Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Container Freight Shipping Giant Turns Again To Energy Sector

Maersk Puts Up Billions for Targeted New Builds
Shipping News Feature

DENMARK – WORLDWIDE - Following on from our recent story telling of A.P. Moller Maersk’s ever expanding portfolio of ocean freight container ships and Maersk Oil’s $1 billion investment in the oil platform vessel Maersk Peregrino, another group company has now revealed plans for a further two ships costing around $1.3 billion plus an option on two more.

Maersk Drilling has placed an order with Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea for two ultra deepwater drillships declaring a previous option. The two drillships will be of similar design to the two drillships Maersk Drilling ordered from Samsung in April 2011. The 228 meter long drill ships will be able to operate at water depths up to 12,000 ft (3,650 m) and will be capable of drilling wells of more than 40,000 ft (12,200 m).

Year to date, Maersk Drilling has invested USD 3.8 billion in two new jack-up rigs and four drillships and the company recorded revenues of $1.6 billion and a profit of $399 million after tax in 2010. Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller Maersk Group sees a strong market for deepwater drilling rigs as the global demand for oil is increasing while at the same time production from mature fields is declining. He commented:

"We have an ambition of becoming one of the leading drilling contractors in the ultra deepwater segment and this order is another important step in taking a bigger share of this attractive market segment. This order reflects our commitment to grow our rig fleet enabling us to serve our customers in the ultra deepwater segment on a more regular basis.

“About six times the current Saudi production must be brought on stream over the next 20-25 years which will drive a solid growth in the demand for drilling services. The main part of this growth will take place in frontier areas such as deepwater.”

Similar to the design philosophy on Maersk Drilling’s ultra deepwater semi-submersibles the drillship design includes features for high efficiency operation including a dual derrick, which allows for parallel and offline activities. The extensive storage areas and tank capacities provide an advantage when operating in areas with less developed infrastructure and limited presence of suppliers. Together with the higher transit speed the increased capacity will reduce the overall logistics costs for the oil companies. The drillships will have accommodation capacity for 230 people.