Total picks Maersk drillship to drill at ‘deepest water depth ever drilled offshore’

French oil major Total has selected a Maersk Drilling-owned drillship to drill at what the rig owner says will be a world record water depth in Angola-Namibia campaign. 

Maersk Drilling said on Tuesday that it had been awarded contracts for a three-well exploration drilling project by Total E&P Angola Block 32, Block 48 and Total E and P Namibia B.V. for the 7th generation drillship Maersk Voyager.

The Maersk Voyager will be employed offshore Angola and Namibia for a campaign which includes the deepest water depth ever drilled offshore, the rig owner said.

The project includes two wells offshore Angola in Blocks 32 and 48, plus one well offshore Namibia. The campaign is expected to start in January 2020, with an estimated duration of 240 days.

The total value of the firm contracts is approximately $46.3m, including a mobilization fee. The contracts include two additional one-well options.

Maersk said that the well in Angola’s Block 48 would be drilled at a new world record water depth of 3,628 m. According to the drilling contractor, the current world record is 3,400 m, set by Maersk Voyager’s sister drillship Maersk Venturer when it drilled the Raya-1 well for Total offshore Uruguay in 2016.

Morten Kelstrup, COO of Maersk Drilling, said: “We are thrilled to once again push beyond existing boundaries in collaboration with Total, drawing upon our mutual experience from the exciting deepwater exploration projects we have collaborated on over the years.”

Maersk Voyager is a high-spec ultra-deepwater drillship which was delivered in 2014. It has recently performed its scheduled Special Periodic Survey in Walvis Bay, Namibia, after completing campaigns in Ghana and Equatorial Guinea in 2019.