Friday, 16 Dec 2011
Danish rig owner Maersk Drilling and Chinese rig agent China Petroleum Technology & Development Corporation (CPTDC) plan to order up to four new deep-water drilling rigs.
They will probably be ordered from a Chinese yard. CPTDC, which is part of China National Petroleum Corporation, has approached leading Chinese yards to test their interest in bidding. The yards include Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Offshore, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding, CIMC Raffles, Cosco and possibly Shanghai Shipyard. CPTDC’s associate company China Petroleum Offshore Engineering Corporation is likely to be one of the bidders for the fabrication order. Maersk will be involved in the fabrication of the units as the technical adviser and the units’ operator. Maersk is still considering whether they should be semi-submersible rigs or drilling ships. CPTDC would invest and manage the fabrication of the units, but Maersk will have the first right to buy back these units or place charter agreements with CPTDC. Under consideration are four semi submersible rigs, two of GM design with operational water depth capacity of 3,000 metres and two GVA design rigs rated to 1,500 metres, or alternatively four drillships designed possibly by Gusto for operations down to 1,500 metre depths.
This one is being obviously driven by the CNOPC but it still pumps another 4 more rigs into an already busting to capacity newbuild market. It is interesting that they won’t be ultra deepwater capable but the CNOPC doesn’t have ultradeepater leases that I know of. Still you’d think they’d build more than they might need right now giving them the ability to expand into deeper water in the future.
Anyway, these are yet more rigs Maersk will need to man in the coming years but unless any of their new drillships come to the US, don’t plan on many jobs will go to Americans. Their only US rig hands and mariners are on the MAERSK DEVELOPER working in the GoM.