TotalEnergies Extends Maersk Drilling Rig Charter in Suriname

Credit: Maersk Drilling
Credit: Maersk Drilling

French energy giant TotalEnergies has exercised an option for the extended use of one of Maersk Drilling's offshore drilling rigs in Suriname.

TotalEnergies, which became the operator of the prolific Block 58 in January where it has in the past year with partner Apache struck several oil discoveries, has now added one additional appraisal well to the scope of Maersk Drilling's Maersk Developer drilling rig.

The Mærsk Developer drilling unit is a DSS-21 column-stabilized dynamically positioned semi-submersible rig, able to operate in water depths up to 10,000 ft.

The contract extension will see the 2009-built semi-submersible drilling rig staying with TotalEnergies for a minimum of 40 more days. At this project, the rig commands a dayrate of $200,000. 

The work under the extension is expected to start in September 2021 in direct continuation of the rig’s current work scope.

The Maersk Developer will next year leave Suriname and move to Brazil, to drill for Karoon Energy at its Bauna and Patola projects. The $265,000 per day contract will start in April 2022 and last until October of the same year. The day rate includes mobilization fee

Revenue, Day rates up

Maersk Drilling on Friday released 2Q financial results. The company's revenue grew sequentially to $350 million from $264 million in the first quarter of the year.

Contracted days were 1,520, up from 1,199 in 2Q resulting in the rig utilization of 80% in the second quarter versus 61% in the first quarter. Average day rate rose from $230,0000 from $220,000 in the 1Q 2021.

During the quarter, Maersk Drilling secured contracts with a total contract value of $129 million, down from $730 million secured in the first quarter. Also, Maersk Drilling in the second quarter agreed to sell its Mærsk Inspirer drilling and production unit, on contract with Repsol at Yme offshore field in Norway, to Havila Sirius for $373 million.

Maersk Drilling on Thursday upgraded its financial guidance for the 2021 EBITDA before special items to $290-330 million, from the previous guidance of $260-310 million, based on better than expected floater performance.

"Maersk Drilling continues to demonstrate strong operational performance.  Particularly, the four deepwater floaters reactivated during Q1 and Q2  2021 have, since contract commencements, continued to outperform original operational expectations in terms of higher financial uptime and lower costs" the company said.

"The new guidance range reflects ordinary operational uncertainties, including general rig performance, mobilization for and commencement of new contracts, and uncertainties regarding the exercise of options and contract extensions for execution in  2021," the company said.

The guidance for 2021 capital expenditures is lowered to $110-130 million, from the previous guidance of $120-140 million, reflecting optimization of maintenance and project costs.

Suriname, the Next Offshore Oil Hot Spot?

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