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West Epsilon leaving Sleipner

April 5, 2001, 10:00 CEST

The work of moving the drilling rig West Epsilon from Sleipner West in the North Sea to the Elf operated Frøy field in the Frigg area has begun.

Statoil will sublease the rig, which has finished drilling the production wells on Sleipner West. The contract with Elf is for 280 days. There then remains about one year of the hire contract with rig owner Smedvig.

West Epsilon has been specially adapted to operate on the well head platform Sleipner B on the Sleipner West field. Before the rig leaves the field, the derrick will be skidded back from Sleipner B on to West Epsilon. The rig will then be jacked down to sea level. The legs will be released from the seabed before the rig is towed ashore by two tugs.

Both operations set strict requirements to weather conditions.

On land, the rig will be prepared for the assignment on the Frøy field, which has a similar well head platform to Sleipner West.

Statoil will carry out an turnaround on both Sleipner West and Sleipner East when West Epsilon is moved. The turnaround came into effect on Saturday 31 March. According to installation manager Einar Holmemo on Sleipner A, it will last eight days on Sleipner East (the A platform) and nine days on Sleipner West (T and B platforms).

One of the major tasks is to replace the flare nozzles on the flare booms on Sleipner A and Sleipner T with new nozzles.