Statoil Renews Lease for West Venture Semisub

Statoil has offered Seadrill a new five-year contract for the use of the West Venture semisub on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The contract is worth about US $712 million.

"This contract will be important in ensuring that we are able to reach our production targets," said Geir Slora, Statoil's senior vice president for drilling and wells.

Plans call for the contract to take effect from August 1, 2010, one year before the present contract for Statoil's use of this rig expires.

Rig capacity needed

Statoil aims to maintain its present production level on the NCS for the next 10 years. Enhanced recovery from existing fields, quick and efficient development of new fields and an active exploration program are the key measures for achieving this goal.

To effectuate these measures, it is crucial that rig capacity is available. The new contract means that Statoil will not exercise the one-year extension option in the existing contract.

"We are well pleased with the terms of the agreement and we see that the prices in the rig market are now at a more normal level," said Anders Opedal, Statoil's senior vice president for procurement.

West Venture has for the last 10 years been operating for Statoil on the Troll field in The North Sea. West Venture is a 5th generation DP3 semi submersible equipped with full dual capacities enabling enhanced drilling performance.

Alf C Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer in Seadrill Management AS, said, "We are pleased to secure this assignment for the semisubmersible West Venture, and together with the four-year letter of intent for the jackup rig West Epsilon awarded by Statoil a fortnight ago, they represent an estimated contract value of approximately US $1.150 million. The two assignments meet our preferences for long-term contracts and long-term client relationships."

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