Infield Rigs News

20 Dec 2011

Pacific Drilling Receives Delivery of its Ultra-Deepwater Drillship the Pacific Santa Ana

Pacific Drilling S.A. (NYSE:PACD) (NOTC:PDSA) announced today that it has received delivery of its newest drillship, the Pacific Santa Ana. The drillship features the most advanced drilling technology in the offshore drilling industry, including dual load path capability and dual gradient drilling upgrades. The Pacific Santa Ana is capable of operating in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drilling .... [+ read more] wells 40,000 feet deep. Pacific Drilling CEO, Chris Beckett, stated, “We are very proud to announce the delivery of the Pacific Santa Ana. This drillship incorporates the newest advances in offshore drilling technology and is the first ultra-deepwater rig equipped for dual gradient drilling, an innovation that is expected to provide significant benefits in drilling safety and efficiency. The delivery of the Pacific Santa Ana, the fourth rig in our fleet, completes the first phase of Pacific Drilling’s growth strategy to become the industry’s preferred ultra-deepwater drilling contractor.”

10 Dec 2011

Keppel to deliver sixth ultra-deepwater semi to Ensco over the past 42 months

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on course to deliver ENSCO 8505, the sixth of seven ENSCO 8500 Series® ultra-deepwater semisubmersible (semi) drilling rigs to Ensco (NYSE: ESV) safely, on time and within budget. The rig is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012 with zero lost-time incidents in over five million man-hours worked. Upon completion, ENSCO .... [+ read more] 8505 is contracted in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico with Anadarko, Apache and Noble Energy.

9 Dec 2011

Noble Discoverer recalled to Alaska

The drillship Noble Discoverer will be recalled to Alaska early in the new year to fulfill contract obligations and is now unlikely to be able to complete drilling the Ruru exploration well for Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS). Should the Ruru well not be completed, it will be safely plugged and abandoned in line with strict Shell standards and New Zealand .... [+ read more] regulations. The ship owner Noble Drilling Corporation is finalizing plans to safely recover the Riser and the LMRP which became detached during bad weather earlier in the year. The early recall is as a result of the long lead-times associated with working in the Arctic and Shell’s commitment to adding and testing additional control systems onboard the Discoverer. The Discoverer has always been prioritized for Alaska and the additional time in a U.S. shipyard will allow time to make any Arctic-specific modifications to the drilling vessel in advance of 2012 drilling. Last year, STOS took advantage of the opportunity to book the vessel for the Ruru venture when activities in Alaska were put on hold. In February of 2011 the Discoverer began drilling the Ruru well which is 40 kilometres off the South Taranaki coast. The work was suspended in April when, as a precautionary measure and in accordance with best practice, the crew secured the well and safely disconnected the Lower Marine Riser Package (LMRP) to prepare for a severe storm. In the process some of the anchor lines failed. The vessel moved into deeper waters to ride out the storm and later docked at Port Taranaki to shelter for the winter period. Repair work was carried out locally, contributing millions of dollars to the Taranaki community. A Maritime NZ investigation concluded the Discoverer was operated appropriately in response to the incident and there were no ongoing safety issues with the vessel. In September the vessel headed to dry dock in Brisbane for its five-yearly class certification and arrived back at Port Taranaki at the end of last month.

8 Dec 2011

Pacific Drilling Statement Regarding the Status of Pacific Scirocco

The Pacific Scirocco is currently undergoing client requested upgrades as well as modifications to ensure engine reliability. The rig has mobilized to a quayside in South Africa in order to complete the project prior to commencing operations in Nigeria. These preemptive repairs will delay contract commencement, potentially until the end of the fourth quarter of 2011. However, .... [+ read more] we expect that the delay will be covered under loss of hire insurance. The Pacific Santa Ana will undergo similar engine modifications prior to delivery during the fourth quarter of 2011.

