Fred Olsen Energy Files Claim Against Statoil

Fred Olsen Energy has filed a claim against Statoil for NOK 700 million for upgrades made to the semisub, Borgland Dolphin. The rig has a contract with Statoil through the end of 2005.

Statoil has taken the position that the costs are the responsibility of the Fred Olsen as the owner of the rig. "We have a normal lease contract with Fred Olsen and, as such, cost overruns on the project are not a Statoil issue," Statoil spokesman Kristofer Hetland said, confirming that the company would fight Fred Olsen in the courts over the claim.

The dispute scheduled to be heard in Stavanger district court beginning on February 3.

Fred Olsen Chief Financial Officer Jan Peter Valheim said that the claims were related to work done by Olsen's Dolphin subsidiary on the rig in 1999 for Statoil according to the company's specifications. Fred Olsen has reduced an initial claim of 900 million crowns against Statoil, Valheim said. "It was simply an upgrade of an older rig based on specifications from the oil company, in this case Statoil," Valheim said. Total costs now stand at approximately two billion crowns.