Drilling/Production briefs, Apr. 19

First Nations ... Alberta Energy Co. ... Precision Drilling ... Transocean Sedco Forex ... Marathon Oil ... Statoil ... Procon Drilling Services ... PanCanadian Petroleum ... Ocean Rig

Chiefs of the Kehewin, Frog Lake, Cold Lake, and Heart Lake First Nations of northeastern Alberta, as well as Alberta Energy Co. Ltd. and Precision Drilling Corp. will sign a memorandum of intent to own and operate a drilling rig as a joint venture. The four First Nation communities will contribute $1.1 million toward the $10 million cost.

Transocean Sedco Forex Inc. said its newly completed ultradeepwater semisubmersible, Cajun Express, has completed acceptance testing and begun an 18-month contract with Marathon Oil Co. in the US Gulf of Mexico. Transocean said the contract is worth $106 million.

Statoil has awarded Procon Drilling Services AS a maintenance and modification contract for the Heidrun platform in the North Sea. The contract period is July 1, 2001-Dec. 31, 2002. The deal is worth 100 million Norwegian kroner ($11 million). Procon has worked on Heidrun since 1995.

Canadian operator PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. and Oslo-based Ocean Rig ASA will form a joint venture to provide deepwater drilling services to PanCanadian and other companies exploring off the eastern Canada. The venture will use the Eirik Raude deepwater semisubmersible, which under construction. The vessel will first work for PanCanadian for up to 15 months under a contract worth $35 million-$60 million.

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