Statoil awarded a four-year contract to Seadrill’s ultra-deepwater, harsh-environment semi West Hercules earlier this month, with an option to extend it for one year. The assignment is scheduled to commence in Q3 2012, following completion of the rig’s current contract in the South China Sea and a mobilization period. The rig will be operated by North Atlantic Drilling, Seadrill’s 75%-owned subsidiary.
West Hercules is a sixth-generation, dynamically positioned semisubmersible and has been working in the South China Sea since November 2008.
“Inclusion of this rig in our portfolio provides the necessary flexibility we are looking for, and it supports our earlier communicated strategy of revitalizing the NCS (Norwegian Continental Shelf) with high-value barrels and deliver on our exploration program globally. Acquiring this rig is an important contribution to securing Statoil’s rig capacity,” Tim Dodson, Statoil’s executive VP for exploration, said.
Statoil says the rig will be put to work on targeted wells on the NCS and elsewhere that will make use of the unit’s advanced capabilities, such as high pressure, high temperature and completion.
“We are pleased to secure a long-term contract for one of our most advanced ultra-deepwater rigs. This assignment reflects the growth in demand for premium rigs and allows West Hercules to utilize its deepwater and harsh-environment capabilities,” Alf C Thorkildsen, Seadrill Management AS CEO, said.