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West Epsilon to Frøy

June 29, 2000, 10:00 CEST

West Epsilon is being sub-let by Statoil to Elf's Frøy field in the North Sea during the first half of 2001, after six years on Sleipner West.

The original charter for this drilling unit was placed by the Sleipner licence with owner Smedvig in 1993 and has been subsequently extended to the end of 2002.

West Epsilon is drilling its third well in its present series on Sleipner West in the North Sea. Although a fourth could remain to be drilled, it is clear that the rig's work on the field will be completed by the end of the year.

"This deal is a good example of industrial cooperation which benefits everyone," says project manager Arne Tillerli in Statoil's rig management department.

"The unit won't have to be stacked at heavy cost to the charterer, but will be moving from one Norwegian field to another."

After spending 280 days with Elf under the present sub-letting agreement, the jack-up rig would have about a year of its charter still to run.

West Epsilon is specially adapted to operate in tandem with the B wellhead platform on Sleipner West, and cannot be used for ordinary exploration drilling without modifications.

The Frøy field has a similar platform, and the rig only needs to have its legs extended in order to be redeployed.

According to Mr Tillerli, a separate agreement will be negotiated between the Frøy and Sleipner licences, and with Smedvig, which regulates conversion and redeployment work on the rig.