

Maersk Highlander, a newbuild acquired by Maersk Drilling from a subsidiary of Hercules Offshore earlier this year, received her name this week from Lady Sponsor Gretchen Watkins, Maersk Oil’s Chief Operating Officer.

“The Maersk Highlander rig is a great example of how Maersk Group companies have been able to work together to capture value and ensure project execution remains on track,” said Maersk Oil COO Gretchen Watkins, who was Lady Sponsor of the rig.

The rig is now ready to start drilling wells on the Maersk Oil-operated high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) field in the UK North Sea, with a five-year contract valued at approx. USD 420m, including a mobilization fee of USD 9m.

I think we have acquired a very fine piece of equipment, a little sister to our XLE rigs.

Claus

CLAUS V. HEMMINGSEN, CEO MAERSK DRILLING

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From left to right: Ana Zambelli, Maersk Drilling CCO; Gretchen Watkins, Maersk Oil COO; Frederik Smidth, Maersk Drilling CTO.

Maersk Drilling CEO Claus V. Hemmingsen gave a commemorative speech in front of prominent guests from Maersk Oil, BP, JX Nippon, Jurong Shipyard and the local community.

”I think we have acquired a very fine piece of equipment, a little sister to our XLE rigs,” Hemmingsen said, pointing to the opportunities that can emerge even when facing such tough market conditions.

Equipped for the conditions
The rig can operate in 120 metres of water, has a drilling depth of more than 9,000 metres and HPHT capabilities, so it can handle the conditions on the Culzean field, plus accommodation capacity for up to 150 personnel. It will soon start operations, working for Maersk Oil and partners JX Nippon and BP.

“This rig was not originally part of our growth plans, nor was she ours from the outset. However, the opportunity of acquiring this rig and adding her to our fleet seemed obvious to us as she came with a firm long-term contract with – to us – well-known customer and partners,” Hemmingsen said.

The Maersk Highlander rig is a great example of how Maersk Group companies have been able to work together to capture value and ensure project execution remains on track.

Gretchen

GRETCHEN WATKINS, COO MAERSK OIL

Highlander

“But in the 40-plus year history of Maersk Drilling, it is far from an unknown challenge to take a new, state-of-the-art piece of drilling equipment into operation.”

With constant care
Maersk Highlander has been at the Port of Cromarty Firth in Invergordon since she was transported from the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore. The harsh environment jack-up rig was acquired from a subsidiary of Hercules Offshore before delivery from the yard.

“We have a superb drilling rig designed and built specifically to deliver the complex high pressure high temperature Culzean wells, drilling of which will get under way very soon,” Watkins said.

“Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling share constant care as a Core Value and we have a tightly aligned approach to safety and employee welfare. We are confident we have a drilling partner which will meet our expectations for industry leading operational performance, and do it whilst putting safety first.”

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