Statoil Awards One-Year Contract to the Ocean Vanguard

A one-year charter worth some NOK 350 million for the Ocean Vanguard drilling rig has been placed by Statoil with Diamond Offshore.

"It will primarily be used for exploration in the North Sea and the Halten Bank area of the Norwegian Sea," says Tor Gunnar Gloppen, rig deployment manager in Statoil's rig management unit.

"This charter involves a formalized drilling rig collaboration between four operator companies."

Ocean Vanguard is currently drilling for Eni off mid-Norway, with this assignment scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

The rig is then due to make a brief yard stop before being ready to start drilling for Statoil in the New Year.

Its first assignment will be to drill two exploration wells in the Tampen area of the North Sea, on the Gullfaks and Vigdis fields respectively.

Registered in the Marshall Islands, Ocean Vanguard was built at Brevik in Norway in 1982 and is a third-generation rig.

It has been designed to drill to a maximum depth of 7,600 meters (25,000 feet) in waters up to 450 meters (1,500 feet) deep.

According to Mr. Gloppen, Ocean Vanguard is the only Diamond Offshore rig operating off Norway at the moment.

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