By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 11 -- Statoil ASA secured two rigs for exploratory drilling in Algeria. Separate contracts, with a combined value of $32 million, are with Nabors Drilling International Ltd. and Algeria's Entreprise Nationale de Forage (Enafor).
The contracts await approval from Statoil's partner, Algeria's state-owned Sonatrach. Statoil has 75% interest in the Hassi Mouina Block, on which the drilling will occur. Sonatrach has 25% interest.
The contracts provide the rigs through March 2008 with extension options. Statoil, the block operator, plans to spud a well during the second or third quarter using Nabors Drilling Rig 284. Enafor's rig ENF 39 is expected to start drilling in the fourth quarter.
"This is the first time Statoil is in the market for land rigs," said Statoil's country manager in Algeria. "It is a tight market."
The block covers 22,993 sq km in the Timimoun basin. Sonatrach previously drilled one well on the block and discovered gas, which Statoil will develop (OGJ Online, July 28, 2004).