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USA: Maersk Secures Contract for Deepwater Advanced 2 Drillship

With the signing of a contract for the newbuild drillship Deepwater Advanced 2 Maersk Drilling adds USD 694 million to its contract backlog. Five out of seven newbuild drilling units have now secured contracts..

Maersk Drilling has signed a contract with ConocoPhillips Company a wholly owned subsidiary of ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Company a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corporation for the second ultra deepwater drillship in a series of four identical drillships currently under construction.

The estimated total contract value is USD 694 million including mobilization, but excluding cost escalation compensation. The contract duration is three years, with options for up to an additional two years and commencement of operations is expected by mid-2014 upon delivery from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, mobilization to the US Gulf of Mexico and acceptance testing. The drillship will be equipped with two Blow-Out-Preventers (BOPs).

The drillship will be employed by ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil for their respective drilling programs in the US Gulf of Mexico.

We are pleased to having been able to customize a drilling contract with ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil combining their respective drilling programmes into a three year drilling contract providing security of deepwater rig availability for the two companies while leaving some flexibility in regards to the timing of their drilling programmes. In addition, merging the two programmes provides us with a contract with an attractive duration,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.

Strong demand for advanced drilling rigs

Since 2011 Maersk Drilling has invested USD 4.5 billion in seven new drilling units currently under construction; three ultra harsh environment jack-ups at KeppelFELS in Singapore and four ultra deepwater drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. With the latest contract for the second drillship five out of the seven newbuild rigs have now secured contracts.

We are pleased to see continued strong demand for our advanced drilling rigs. This contract brings further evidence to our strategic focus on ultra harsh and deepwater drilling and provides firm ground for our ambitious growth plans,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.

Maersk Drilling has performed deepwater operations in the US Gulf of Mexico since 2009 with the ultra deepwater semi-submersible Mærsk Developer. In June 2012, Maersk Drilling secured a contract for the first drillship under construction with commencement in the US Gulf of Mexico expected by end 2013.

The US Gulf of Mexico remains a focus area of Maersk Drilling, and we are pleased to further expand our presence in this attractive market positioning us with three ultra deepwater rigs by 2014,” says CEO Claus V. Hemmingsen.

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Maersk Bags Gulf of Mexico Contract for Its Under-Construction Drillship

More than one year prior to delivery Denmark’s Maersk Drilling has signed a contract with a major oil company for the first in a series of four identical ultra deepwater drillships currently under construction.

The contract duration is three years and commencement is expected by end 2013 upon delivery from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea and mobilization to the US Gulf of Mexico. The estimated contract value is USD 610 million including mobilization, but excluding cost escalation and performance bonus.

“With the signing of this contract for the first of our four ultra deepwater newbuild drillship we are able to add another USD 610 million to our contract backlog providing a solid basis for our further growth,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling and member of the Executive Board of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group. “The US Gulf of Mexico remains a focus area of Maersk Drilling, and we are pleased to enhance our presence in this attractive market. With permitting activity normalizing after the Macondo incident in 2010 and the lease sales in the region, we believe the fundamental demand for our services in this region is in place”.

Maersk Drilling has performed deepwater operations in the US Gulf of Mexico since 2009 with the ultra deepwater semi-submersible MÆRSK DEVELOPER.

Facts about the four newbuild ultra deepwater drillships

In 2011 Maersk Drilling ordered four ultra deepwater drillships at Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea. The rigs will be delivered in 2013 and 2014. The total investment was USD 2.6 billion.

The design and capacities of the new drillships include features for high efficiency operation. Featuring dual derrick and large subsea work and storage areas, the design allows for efficient well construction and field development activities through offline activities.

With their advanced positioning control system, the ships automatically maintain a fixed position in severe weather conditions with waves of up to 11 metres and wind speeds of up to 26 metres per second.

Special attention has been given to safety onboard the drillships. Equipped with Multi Machine Control (MMC) on the drill floor, the high degree of automation ensures safe operation and consistent performance. Higher transit speeds and increased capacity will reduce the overall logistics costs for oil companies.

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Chariot Spuds Tapir South Prospect Offshore Namibia

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by  Chariot O&G Ltd.
Press Release
Thursday, April 05, 2012

Chariot Oil & Gas Limited announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Enigma Oil & Gas Exploration (Pty) Limited, has commenced drilling the first well, 1811/5-1, of its 4 to 5 well drilling program offshore Namibia. Drilling operations began this morning on the Tapir South prospect using the Maersk Deliverer (UDW semisub) drilling rig, with Chariot as Operator.

