Statoil signed a contract with North Atlantic Norway Ltd., a company in the Seadrill Group, to hire the West Hercules deepwater semisubmersible for exploration and production drilling internationally and on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
The West Hercules can run parallel drilling operations and is designed with a dynamic positioning system and a water depth capacity up to 3,000 m.
The semi is expected to start drilling for Statoil during the third quarter 2012 after it completes a 3-year contract for Husky Oil China Ltd. off China. The Husky Oil contract ends in May 2012.
Statoil has a 4-year contract with a 1-year option. Tim Dodson, Statoil’s executive vice-president for exploration, said the West Hercules will help Statoil “execute on our company’s ambitious exploration strategy in the years to come.”
Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil’s chief procurement officer, said Statoil is working to add more modern, flexible rigs. He said West Hercules was the first-available suitable rig already in operation.