Maersk Drilling announced that the company’s first ultra deepwater drillship was named Thursday morning in a ceremony held at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in Geoje-Si, South Korea. Nathalie Newman, wife of Harry E. Newman Jr., ExxonMobil Global Drilling Manager, had the honor of naming the Maersk Viking (UDW drillship).
Maersk Viking is the first in a series of four ultra deepwater drillships to enter Maersk Drilling’s rig fleet. The four drillships represent a total investment of $2.6 billion and will be delivered from the SHI shipyard in late 2013 and 2014. After delivery from the yard and mobilization to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Maersk Viking will commence a 3-year contract with ExxonMobil. The estimated contract value is $610 million including mobilization, but excluding cost escalation and performance bonus.
“The naming of Maersk Viking is an important milestone in our further expansion in the ultra deepwater market. With the contract for Maersk Viking we look forward to continuing our relationship with ExxonMobil, and establishing ourselves as a significant drilling contractor in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.
Maersk Drilling has been active in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico since 2009 with the Maersk Developer (UDW semisub). With Maersk Viking and the second newbuild drillship, Deepwater Advanced 2 (UDW drillship), to enter the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Maersk Drilling is becoming a significant drilling contractor in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, which together with West Africa, are the target regions for Maersk Drilling’s deepwater activities. Growing the business activities in the ultra deepwater market is part of Maersk Drilling’s strategy to deliver on the financial ambition of a profit (NOPAT) of $1 billion in 2018.