Statoil Secures Seadrill Newbuild for 3Q 2011

Statoil has signed a letter of intent for a five-year contract with Seadrill for a newly built drilling rig for use on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The contract is worth about US $650 million.

The jackup drilling rig is a Gusto MSC CJ70 150A and is at present under construction at the Jurong yard in Singapore.

Plans call for the rig to start operating on the NCS in the third quarter of 2011. Statoil has an option to extend the contract for one to four years under the same terms as this contract.

"We believe that the contract reflects a sustainable price level for this type of drilling rig," said Anders Opedal, senior vice president for procurement in Statoil. "The contract also serves to strengthen further our cooperation with Seadrill."

With this contract, Statoil secures an up-to-date, large and advanced drilling rig with specifications on a par with the biggest jackup rigs available today.

Compared with previous generations, this rig has larger capacity with regard to deck load and operating efficiency. It also offers new opportunities in logistics, well-testing and early production. The rig will be used in water depths of up to 150 meters.

The rig's work program is being considered for relevant licenses on the NCS. It will play an important role in Statoil's efforts to reach its production targets on the NCS.

Alf C Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer in Seadrill Management AS said, "This assignment strengthens the industrial cooperation between Seadrill and Statoil, benefiting the development of the Norwegian Continental Shelf, bringing a new and advanced drilling unit into the region. This is our third consecutive term contract with Statoil within the last four weeks. The three contracts have a total estimated value of approximately US $1.8 billion, making Statoil one of Seadrill's prime clients globally."

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