8 Dec 2011

Lukoil and Vanco announce discovery in Ivory Coast

LUKOIL Overseas Cote d’Ivoire Ltd. together with Vanco Cote d’Ivoire Ltd. (Vanco) and PETROCI Holding, announces a discovery in Block CI-401. The Independance-1X exploration well drilled on Block CI-401 has penetrated the targeted objective and found a series of good-quality sandstones containing light oil and gas condensate. Full analysis of well results, including wireline logs, reservoir pressures and fluid samples, confirms .... [+ read more] that the well penetrated 8 meters (26 feet) of hydrocarbon pay in two good-quality Turonian-aged sand packages. Hydrocarbon samples recovered from the Independance-1X well indicate 40 degrees API gravity. The well will be temporarily abandoned at a total depth of 4,132 meters. Independance-1X was drilled in a water depth of 1,689 meters, approximately 93 kilometers (58 miles) southeast of Abidjan. The Independance -1X is the second exploration well to be drilled in Block CI-401, which encompasses an area of 619 square kilometers (152,948 acres) in water depths ranging from 950 to 2,100 meters. On September 30th, 2005, the Government of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Vanco Cote d’Ivoire Ltd. and PETROCI Holding signed a Production Sharing Contract covering Block CI-401. LUKOIL Overseas Cote d’Ivoire Ltd. joined the block in 2007. Vanco (Operator) holds a 28.34% participating interest with LUKOIL holding 56.66%. PETROCI Holding, the state oil company, holds a 5% participating interest together with 10% carried interest. LUKOIL will continue the analysis of the discovery, its scale and development prospects in order to make further investment decision for commercialization of the project.

7 Dec 2011

Corcovado arrives at quayside

In wintery weather on Monday 5th December one of Ocean Rig’s four new drillships, the Corcovado arrived in Vats from a project in Greenland. Unfortunately a rig at Westcon changed their plans so there was insufficient quay capacity at the Westcon Yard, therefore the Corcovado will be in Vats for its upgrade project. Westcon will assist with preparation of .... [+ read more] the vessel for a contract in South America for the Brazilian company Petrobras.

2 Dec 2011

Rig Update

FOGL, the oil and gas exploration company focused on its extensive licence areas to the South and East of the Falkland Islands, is pleased to note the Borders & Southern Petroleum plc ("B&S") announcement that the Leiv Eiriksson rig has been released by Cairn Energy PLC from drilling operations in Greenland and is now en route to the Falkland Islands for .... [+ read more] the upcoming B&S and FOGL combined drilling programme. We anticipate that the two B&S wells will take approximately three months to drill and therefore expect to commence our first well on the Loligo prospect in late April or early May 2012 and the second well to spud on completion of Loligo.

18 Nov 2011

Successful appraisal of the Teak discovery offshore Ghana

Kosmos Energy (NYSE: KOS) announced today that the Teak-3A appraisal well has confirmed a northern extension of the Teak discovery on the West Cape Three Points Block offshore Ghana. The Teak-3A well is located approximately 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) north of Teak-1 and was designed to test the potential structural and stratigraphic extension of reservoirs encountered in the original discovery well. .... [+ read more] Analysis of well results, including wireline logs, reservoir pressures and fluid samples indicate that the Teak-3A well encountered approximately 35 meters (115 feet) of hydrocarbons in multiple good-quality reservoirs. The analysis identified 13 meters (43 feet) of 36-39 degree API gravity and 22 meters (72 feet) of gas-condensate pay. The hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs encountered were Campanian and Turonian in age and similar to those seen in the discovery well. Brian F. Maxted, President and Chief Executive Officer, said "The extension of the Teak discovery is a significant milestone in progressing the appraisal and delineation of this field. We have confirmed the presence of a number of hydrocarbon pools in Teak-3A and significantly extended the productive area of the discovery. While more operational work and technical studies will be necessary to fully define the field, we are very encouraged by the result, which gives further momentum for additional development of the resources discovered on our operated block. Our appraisal and delineation programs continue to generate substantial value for Kosmos, and we look forward to a number of additional near-term appraisal and exploration well results." The "Transocean Marianas" semisubmersible drilled the Teak-3A well to a total depth of 3,222 meters (10,571 feet) in 444 meters (1,457 feet) of water. Following the completion of operations at Teak-3A, the rig will be released to another operator. Kosmos anticipates drilling the Teak-4A appraisal well in the second quarter of 2012. Additional appraisal at Teak is being planned for the second half of 2012. West Cape Three Points Block Ownership Interest Kosmos Energy is the operator of the West Cape Three Points Block with a 30.875% interest. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has a 30.875% interest, Tullow Oil plc has a 26.396% interest, Sabre Oil & Gas Holdings Limited has a 1.854% interest; and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation has a 10% carried interest.

