Drilling contracts extended

March 26, 2004, 09:00 CET

Four production drilling contracts are being extended by Statoil in order to coordinate and phase in new long-term deals due to come into force from the autumn.

These assignments relate to Statfjord, Gullfaks and Visund in the Tampen area of the North Sea and to Heidrun in the Norwegian Sea.

Smedvig’s contract on Statfjord is being extended by two months until 31 October. This addition will be worth about NOK 35 million.

Contracts held by Prosafe on Heidrun and Gullfaks are being lengthened by four and six months respectively to 30 September, with a combined value of NOK 140 million.

The Visund contract with Odfjell has been extended by nine months until 31 March 2005, making it possible to complete the gas project on this field in parallel with drilling work.

Lengthening this contract will be worth about NOK 80 million to the contractor.

Statoil is due to award new long-term production drilling contracts with a combined annual value of NOK 1 billion before the summer.

Relating to 10 Statoil platforms, these assignments will cover about 30 per cent of all production drilling on the Norwegian continental shelf.

They are being awarded in three contract packages – two for the Tampen area, covering Statfjord/Gullfaks and Snorre/Visund respectively, and the third for Heidrun.

Statoil expects to make integration gains across fields and platforms through this approach, explains Øyvind Hansen, special contracts coordinator in Exploration & Production Norway.

All three packages will run for four years with three options for two-year extensions.