Shelf Drilling buys Maersk Completer jack-up rig

Danish drilling contractor Maersk Drilling has agreed to sell its jack-up rig Maersk Completer to Shelf Drilling, the world’s largest jack-up drilling contractor.

Maersk Completer
Maersk Completer jack-up rig / Image source: Maersk Drilling

Maersk Drilling said Wednesday it would sell the Maersk Completer for $38 million in cash. Shelf Drilling will take over the rig in January 2020.

Maersk Completer, which was delivered in 2007, has been stacked in Singapore since 2017.

Jesper Ridder Olsen, CFO of Maersk Drilling: “The sale is in line with our decision to concentrate our jack-up activities in the harsh environments in the North Sea, where we have our strengths and a better competitive position. With limited prospects for our reactivation of Maersk Completer, we believe a sale creates the highest value for Maersk Drilling and our shareholders.”

The sale results in a pre-tax accounting loss of USD 34 million, Maersk Drilling said. After the sale, Maersk Drilling’s rig fleet counts 14 jack-up rigs, of which 13 are suited for operation in harsh environments, and eight floaters.

Shelf said that “the contemplated acquisition of this premium high-spec jack-up rig is in anticipation of securing a long-term contract in the near term.”

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Shelf Drilling, seeking further info on the rationale behind the decision to buy a rig which has been stacked for two years.

Norwegian rig brokers Bassoe Offshore have described the agreement as a “good deal for Shelf.” However, Bassoe said the transaction supported continued pressure on jack-up rig values, as just prior to the transaction, Bassoe Analytics had valued the Maersk Completer at $44–53 million, which is above the level in the transaction.

“Shelf will likely have to spend some money on reactivation and class renewal, but the deal looks good. If you consider the increasing jack-up demand and dayrate trend we’ve seen lately, Shelf should end up with a comparatively cheap asset to deploy in a stronger market,” Bassoe’s David Carter Shinn said in a comment.


Offshore Energy Today Staff

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