9 Nov 2011

Montserrado-1 makes a non-commercial oil discovery

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Montserrado-1 exploration well, offshore Liberia, has made a non-commercial oil discovery in Late Cretaceous reservoir sands. This result is an important exploration breakthrough, establishing a working hydrocarbon system in the Liberian basin. The well was drilled in block LB-15 to a total depth of 5,400 metres and encountered good-quality, water-bearing sands in the main .... [+ read more] objective. In a deeper secondary objective, approximately 8 metres of hydrocarbon pay was intersected and a sample of light oil was recovered. The well is being plugged and abandoned and the drillship is being mobilised to Sierra Leone to drill the Mercury-2 appraisal well and the Jupiter exploration well on block SL-07B-11. Tullow has a 25.00% working interest in the licence and is partnered by the operator, Anadarko Petroleum (47.5%) and Repsol (27.5%).

3 Nov 2011

Rig secured for development drilling in Greater Stella area

Ithaca Energy Inc. announces that it has signed an agreement with Ensco Offshore UK Limited to provide a jack up drilling unit for development drilling on the Stella and Harrier fields to commence in 2012. Further to the recently announced Development Concept selection for the Stella and Harrier Fields in Block 30/6a of the Central North Sea, the Company .... [+ read more] has signed a Letter of Award for the Ensco 100 drilling unit for the development drilling campaign on the Stella and Harrier fields. The campaign, which will include the drilling of 5 firm wells and up to 3 options for additional wells, will commence on Stella in H2 2012.

1 Nov 2011

EXPLORATION WELL MINDOU MARINE-1 ON CONGO (BRAZZAVILLE) MARINE XI LICENCE WAS DRY

The exploration well Mindou Marine-1, located offshore in Block Marine XI Congo (Brazzaville), has reached total depth at 3,515 metres. The well did not encounter oil shows in the target pre-salt section. The well will now be logged, and a full geological interpretation of the results will be undertaken. This well fulfilled the Phase II drilling commitment on the .... [+ read more] licence and is the first of a two to three well programme on Blocks Marine XI and XIV. Lundin Petroleum has an 18.75 percent working interest in the licence which is operated by SOCO International.

26 Oct 2011

14/10-9 Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/10-9 well (the "Well") was spudded at 10.45 hrs BST on 25 October 2011. The Well, situated on Licence PL032, which is 100% owned and operated by Rockhopper, is the eighth well to be drilled on the Sea Lion feature. It is .... [+ read more] located approximately 5.9 km to the south west of the 14/10-2 discovery well and is designed to investigate reservoir presence and hydrocarbon charge within the Sea Lion Main Complex towards the southern edge of the Company's acreage and is also an exploration well on the Eastern side of the Casper prospect. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 33 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed.

24 Oct 2011

BP makes gas discovery in Egypt's Nile Delta

BP Egypt today announced the Salmon gas discovery in the North El Burg Offshore Concession, Nile Delta. Salmon is the third gas discovery BP has made in the concession following Satis-1 and Satis-3 Oligocene deep gas discoveries. Salmon, drilled by IEOC, the affiliate of ENI in Egypt, on behalf of concession operator BP, is located 50 kilometers to the north .... [+ read more] of Damietta. The wireline logs and pressure readings confirmed the presence of gas in two shallow Pleistocene intervals. The well was drilled by Scarabeo IV rig in water depths of 87m and reached a total depth of 1600m. Further appraisal work to evaluate the resources is underway. Hesham Mekawi, President and General Manager of BP Egypt stated "The success of Salmon highlights the great potential of the shallow reservoirs within the Nile Delta, and helps unlock additional resources in surrounding acreage. It demonstrates the ongoing cooperation with the Ministry of Petroleum to deliver new gas discoveries and incremental supply to meet the future growth of the gas business in Egypt." The parties to the North El Burg Offshore Concession agreement are: BP (operator 50%) and IEOC (50%).

