Valid for three years, the contract is worth around US $427 million. The deal covers drilling of 13 wells, with options for a further three. The Transocean Searcher rig will drill the wells. First drilling is planned to start in October 2008.
"It's important to have the big and important contracts in place in good time in relation to the implementation," says project manager Kjetel Digre.
"We are therefore particularly pleased with the signing. The deal secures us a familiar rig with good results."
Earlier this autumn Statoil signed an agreement for the construction of the platform deck and supply of subsea installations to Gjoa. The next big contract will be the building of the platform jacket for the semi-submersible production platform.
Plans call for the Gjoa field to produce oil and gas from 2010. Total investment is estimated at around NOK 27 billion in 2006 money.
Gjoa was proven in 1989. The field lies in blocks 35/9 and 36/7, around 70 kilometers north of the Troll field and 45 kilometers off the coast of western Norway. Reserves are estimated at around 40 billion cubic meters of gas and around 83 million barrels of oil and condensate.
Gaz de France takes over as operator when the field comes onstream with a 30% stake. Other licensees are Petoro with 30%, Statoil (20%), Shell (12%) and RWE Dea (8%).
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