Seadrill Clarifies Situation Involving West Atlas Jackup

Recent press coverage relating to the events on the Montara wellhead platform in Australia involving the jackup drilling rig West Atlas has to some extent been inaccurate. Seadrill would like to clarify the current situation.

West Atlas is operating under contract to PTTEPA. PTTEPA is the owner and operator of the Montara wellhead platform and the wells on that platform. West Atlas was performing work for PTTEPA at the Montara platform when a hydrocarbon leak developed on an adjacent well.

The flow of hydrocarbons from the well reached a level that necessitated evacuation of the drilling unit in the interests of safety to personnel onboard.

All personnel were safely evacuated in accordance with established procedures and demobilized from the wellsite to shore.

Seadrill would like to emphasize that the leak did not emanate from the West Atlas. The hydrocarbon discharge originates from a well on the Montara wellhead platform. The cause of the leak is unknown.

There have not been any stability issue or incidents on the West Atlas drilling unit before or after the evacuation of personnel.

Seadrill is working closely with National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA), PTTEPA and other specialist service providers as well as its insurers to regain control of the well and limit the effects of the discharge. These efforts include making another Seadrill jackup drilling rig, West Triton, available to PTTEPA to drill a relief well.

Seadrill has also sent an accident investigation team to Australia in order to review the incident in an effort to determine its root cause, any contribution on the part of Seadrill and learning points to assist in preventing reoccurrence in the industry.

Once the leaking well is under control, Seadrill will reboard the West Atlas and assess any damage.