21 Oct 2011

Doubling of Aldous volumes

Statoil ASA (OSE: STL, NYSE: STO), together with partners Petoro AS, Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Lundin Norway AS, has confirmed significant additional volumes in its appraisal well in the Aldous Major South discovery (PL265) in the North Sea. The results of appraisal well 16/2-10 have increased production license PL265 estimates to between 900 million and 1.5 billion barrels of recoverable .... [+ read more] oil equivalent. This is a doubling of the previously announced PL265 volumes of between 400 and 800 million barrels of oil equivalent. It has previously been confirmed that there is communication between Aldous in PL265 and Avaldsnes in PL501, and that this is one large oil discovery. “Aldous/Avaldsnes is a giant, and one of the largest finds ever on the Norwegian continental shelf. Volume estimates have now increased further because the appraisal well confirms a continuous, very good and thick reservoir in Aldous Major South,” says Tim Dodson, executive vice president for Exploration in Statoil. Final data show that the oil column in appraisal well 16/2-10 is approximately 60 metres. These data also confirm that the reservoir is of the same, excellent quality as in the Aldous Major South discovery well 16/2-8. This is the main reason for the substantial upward revision of PL265 volumes. The Aldous/Avaldsnes discovery extends over a large area of ??approximately 180 square kilometres, and there is considerable variation in both reservoir thickness and oil column height in the structure. Additional appraisal wells will be drilled in both licenses. Statoil will await the results from these wells before providing updated and more accurate volume estimates for the combined discovery. After completion of the appraisal well, the Transocean Leader drilling rig will move to the Troll field in the North Sea. Aldous Major South is situated in production license PL265 in the North Sea, and appraisal well 16/2-10 was drilled 4.2 kilometres north of the 16/2-8 discovery well. Statoil is the operator and has a 40% interest in PL265. The partners are Petoro AS (30%), Det norske oljeselskap ASA (20%) and Lundin Norway AS (10%). Well 16/2-10 is the seventh exploration well in PL265. The license was awarded in the North Sea Awards 2000. Avaldsnes is located in production licence PL501. Lundin Norway AS is the operator with a 40% interest, while partners Statoil and Maersk have 40% and 20% interests, respectively.

18 Oct 2011

Discovery in Aldous appraisal well

Statoil ASA is, together with partners Petoro AS, Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Lundin Norway AS, about to complete drilling of appraisal well 16/2-10 in the Aldous Major South structure (PL 265) in the North Sea. Drilled by Transocan Leader drilling rig, appraisal well 16/2-10 has proven an oil column in a range between 50 and 55 metres in Jurassic .... [+ read more] sandstone. Statoil has earlier communicated preliminary volumes for the Aldous structure in PL 265 to be between 400 and 800 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. Statoil will present updated volume estimates when the well data have been fully analysed. Appraisal well 16/2-10 is located 4.2 kilometres north of discovery well 16-2/8 in the Aldous Major South structure on the Utsira Height in the North Sea. Well 16/2-10 is the seventh exploration well in the licence. Aldous Major South is located in PL 265 where Statoil is operator (40 percent) and the partners are Petoro (30), Det norske oljeselskap (20) and Lundin (10).

13 Oct 2011

Giant rig West Elara arrives in Ølensvåg

One of the world's largest jack-up rigs has arrived at Westcon Yard in Ølen. New rig West Elara arrived in the fjord last Wednesday loaded on cargo vessel Mighty Servant 1. It is planned that the rig will be at the yard for six weeks, informed Project Manager Rolf Eikemo. The new build has taken two months in transit from Singapore .... [+ read more] to Ølen. The rig arrived as planned last Wednesday, and by Sunday was ready for work to begin. The rig is owned by North Atlantic Drilling, that is a company which Seadrill have a 75% ownership. "Seadrill is a company that returns to the yard time and again, and with whom we have a long and close working relationship", says Rolf Eikemo. The main tasks for Westcon Yard will be completion and preparation for working in the North Sea. West Elara enters into a contact with Statoil at the end of November.

13 Oct 2011

Signal International Announces Contract to Upgrade Semisubmersible

Signal International has been awarded a contract for the repair and upgrade of the Transocean semisubmersible rig, Henry Goodrich. The project is slated to commence early December 2011 at Signal’s east yard facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi, for a seventy-day out-of-service time frame. The scope of work includes overall repairs, upgrades and refurbishments of the rig. In addition to .... [+ read more] the removal, renewal and replacement of major equipment; Signal will also be upgrading the crew accommodations, expanding the lifeboat capacity, and renewing the coatings and piping. With prefabrication work underway, the project will enable Signal to employ an additional 300 craft personnel at the yard during peak production. Dick Marler, President and CEO of Signal International, noted the East yard recently completed the upgrade of Transocean’s Deepwater Navigator. “We’ve enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Transocean,” Marler stated, “which has been built upon our ability to meet their standards for manufacturing excellence, speed of delivery, safe performance and overall project cost.”

