West Alpha Lands Job on Kristin Field

A letter of intent for a 12-month drilling contract worth some NOK 350 million on the Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea has been awarded by Statoil to Smedvig Offshore.

Placed on behalf of the field licensees, this job covers the use of West Alpha to drill four wells and can be extended by Statoil for up to four additional three-month periods. The rig is due to spud the first well during December, subject to approval of the letter of intent by the Kristin licensees.

Statoil contracted with Saipem last year to use Scarabeo 5 for Kristin drilling, and this rig is due to spud the first well on the field during July.

"Given the big challenges posed by high pressure and temperature in Kristin, we're very pleased to have given Smedvig Offshore this job," says drilling manager Inge G Myhre.

The Kristin platform is due to begin production on October 1, 2005 from a reservoir located almost 5,000 meters below sea level. At 900 bar and 170C respectively, its pressure and temperature are higher than in any other field so far developed on the Norwegian continental shelf.

The reservoir is to be produced through 12 subsea wells, with a daily production capacity of 126,000 barrels of condensate and 18 million cubic meters of rich gas.

Apart from Statoil, with 46.6 percent, the Kristin licensees are Petoro with 18.9 percent, Norsk Hydro 12 percent, ExxonMobil 10.5 percent, Agip nine percent and Total with the remaining 3 percent.

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