Maersk Contractors Considers More Deepwater Rigs

Maersk Contractors, a unit of Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk, said it was considering more deepwater semi-submersibles, after ordering three of the offshore rigs from Singapore’s Keppel Corp.
    “We are contemplating further rigs in this series, but have no firm plans,” its Chief Executive Claus Hemmingsen told Reuters in an email interview, ahead of a Singapore visit on Saturday to name Maersk Contractor’s first Keppel-built deepwater rig.
    Maersk Contractors, which operates a fleet of 26 drilling rigs contracted to global oil firms, in May 2006 ordered its third of the deepwater rigs from Keppel, bringing its total order for the design to about S$1.2 billion ($877 million).
    Crude oil prices CLc1, trading at record highs of near $140 per barrel, also means that Maersk Contractors is now operating at full capacity, Hemmingsen said.
    “Impact is the same across the industry, that is, a very high activity level. Our rigs are fully committed through 2009 and many for several years further,” he said, adding that the firm was also feeling the impact of higher costs and bigger backlogs for rig-builders.

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