Statoil and its partners placed an order with Noble Corp. for a newbuild, high-specification jack up drilling rig to be used in the Mariner heavy oil development in the UK North Sea.
Noble said it is negotiating construction of the jack up, and the drilling contractor expects delivered costs will be $690 million.
The rig will be capable of drilling in about 500 ft of water in harsh conditions, and it will be designed with a maximum total drilling depth capacity of 33,000 ft.
An initial 4-year contract is expected to commence during third-quarter 2016, Noble said. Total estimated value of the 4-year contract is $655 million, including mobilization.
Mariner project lies on the East Shetland Platform 93 miles east of the Shetland Islands.
Statoil previously said it anticipates production will average 55,000 b/d during the plateau period of 2017-20. The field was discovered in 1981 and is expected to produce for 30 years (OGJ Online, Dec. 21, 2012).
Statoil entered the license as operator in 2007 and holds 65.11% interest. Partners are JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) Ltd. with 28.89% and Alba Resources Ltd. with 6%.