- 228 metres in length
- 12,000 metres drilling depth
- 97% Maersk Drilling’s operational uptime in 2015
- 7 new contracts won in 2015
The driller on the Maersk Valiant toggles the joystick and scans the bank of screens that surround his chair as data scrolls past.
Will Evans is working the fully automated drill floor on the Maersk Valiant. While this means that there are no workers on the floor during operations, his job remains as challenging as ever, as he must keep a wary eye on the information coming through to ensure the work remains on schedule throughout each 12-hour shift.
“It’s mentally tough. There are lots of things to keep an eye on and you stay more alert,” he says. “You need to watch the trends in the data. If you see a trend in the wrong direction, you can spot it in real time and adjust accordingly. You can’t really do that on a manual rig.”
He speaks with certainty about the safety and performance gains of new drillships like the Maersk Valiant, which is currently in the Gulf of Mexico on a three-year contract with Marathon Oil and ConocoPhillips.
“It’s a huge difference. You feel safer and people are clearly in the correct place,” says Evans, who comes from Mississippi and worked on an older rig with a manually operated drill floor until recently. His work may be less demanding physically now, but it still requires perfect attention.
Making the difference
With oil companies cutting back on spending, the top-class performance of new drillships like the Maersk Valiant is crucial to keeping the business ticking over with new contracts.