Viking has set course to Ghana | 343 (September-October 2018)

On September 10, 2018 LUKOIL International Upstream West (LIUW) team visited Maersk Viking drilling rig located offshore Port Fourchon, Louisiana USA.

2018-09-18 18:01 Views 869

This rig will drill a critically important well at The Deep Water Tano / Cape Three Points block offshore Ghana. It will be drilled in approximately 2700 meters water depth to a total depth of 5000 meters.

As a project operator, Aker Energy is making all necessary arrangements. LUKOIL having a 38 % non-operated interest in the block closely monitors the process to ensure success.

H. Daniel Hogan, General Manager, led the team consisting of Yulia Polovodova (General Counsel, HR Manager), Mike Heider (Drilling and Facilities), William Miller (Contracts & Procurement), David Perez (HSE) and Natalya Tukuser (Administration) on their visit to the rig prior to its departure to Ghana.

As LIUW is a strong supporter of “Women in the Workplace”, an initiative to promote more female participation in operational activities, both Ms. Polovodova and Ms. Tukuser were asked to actively participate in the inspection.

Natalya Tukuser:

I have been supporting LIUW Executive and Operations teams for several years, and visiting for the first time one of the drill ships that will be engaged in LUKOIL Deepwater operations has been very exciting and knowledgeable experience.


Besides the Drill Ship incredible technology of dual derrick, large subsea work and storage areas, offline operations capability for construction and field development activities, I was also impressed by the Safety on the Drill Ship and the teamwork of the team. Safety was one of the main topics from our first steps on the Ship and trough the visit. As quoted by the Drilling Manager “Safety and efficient operations go hand and hand; you cannot have one without the other”.

The team, starting from the Captain, Drilling Superintendent to the Chef and to the personnel who helped us get in to the ship via the personnel basket have been very welcoming and dedicated to their tasks. Additionally, as quoted by one female Administrator who has been with the Ship for over 3 years “There is a lot of good people on the Drill Ship”.

I observed a strong support and coordination within the team.

With this regard, I wish the Drill Ship safe and efficient operations in Ghana.

Mike Heider:

Our visit to the Maersk Viking provided confidence to Lukoil that the operations offshore Ghana will be performed safely and efficiently.


The Pecan-4 well will be drilled in 2700m of water, but the Viking is fully capable of drilling in this ultra-deep water depth, and in water depths up to 3600m.

The automated pipe handling systems will reduce the risk of injury to personnel, and the dual activity derrick will reduce drilling time and cost. The rig recently completed the 5 year Special Periodic Survey with re-certifications of much of the equipment, including the Blowout Preventer, and has been preparing for the transit to Ghana and the upcoming drilling operations.

Lukoil looks forward to a safe and efficient drilling campaign with the Maersk Viking.

Yulia Polovodova:

This was my first visit to an offshore drilling facility, and I left it immensely impressed by the size, the complexity and the outstanding beauty of the ship.


We saw the drilling floor and its cosmic control unit, the huge multi-layer blow out preventer, the ROV - a fully automated submarine robot operated remotely from the ship. We also visited the bridge that offered a “million dollar view” of the sea, and a not less spectacular ship control panel. Our hosts showed us the living quarters, the offices and the galley, all perfectly clean and well organized.

The facility gives a strong impression that it can compete and beat any known space technology. It goes without saying that operating such a complex marine and drilling equipment requires a huge organization and coordination effort and a high scale technical knowledge of all crew members

I would like to wish them all a safe, efficient and successful work in Ghana for the benefit of the Tano project.

H. Daniel Hogan:

Often times the tasks associated with contracting, legal work and other administrative activities prevent us from remembering the fun part of our work, which for me is exploring for oil! I am fortunate to work with a strong technical team who are experts in their respective fields and I was thankful that we were able to visit the Maersk Viking as a group.

This trip promoted teamwork amongst the employees and certainly allowed us time to communicate with each other on a personal basis. As always, safety is a major part of our operations and our demand for a safe operation was acknowledged and appreciated by the rig contractor employees. The Viking will soon weigh anchor and begin her journey to the Gulf of Guinea and we wish her a safe journey and a successful drilling campaign!

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