Big rig Ocean Monarch Gets a Mate for Wait

The giant Ocean Monarch drilling rig that has featured in Perth’s sunsets all summer will today be joined in the wait for work by the Maersk Mariner, a gleaming near-new 95m-long anchor handling vessel.

Maersk Supply Service, a division of Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk, is spending more than $US500 million ($627 million) to purchase six new anchor handling vessels.

Maersk Supply Service chief operations officer Claus Bachmann said they were ordered in 2014 “when everything looked very good, and the sky was the limit and the day rates were high”.

The Maersk Mariner.

The Brent oil price plunged from more than $US110 a barrel in 2014 to less than $US40 in 2016 and A.P. Moller-Maersk decided to concentrate on transport. It has sold two of its four oil and gas businesses.

The Mariner’s sister ship, the Master, is off West Africa towing the drilling rig Development Driller 1 to the North-West coast for Quadrant Energy.