Photo: Maersk Convincer; Source: Maersk Drilling

ADES to take over jack-up rig from Maersk

Offshore drilling contractor Maersk Drilling has entered into an agreement with UAE-based ADES to sell the benign environment jack-up rig Maersk Convincer for $42.5 million in an all-cash transaction.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, and the rig is expected to be transferred to ADES following the completion of its current drilling programme with Brunei Shell Petroleum Company (BSP), Maersk informed on Wednesday.

Maersk Convincer is a Baker Pacific Class 375 cantilever jack-up rig which was delivered in 2008. It has been operating offshore Brunei Darussalam since 2017, and Maersk Drilling has reached an agreement with BSP to release the rig from its current contract upon completion of the current drilling programme, which is expected to be completed in August 2022 and in any case not later than 15 September 2022.

As a reminder, the rig owner secured a 20-month extension for the Maersk Convincer with Brunei Shell Petroleum Company in August 2020. The extension with a duration of 602 days started in May 2021.

Christine Morris, CFO of Maersk Drilling, said: “This transaction will contribute to the optimisation of our fleet in line with Maersk Drilling’s strategic priorities of maintaining a fleet of modern, high-end assets and concentrating our jack-up activities in the harsh environments of the North Sea.

“Though the sale marks the end of an era of proud operations and exemplary collaboration with BSP – a joint venture between the government of Brunei Darussalam and the Shell group of companies – during which our rigs have won multiple Shell Group Jack-up of the Year awards, the Southeast Asian jack-up market is not key to us.

After the sale, Maersk Drilling’s rig fleet counts 10 jack-up rigs, all of which are suited for operations in harsh environments, and 8 floaters.

As reported earlier this week, ADES also entered into agreements with India’s Aban Offshore to buy four jack-up rigs for a total of about $106 million.

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Also this week, Maersk Drilling was awarded a one-year extension for a semi-submersible rig for operations on the Ichthys field in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia.

Maersk Drilling is about to merge with Noble Corp. through a deal announced last November. In order to get clearance in phase 1 for their merger from the UK’s antitrust regulator, the two expect they will have to divest certain North Sea rigs.