Norsk Hydro, on behalf of the Troll License Group, has awarded an 18-month contract to Transoceanís semisubmersible Polar Pioneer. The 18-month period could be extended by up to six optional periods, each possessing a duration of six months, with Norsk Hydro providing Transocean Offshore with 180 days notification prior to the start of each optional period. The contract is expected to commence in late February 2000, immediately following the conclusion of the current work assignment with Norsk Hydro on the Troll field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The rig has been under contract to Norsk Hydro in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea since its delivery in 1985 and is expected to continue a development drilling program on the Troll field through the new contract period. Revenues to be generated over the firm 18-month contract period are approximately $63 million, while revenues associated with the six optional periods will reflect prevailing market conditions at the time of the extension, subject to a preset range of dayrates. The Polar Pioneer is a fourth-generation semisubmersible with a rated water depth of 1,500 feet and a rated drilling depth of 25,000 feet.

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