Transocean to Drill Indonesia Wells

The Makassar Strait Explorers Consortium, including StatoilHydro, has signed a two-year contract with Transocean to lease the ultra deep-water drill ship GSF Explorer to conduct a drilling campaign on the Karama block off west Sulawesi in Indonesia.

The contract starts late 2009. The exact date of commencement is dependent on the completion of work under the current rig lease contract.

StatoilHydro is operator of three exploration wells in Karama and GSF Explorer will drill them during the contract period. StatoilHydro owns a 51% stake and Pertamina a 49% share in the wells.

"The first of the three wells in the Karama license is scheduled for the second half of 2010," says Bjarte Ydstebo, StatoilHydro Vice President, Procurement Drilling & Well.

"We have a good cooperative relationship with the other consortium members regarding procurement," he remarks. "The consortium is now in the process of planning procurement of additional products and services for the drilling campaign."

Tore Larsen, head of StatoilHydro Drilling & Well, Asia, is the head of the company's Karama drilling campaign and consortium participation.

The Makassar Strait Explorers Consortium comprises Marathon International Petroleum Indonesia Ltd, Anadarko Popodi Ltd, ConocoPhilips (Kuma) Ltd, ENI Bukat Ltd, Statoil Indonesia Karama AS and Talisman (Sageri) Ltd.

The consortium's drilling programme includes a total of 12 exploration wells during a two-year period. Marathon is acting as lead operator for the group, but each consortium member is responsible for their own committed wells.

The Karama block is located in deep waters in Indonesia's Makassar Strait.

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