Drilling/Production news briefs, Feb. 27

Transocean Sedco Forex � Chevron USA Production � Derek Resources � Pride International � Sea Wolf Drilling � Odfjell Drilling � Smedvig � Norsk Hydro � Kværner �

Transocean Sedco Forex Inc., Houston, said its ultradeepwater drillship Discoverer Deep Seas has completed acceptance testing and has begun a 5-year, $374 million contract to work for Chevron USA Production Co. in the US Gulf of Mexico. The 10,000-ft capacity vessel incorporates Transocean's proprietary dual activity drilling design of two complete drilling systems within one derrick.

Derek Resources Corp., Vancouver, BC, said the steam-assisted gravity drainage plant at its LAK Ranch project in Powder River Basin of eastern Wyoming is underway. Continuous steam should occur around the end of the month. The plant will be able to process up to 2,000 b/d of oil.

Pride International Inc., Houston, has agreed to buy two semisubmersibles, the Sedco Explorer and the Drill Star, from Sea Wolf Drilling Ltd. for $45 million in cash and 3 million shares of Pride common stock. Both the vessels are working in the North Sea. The Drill Star was renamed the Pride North Atlantic, and the Sedco Explorer was renamed the Pride North Sea.

Odfjell Drilling AS, a Norwegian drilling contractor, has signed a letter of intent to acquire the semisubmersible drilling rig West Delta from Smedvig ASA, Stavanger, for $110 million. The agreement is subject to board approval, the buyer's inspection of the rig, and approval by Norsk Hydro ASA. Closing of the transaction and delivery of the rig are planned for March.

The Kværner ASA yard in Stavanger is converting the Petrojarl 1 production ship for work on the Statoil-operated Glitne field in the North Sea, where production will begin in July. Statoil said this will be the first time a Statoil field is operated by means of a contracted production ship. Petrojarl 1 is owned by Petroleum Geo-Services ASA.

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