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Back to work for West Epsilon

January 14, 2000, 15:30 CET

A decision to resume drilling on Statoil's Sleipner West field in the North Sea with the West Epsilon rig has been taken by the licensees.

Due to become operational again on 21 January after being stacked on the field since last summer, this unit will initially drill three-five production wells – sufficient work to keep it busy until the end of the year at least.

In connection with the reactivation, the Sleipner unit is taking over Statoil's rights and obligations under its contract with West Epsilon owner Smedvig until this agreement expires at the end of 2002.

The rig is specially adapted to operate close to the B wellhead platform on Sleipner West, and cannot be used for exploration wells without modifications.

Statoil and the other Sleipner licensees have considered making the necessary changes, but have not been able to identify suitable drilling locations.

The decision to resume drilling means that the programme of wells has been brought forward, according to Ståle Tungesvik, drilling and well operations supervisor for the Sleipner organisation.

Work is now under way to identify appropriate drilling sites on the field.