ConocoPhillips, Marathon cancel Maersk Drilling drillship deal

Maersk Valiant

An early termination agreement for the deepwater drillship Maersk Valiant has been signed by Maersk Drilling and ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil with effect from mid-September 2016.

Maersk Valiant has been on a joint contract with Marathon Oil Corporation and ConocoPhillips since June 2014. The original contract was scheduled to end September 2017.

The drillship was working in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, most recently on Conoco’s Melmar exploration well that was plugged and abandoned after failing to find commercial volumes of hydrocarbons.

After striking dust at Melmar, ConocoPhillips pulled the brakes on its drilling plans in the area.

The compensation under the early termination agreement leaves Maersk Drilling financially neutral to the original contract, the offshore drilling company said on Thursday.

Michael Reimer Mortensen, Head of Global Sales, said: “With the termination of Maersk Valiant, we are reminded of the extremely challenging conditions in the offshore oil and gas market. It is with regret that we will see a high performing rig such as the Maersk Valiant without work, but we will continue to explore opportunities with our customers and seek ways to create innovative solutions to enable project viability.”

Maersk Valiant was built in 2014 and is equipped with dual BOPs as well as an integrated MPD system. The rig is designed for year-round operation in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, West and East Africa and Asia Pacific at water depths of up to 3,600 m (12,000 ft.).

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