Drilling/Production news briefs, Sept. 29

Norsk Hydro � Smedvig � Pride International � Transocean Sedco Forex � Oil & Natural Gas Corp. � Schlumberger Oilfield Services � BP � Amerada Hess � Enterprise Oil � TotalFinaElf � Hyundai Heavy Industries � Procon Engineering � Statoil UK

Norsk Hydro AS has agreed to extend its contract on Smedvig ASA's semisubmersible drilling rig West Delta for 6 months, to the beginning of July 2001. West Delta is currently working for Norsk Hydro in the Tampen area in the North Sea. Smedvig said the contract value was about $20 million.

Pride International Inc. said it has agreed to acquire two semisubmersible drilling rigs from an unnamed party for $42 million in cash, $75 million worth of shares of its common stock, and 400,000 stock purchase warrants. Both of the semisubmersibles are currently located in the North Sea. The second-generation semisub is idle, and the third-generation semisub is under charter to an affiliate of Transocean Sedco Forex Inc. through September 2001, said Pride. It also agreed to acquire a jack up rig for $22 million in cash. For the past year, Pride has been operating the jack up � which is capable of drilling in 250 ft of water�under a bareboat charter agreement off Bangladesh.

India�s Oil & Natural Gas Corp. has embarked on an improved oil recovery program for its wells, including Bombay High. The recovery program is expected to yield an additional 10.3 million tonnes of crude oil in the next 5 years and 22.7 million tonnes in the next 10 years, according to an ONGC statement. ONGC has extensively studied the feasibility of improved oil recovery program in Bombay High and has finalized plans for Bombay High North, which is expected to yield an additional 5 million tonnes in the next 5 years and 15 million tonnes in the next 10 years.

Schlumberger Ltd. said its Schlumberger Oilfield Services unit has entered a value-enhancement alliance with Valhall field operator BP to increase production from a water injection project at the field, located in the southern part of the Norwegian North Sea. An incentive plan enables Schlumberger to be rewarded for adding value to the project for BP. Estimated production from the project this year is 90,000 b/d. Water injection will start early in 2003, after which oil production will quickly increase to an incremental 60,000 b/d in 2006. Incremental production will tail off to a long-term plateau of 10,000-15,000 b/d around 2015. Partners in the license are Amerada Hess Corp., Enterprise Oil PLC, and TotalFinaElf SA.

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. has awarded Procon Engineering AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of ProSafe ASA, a 20 million kroner contract for delivery of the mud additive, bulk mud and cement, and mud control system for a new Maersk jack up rig to be built in South Korea. Work will begin immediately and the equipment will be delivered in April 2001.

Statoil UK Ltd. has awarded a $16.8 million contract to Transocean Sedco Forex Inc. to use its semisubmersible rig Sovereign Explorer to drill two wells. The contract will begin in April 2001, and should take about 105 days, said Transocean.

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