Danny McNease, Rowan's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are very pleased to announce our new contract for Gorilla V. The rig will be utilized offshore eastern Canada for the 'Mariner' shallow water exploration campaign beginning late in November. This contract reaffirms our confidence in the long-term viability of the eastern Canada market for harsh environment jack-ups. We look forward to continuing our activities with Canadian Superior and their industry partners."
While speaking in New York at the New York Society of Securities Analysts' sixth annual Energy Conference, Greg Noval, President of Canadian Superior, noted, "We were very pleased with the performance of Rowan and the Gorilla V last year while drilling our first 'Marquis' exploration well, L-35/L-35A. The Rowan Gorilla V is one of the largest jack-up drilling rigs operating in the world and we are pleased to have Rowan and the Gorilla V back working on our 'Mariner' project."
The Rowan Gorilla V, the first of a series of Super Gorilla class slotilever cantilever jack-ups, is designed for harsh environment exploration and development drilling operations, production platform operations and production operations in harsh environments like offshore Eastern Canada. The Gorilla V features a cantilever and substructure/sub-base with a total combined load capacity of 3.75 million pounds and five turbocharged, after-cooled diesel engine prime movers rated for a total of 16,975 continuous horsepower.
Commenting on awarding of the contract to Rowan, Mike Coolen, Canadian Superior's Director of East Coast Operations, said today, "The Rowan Group brings a wealth of East Coast service and supply experience to the 'Mariner' Project, and subject to regulatory approval, we are looking forward to the start of drilling on the 'Mariner' Project with the Gorilla V within the next 30 days. In combination with Rowan and other high-quality/experienced service companies working with us in eastern Canada, we look forward to a very safe, high quality, cost effective and successful drilling program."
Canadian Superior's "Mariner" Project is located north of the eastern tip of Sable Island on the Scotian Shelf. The first "Mariner" well, approximately 9 kilometers (5 1/2 miles) northwest of Sable Offshore Energy Project's Venture natural gas producing field, will be one of the deepest offshore wells drilled in Canada this year and will be located on Exploration License EL 2409 which was acquired by Canadian Superior in November 2001 for a work expenditure bid of Cdn. $15.5 million. The "Mariner" block (EL 2409), on which three large "world-class" prospects have been identified with current high-resolution seismic, encompasses a total area of 101,800 acres and directly offsets five significant discoveries near Sable Island including the 1.6 tcf Venture natural gas field located about 290 kilometers (180 miles) southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. The "Mariner" well will be drilled to a total depth of 18,370 feet (5,600 meters) and will evaluate one of three large structures that have been identified on the "Mariner" block, directly offsetting the 1.6 tcf Venture natural gas field.
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