Danish drilling contractor Maersk Drilling has informed that one of the company’s drillships has started drilling operations in the US Gulf of Mexico.
Maersk Drilling has reported through their Facebook page that the company’s first drillship Maersk Viking began operations in Gulf of Mexico for the U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil.
The drilling unit is being used on the oil company’s Julia development, located approximately 200 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana. The Julia discovery was made in 2007 and is estimated to have nearly six billion barrels of resource in place.
Maersk Drilling took delivery of the vessel from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in Geoje-Si, South Korea in February this year, soon after which Maersk Viking started its journey to Gulf of Mexico. This operation is a start of its three-year contract with ExxonMobil. The estimated contract value is $610 million including mobilisation, but excluding cost escalation and performance bonus.
Maersk Viking is an ultra-deepwater drillship built by Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard. Featuring dual derrick and large subsea work and storage areas, the drillship design allows for efficient well construction and field development activities through offline activities. With its advanced positioning control system, the ship automatically maintains a fixed position in severe weather conditions with waves of up to 11 metres and wind speeds of up to 26 metres per second.
Equipped with Multi-Machine Control 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.
The Julia field, where the vessel is now operating, is located in the ultra-deepwater Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico in approximately 7,000 feet (2,100 meter) water depth. The field is comprised of five leases and the blocks are WR-584, WR-627, WR-628, WR-540 and WR-583.
ExxonMobil is the operator and Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC is the partner. Both companies hold a 50 percent interest in the Julia unit.
Julia will be a subsea tieback to the Jack and St. Malo floating production platform, located approximately 15 miles away, which is operated by Chevron U.S.A. Inc.