Maersk Drilling has announced plans to cut 70 offshore drilling jobs from its Norwegian operations due to its Reacher jackup rig being out of work after its existing contract with BP expires.

Norwegian sources said that the job cuts were from the exiting rig crew.

At present, the rig is drilling in the North Sea on a five-year contract with BP and is set to complete during September 2016.

Maersk Drilling has been trying to secure new contracts for the rig, but has been unable to find any companies planning to start drilling operations.

"The rig is capable of operating in water depths of 350ft and can drill to a maximum depth of 30,000ft."

Keppel Offshore & Marine’s Pioneer Yard in Singapore delivered the Maersk Reacher rig in 2009.

The rig is capable of operating in water depths of 350ft and can drill to a maximum depth of 30,000ft.

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In January 2014, BP extended the contract for the Maersk Reacher rig by two years from September 2014 to September 2016.

The estimated value of the two-year extension stood at $222m.

Maersk Reacher is the fourth in a series of four 350ft jack-ups delivered in 2008-09, and was upgraded to comply with relevant requirements in Norwegian shelf regulation.

The rig also received an acknowledgement of compliance, enabling it to commence a three-year firm contract with BP in September 2011.

Image: Maersk Reacher rig is capable of operating in a water depth of 350ft. Photo: courtesy of The Maersk Group.