Inpex has exercised an option to extend its charter of Maersk Drilling’s ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rig Maersk Deliverer for operations on the Japanese operator's giant Ichthys gas field offshore Western Australia.

The 12-months extension is expected to start in July 2023 in direct continuation of the rig’s current contract, which has a dayrate of US$266,200. Another 12-month option remains on the Maersk Deliverer’s contract.

The drilling operations in Australia will continue to be performed with a particular focus on bringing value to the local community, noted Maersk.

Since arriving in the country in 2020, Maersk Deliverer has employed a crew consisting of more than 80% Australian nationals, thereby significantly exceeding the contractual requirement of 40%.

In addition, the rig follows Maersk Drilling’s global policy of using local suppliers when possible.

“We’re delighted to confirm that Maersk Deliverer and its dedicated crew will continue to support Inpex and create value for the Western Australia community into 2024,” said Maersk Drilling chief operating officer Morten Kelstrup.

“The campaign at the Ichthys field has reached several key milestones, including that Maersk Deliverer was the first-ever rig to use managed pressure drilling in Australian waters.”

Maersk Deliverer is a DSS-21 column stabilised dynamically positioned semi-submersible drilling rig, able to operate in water depths of up to 10,000 feet and drill to a depth of 32,800 feet.