New rig agreement with Transocean

September 1, 2006, 10:00 CEST

A 30-month charter worth some NOK 2.3 billion (USD 378 million), taking effect from the end of 2008, has been awarded by Statoil to rig contractor Transocean for its Transocean Leader drilling unit.

Statoil has previously used Transocean Leader for drilling work in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.

Transocean Leader will be used mainly for exploration and production drilling in the Tampen and Halten/Nordland areas of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

"This contract will be very important in maintaining Statoil's exploration ambitions in the Norwegian Sea, and the rig will contribute to increased production drilling in the group's core areas," says Bjarte Ydstebø, vice president for rig strategy in Statoil.

The semi-submsersible Transocean Leader is a fourth-generation Aker H-4.2 unit, built in 1987 to work on the NCS.

It is specially-designed to operate in greater water depths than traditional rigs and is therefore very suitable for drilling in the Norwegian Sea.