The prospect has a 25 percent Chance of Success and a mean un-risked prospective resource potential of 604 million barrels of oil. In the event of success, the results of this well will significantly increase the Chance of Success on certain of the Company’s other prospects within the Tapir Trend.

Tapir South (1811/5-1) will be only the second well ever to be drilled in the Namibe Basin. It is located 49.7 miles (80 kilometers) offshore Namibia in the Company’s northern block 1811A, in which Chariot has a 100 percent equity interest. The well is being drilled to an estimated total vertical depth subsea of 16,732 feet (5,100 meters) and, as announced following the Placing of March 20, 2012, this will now include extended drilling time to ensure that one of the deeper identified targets is drilled and fully evaluated. This deeper target is believed to be a carbonate section, age equivalent to the reservoir in recent sub-salt discoveries in the on-trend Kwanza basin offshore Angola. The drilling and logging operations are expected to take approximately 70 days and a further announcement will be made when the well results are known.

The Tapir South prospect is part of the Tapir Trend where three prospects have been identified on a large ridge formed by a rotated fault block containing the potential carbonate target, draped by deep marine sediments with turbidite sandstone levels forming a stack of overlying targets. Tapir South is the southernmost of three culminations on the ridge and forms a focal point for charge migration from an adjacent basin in which excellent oil prone source rocks are believed to be present and currently generating oil.

The second well to be drilled in the Chariot exploration program, Kabeljou (2714/6-1), targeting the Nimrod prospect is now likely to spud earlier than previously reported. The Operator has informed Chariot that it now expects to secure a drilling unit in 3Q 2012.

“We are very pleased to announce the spud of our Tapir South well in the northern license area which marks that start of a 4-5 well drill program running through to the end of 2013. The results of this first well will be invaluable to furthering our knowledge and understanding of the Namibe basin. Owing to the additional funding raised last month we can now fully explore the deeper targets within the prospect and we look forward to updating the market with the well results in due course,” commented CEO Paul Welch.

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USA: Statoil Extends Maersk Developer Contract for GoM Work

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Norway’s oil and gas exploration and production compayn, Statoil, has declared the option included in the 4-year firm contract for the ultra deepwater semi-submersible Maersk Developer rig.

Under the contract, the rig, owned by Denmark’s Maersk Drilling, will continue to work for Statoil in the US Gulf of Mexico. The duration of the option is two years with start scheduled for 4 November 2013 when the firm contract runs out. The contract value for the option period is approximately USD 370 million.

“We are very pleased to continue our cooperation with Statoil, one of our key clients, for this highly advanced deepwater rig,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling.

“Having secured contracts for all our deepwater semisubmersibles until mid 2014 is a milestone in Maersk Drilling’s ambition of becoming a leading provider of highly advanced ultra deepwater rigs.”

Delivered in 2009, Maersk Developer is the first in a series of three state-of-the-art ultra deepwater development semi-submersibles in Maersk Drilling’s fleet. Since its delivery the rig has been employed in the US Gulf of Mexico.

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Angola: Azul-1 Deepwater Well Brings Oil to Maersk Oil

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Songangol, Maersk Oil and other partners declared the Azul-1 deepwater exploration well, located in Block 23 in the Kwanza Basin offshore Angola, a discovery well.

The Azul-1 well, the first to penetrate pre-salt objectives in Angolan deepwater, was drilled in water depths of 923 meters and reached a final depth of 5,334 meters. The condition of the well prevented an assessment of flow capacity by a conventional test. This was performed as a mini-Drill Stem Test that enabled the recovery of two good quality oil samples.

The preliminary interpretation of the data indicated a potential flow capacity greater than 3,000 barrels of oil a day. Taking into account these encouraging results, Maersk Oil will further evaluate the results of this discovery and will proceed with exploration work in the block.

Sonangol E.P. is the block Concessionaire. Maersk Oil is operator of Block 23 with a 50% working interest with partners Svenska (30%) and Sonangol P & P (20%).

“We are encouraged by the results of our first pre-salt exploration well in this region, which was also the first ever deep water well targeting pre-salt reservoirs in the Kwanza Basin. The result may be a further step towards our goal of building up a significant business in Angola,” said Lars Nydahl Jorgensen, Head of Exploration at Maersk Oil.

“There is substantial evaluation work ahead of us to determine whether the discovery is enough to invest further to get production going. This will be done by, amongst other things, state of the art reprocessing of seismic data. Fully appraising the discovery will take several years and it is far too early to guess the outcome,” Jorgensen said.

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