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Rig for repair

November 2, 2000, 15:30 CET

The Transocean Wildcat rig currently working for Statoil off Norway is being taken to land at the coming weekend for repairs.

This follows the discovery of cracking in the hull of the Aker H-3 semi-submersible, which has been drilling on the Gullfaks satellites project in the North Sea.

The cracks, which have formed in the horizontal bracings, were revealed during an annual routine inspection by Det Norske Veritas in late October.

They have subsequently been checked twice daily without showing signs of further propagation, reports Hermod Johansen, resource utilisation manager for the Gullfaks satellites.

Owner Transocean Sedco Forex, in consultation with Statoil, has halted further drilling work until the damage has been repaired. This is expected to take about 14 days.

The rig will then return to Gullfaks to continue the drilling programme, which embraces just over 30 wells. Work on a gas producer has just been completed.

Based in Houston, Transocean is one of the world's largest drilling contractors with a fleet of 71 units – including four newbuildings.