Maersk Drilling has secured a $300m contract for its ultra-deepwater semi-submersible Mærsk Deliverer to carry out drilling work at the Ichthys gas and condensate field in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia.

The three-year contract was awarded by Inpex Australia along with its joint venture (JV) participants. The contract includes two one-year options and is expected to commence in the second quarter of next year.

The Ichthys gas and condensate field is located nearly 220km offshore Western Australia. It is said to be the largest discovery of hydrocarbon liquids in Australia in 50 years.

Maersk Drilling CEO Jørn Madsen said: “We are very pleased to have secured long-term work for Mærsk Deliverer adding significantly to our contract backlog in the floater segment.

“Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG Project is one of Australia’s largest resources projects and we look forward to supporting a successful operation for Inpex and joint venture participants.”

“Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG Project is one of Australia’s largest resources projects and we look forward to supporting a successful operation for Inpex and joint venture participants.

“With this contract award we retain a well-balanced forward coverage in the floater market with long-term contracts while maintaining exposure to a market recovery.”

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By GlobalData

Currently, Mærsk Deliverer, a self-propelled A1 column stabilised drilling unit, is operating at offshore Timor-Leste.

Inpex began gas production from the project following the completion of final safety verifications in July 2018. The company’s Oceanic Breeze tanker delivered first liquid natural gas (LNG) from the Ichthys project to Japan in February 2019.

During peak production, Ichthys LNG Project is estimated to deliver around 8.9 million tonnes of LNG and 1.6 million tonnes of LPG per annum as well as approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day.