Maersk Highlander was named yesterday at a ceremony at Invergordon, Scotland.
Maersk Drilling CEO and member of the Executive Board of The Maersk Group, Claus V. Hemmingsen, gave the commemorative speech in front of prominent guests from Maersk Oil, BP, JX Nippon, Jurong Shipyard and the local community.
Maersk Highlander will soon start operations in the Culzean gas field in the North Sea where it will work for Maersk Oil and partners JX Nippon and BP.
"I think we have acquired a very fine piece of equipment, a little sister to our XLE rigs," Said Claus. V. Hemmingsen in front of the large crowd. The 400ft newbuild has been at the Port of Cromarty Firth in Invergordon, Scotland, 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.
Gretchen H. Watkins stated that the contract stands testimony to the strong ties between Maersk Oil and Maersk Drilling:
"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." Said Gretchen Watkins.
Taking in a new rig in the new oil reality
Claus V. Hemmingsen highlighted recent years' significant fleet growth within Maersk Drilling: the acquisition of four deepwater drillships and four ultra-harsh environment jack-ups in response to the increasing demand for new rigs in an ever-evolving industry.
Now the tide has turned and a new oil reality has arrived. However, opportunities can emerge even when facing adverse market conditions.
"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 a well-known customer and partners," Said Claus V. Hemmingsen.
He admitted that it might seem a difficult challenge to take in a brand new rig in the middle of a severe industry downturn. "But in the 40+ 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," Said Claus. V. Hemmingsen.
Maersk Highlander will work on a five-yeacontract valued at approx. USD 420m, including a mobilization fee of USD 9m.