Statoil Extends Transocean Leader Contract by 30 Months

Statoil has awarded a 30-month charter worth approximately NOK 2.3 billion (US $378 million), taking effect from the end of 2008, to Transocean for its Transocean Leader semisub.

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 Ydstebo, vice president for rig strategy in Statoil.

The semisub 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.

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