Statoil Declares Force Majeure on Gulf Rigs

A Statoil spokesperson confirmed reports that the company has declared force majeure under the contracts it has for Transocean drillship Discoverer Americas and Maersk Drilling semi Maersk Developer, both currently working in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

"The Moratorium has created a very challenging situation for all parties involved in GOM deep water drilling, with considerable cost exposure as well as many operational, legal and other challenges facing rig operators, partners, suppliers and contractors," said company spokesperson Ola Morten Aanestad.

Aanestad said the company remains committed to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and intends to continue its drilling operations in a safe manner in Gulf of Mexico, in accordance with the new regulations and requirements, when the moratorium is lifted.

"We will continue to explore routes and evaluate options that could minimize the impact for all parties involved, and we are in dialogue with our contractors in this relation," Aanestad said.

According to RigLogix, Discoverer Americas had been drilling at the Krakatoa field on Mississippi Canyon Block 540. The rig had been earning a day rate of around $482,000.

Maersk Developer had been working at the Tucker field on Walker Ridge Block 543. Statoil and Woodside were sharing the rig. Maersk Developer has been earning a day rate of around $476,000.

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