Statoil seeks long-term contract for new less expensive rigs

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 21 --
Statoil issued a tender for a minimum of two new type, less-expensive rigs for drilling and completing wells in the mature areas on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Statoil said that the specially-designed category D rigs should have a design for operating in 100-500 m of water and be capable of drilling to an 8,500-m depth.

The rigs delivered to the NCS in recent years were first and foremost constructed for operations in deep water,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer in Statoil.

“That means that they are big and too costly for our requirements and challenges on the NCS. We are therefore taking steps to rejuvenate the rig fleet and ensure that the right rig meets the right requirements.”

Statoil wants to contract the rigs for either 8 years with four 3-year options or for a 20-year firm contract period. It said that this is an unusually long contract period and will reduce the risk for the drilling contractor that will build the rigs. Statoil is also considering taking an ownership stake in the rigs.

“The goal is that the new rig will drill 20% more effectively than conventional rigs,” says Jacobsen. “This will help to counteract the cost trends in the rig market.”

Statoil plans to award the contract in third-quarter 2011 with delivery of the rigs set for second-half 2014.

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