New Standard Energy Terminates Drilling Contract Citing Safety Concerns

New Standard Energy (NES) disclosed Friday that, as operator of the Goldwyer joint venture (GJV) with ConocoPhillips, it has terminated its drilling contract with Century Energy Services (MB Century) with immediate effect.

NSE noted that the decision to terminate the drilling services agreement (DSA) was made based on concerns relating to safety, competency and operational performance, and reliability grounds; with the latter supported by an independent audit of the drill rig.

Rig down and demobilization of MBC Rig-14 is on-going, a spokesperson representing confirmed with Rigzone Friday.

Both ConocoPhillips and NSE also noted that although this will delay the drilling of the onshore Gibb Maitland-1 well, the GJV farm-in remains on track. The first phase of the drilling program will resume at the suspended Gibb Maitland well-site once current efforts to identify and secure suitable drilling rig alternatives are completed.

The spokesperson said that NSE will not be able to provide further information about its discussions with other rig contractors, as talks are still in their preliminary stages.

Australian regulators have assured NSE that the drilling delay will not jeopardize the tenure of the GJV permits.

NSE earlier on Jan. 29 revealed that the GJV was encountering "recurring electrical issues" with MBC Rig-14's power controller unit. The rig was undergoing repairs during that week, and was operating at "zero rate."


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