West Epsilon rig to move to Fr�y field

After 6 years of drilling in the Sleipner West natural gas field in the Norwegian North Sea, the Smedvig AS jack up West Epsilon will begin work in another Norwegian field, Fr�y, in the first half of 2001.


After 6 years of drilling in the Sleipner West natural gas field in the Norwegian North Sea, the Smedvig AS jack up West Epsilon will begin work in another Norwegian field, Fr�y, in the first half of 2001.

Statoil AS, as operator of Sleipner West, is subletting the rig to TotalFinaElf SA unit Elf for 280 days next year to work in Fr�y field. The original charter for that rig was placed with Smedvig under the Sleipner license in 1993 and was subsequently extended to the end of 2002.

The West Epsilon is drilling its third well in its present series in Sleipner West. Although a fourth well might be drilled in that series, officials said it is clear that the rig's work in the field will be completed by yearend.

The rig is specially adapted to operate in tandem with the B wellhead platform in Sleipner West field and cannot be used for ordinary exploration drilling without modifications. However, the Fr�y field has a similar platform. The West Epsilon needs only to have its legs extended to be redeployed there, officials said.

The Sleipner West field�located on Norwegian North Sea Blocks 15/6 and 15/9�was discovered in 1974. Production started in August 1996. It is tied back to the Sleipner East field under a single operations organization. Gas from both fields is sold under the Troll sales agreements, while their condensate output is piped to Statoil's K�t� treatment plant north of Stavanger.

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