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Rig for Troll/Sleipner chartered

June 19, 2006, 12:15 CEST

Statoil has signed a contract with the rig company Seadrill for the chartering of the West Epsilon jack-up rig from November 2006. The rig will be used for exploration and production drilling in the Troll/Sleipner area in the North Sea.

”This means that there will be full focus on further development of the Sleipner area," says Astrid Sørensen, senior vice president for the Troll/Sleipner business cluster.

"The production from the Sleipner fields will be off plateau in a few years. Additional volumes will be developed and exploration for new volumes performed. West Epsilon marks a change of pace in the development of this part of the North Sea.”

Under the contract with Seadrill Statoil gets to charter the rig for a total period of up to four years. The alternatives are two years of charter with an option to extend the contract for two years, or three years of charter, with an option for a one-year extension.

The value of the contract is between NOK 1.5 and 2.0 billion, depending on what charter alternative Statoil goes for.

West Epsilon is a jack-up rig that can operate in water depths of up up to 120 metres. Currently on assignment for BP the rig will be taken over by Statoil towards the end of the year.