Samsung to build deep water drillships for Maersk

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Danish shipper and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S said Wednesday it has signed a $1.3 billion contract with Samsung for two deep water drillships as it looks to take advantage of "solid growth" in areas such as Brazil, West Africa and the Gulf of Mexico.

Maersk said the ships, to be built by South Korea's Samsung Heavy Industries, are scheduled for delivery in 2013. The contract included an option for two additional drillships.

In a statement, CEO of Maersk Drilling Claus V. Hemmingsen said the vessels will be the first in the company's ultra deep water fleet.

The ships can operate at depths up to 12,000 feet (3,650 meter), and maintain a fixed position in rough weather conditions with waves up to 36.3 feet (11 meters).

Maersk Drilling's fleet already includes three ultra deep water semi-submersibles working off Australia, West Africa and in the Gulf of Mexico. The company employs an international staff of 3,200 people.

In February, Maersk signed a $1.9 billion contract for 10 giant container vessels, expected to be the largest of any known type of ship in operation.

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