Maersk Drilling has signed a $1.2 billion contract with Singapore fabricator Keppel Fels for the construction of two high-capacity, ultra-harsh environment jack-up drilling rigs, as earlier reported by Upstream.
The first rig is scheduled for delivery at the end of 2013, with the second unit following seven months later. The newbuild contract includes an option for one additional jack-up to be declared by July this year.
The newbuilds will represent a new generation of rigs, based an enhanced version of the proven Gusto MSC CJ-70-150MD design, and are intended for operation in the harsh environment of the North Sea at water depths of up to 150 metres.
The high-capacity features include offline pipe handling and simultaneous operations as well as an enlarged cantilever reach.
The rigs will be particularly targeted at the Norwegian market and will comply with the strict regulatory regime in Norway.
“We believe in continued strong demand for high-capacity jack-up rigs on the Norwegian continental shelf,” said Maersk Drilling chief executive Claus Hemmingsen.
The signing of the newbuild contract confirms an Upstream article published on 14 January.