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Maersk drillship to drill for a new world record in Angola

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Danish offshore drilling contractor Maersk Drilling has been awarded a contract extension from TotalEnergies to drill for a new world record in Angola.

TotalEnergies has exercised an option for the 7th generation drillship Maersk Voyager to drill the ultra-deepwater Ondjaba-1 exploration well in Angola’s Block 48. The contract extension has an estimated duration of 54 days, which means that Maersk Voyager is now contracted until February 2022, the rig owner informed .

The work on Ondjaba-1 started in October 2021, after which the rig is scheduled to move to Namibia to drill the Venus well. One one-well option remains on the contract.

The Ondjaba-1 well will be drilled at a new world record water depth of 3,628 m. The current world record is 3,400 m, set by Voyager’s sister drillship Maersk Venturer when it drilled the Raya-1 well for TotalEnergies offshore Uruguay in 2016.

Morten Kelstrup, COO of Maersk Drilling, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to confirm that we indeed will be drilling for a new world record. Ondjaba-1 was part of Maersk Voyager’s original contract in Angola, but the rig’s drilling programme has undergone several changes due to the unprecedented circumstances the world has faced since early 2020.

“With this contract option called, we’re now looking forward to proving that Maersk Drilling and the highly capable Voyager crew can once again break existing boundaries in close collaboration with TotalEnergies.”

Maersk Voyager is a high-spec ultra-deepwater drillship that was delivered in 2014. It has been operating offshore Africa since 2015 and started operations for TotalEnergies in January 2020 when it was supposed to drill in the deepest water depth ever drilled offshore.

Following a suspension in April 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the rig restarted operations in August 2020.

In October 2020, the drillship was awarded a three-well contract from TotalEnergies to drill development wells in Angola’s Block 17, keeping it busy until 2Q 2021.

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