7 Oct 2011

Keppel to build third Super A Class jackup for Ensco at US$245 million

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has secured a contract to build an enhanced KFELS Super A Class harsh environment jackup rig from Ensco plc (NYSE: ESV) for US$245 million. The rig is scheduled for delivery in 3Q 2014. This contract arose from the exercise of an option which was part of Ensco's order of two KFELS Super A Class rigs .... [+ read more] on 10 February 2011.

1 Oct 2011

Keppel FELS to deliver Vietnam’s first drilling tender rig

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver Vietnam's first semisubmersible drilling tender (SSDT) to PetroVietnam Drilling & Well Services Corp (PV Drilling) ahead of schedule, within budget and with a perfect safety record. Built to Keppel's award-winning KFELS SSDT 3600E design, the rig is well-suited for harsh environments and will be deployed on a multi-year charter to .... [+ read more] PetroVietnam's Bien Dong Petroleum Operating Company.

28 Sep 2011

All go for Gudrun drilling

The Gudrun project is reaching new milestones, with the West Epsilon rig busy drilling wells that need to be ready for production start in 2014. “The Gudrun field is characterised by high pressure and high temperature,” says Petter Kostøl, who is in charge of drilling and well operations in Stavanger. All seven production wells planned for the Gudrun field will .... [+ read more] be pre-drilled through the jacket before the topside is installed in 2013. Work commenced on the first well on 6 September. “Due to the field characteristics we have to pre-drill all wells before we start the actual production,” says Kostøl. “With this concept we have chosen a robust well strategy.” Production in 2014 The background for this strategy is not least to avoid depletion problems, which means reservoir depressurisation that would complicate further drilling. “This stepwise and repeated drilling operation leads to a more rational use of equipment and resources,” says drilling superintendent Nils Petter Norheim. “The result is improved learning and safety as well as higher efficiency.” Drilling through the jacket will continue for two years until the summer of 2013. Then the topside will be installed on the Gudrun platform, and the pre-drilled wells will be completed and prepared for production. The entire drilling programme will stretch into 2014, with plans calling for oil and gas production to start in the first quarter of 2014. In addition to the seven wells on Gudrun, an effort is currently being made to obtain approval for the drilling of a production well on the Brynhild discovery. “While the Gudrun project has been able to build on drilling experience from the Kristin, Morvin and Kvitebjørn high-pressure fields, the experience from Gudrun may be useful during the engineering and development of the Valemon field,” indicates Jan Einar Malmin, head of the Gudrun field development project. Like Gudrun, the Valemon field also has high pressure and high temperature, and production from this field is also scheduled for start-up in 2014.

28 Sep 2011

Enyenra-3A well result announcement

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Enyenra-3A appraisal well, in the Deepwater Tano licence offshore Ghana, has successfully encountered oil in high quality sandstone reservoirs. Pressure data indicates that the Enyenra-3A well has confirmed an up-dip extension of the Enyenra oil field. Located 6.5km north of the Owo-1 discovery well and 14km north of Enyenra-2A, the well was drilled to .... [+ read more] test the up-dip extent of the Enyenra oil field. Results of drilling, wireline logs, samples of reservoir fluids and pressure data show that Enyenra-3A has intersected 17 metres of 35o API net oil. Pressure data confirms a continuous oil column of at least 365 metres and that the oil at Enyenra-3A is in static pressure communication with both the Owo-1 discovery well and the Enyenra-2A appraisal well. The Deepwater Millennium drillship drilled Enyenra-3A to a total depth of 4,031 metres in water depths of 1,102 metres. On completion of drilling operations, prior to flow testing the Enyenra field in late 2011, pressure gauges will be deployed in Enyenra-2A and Enyenra-3A to determine reservoir connectivity. The drillship will depart the Deepwater Tano block in late October having recently been replaced by the Sedco Energy drillship. The Sedco Energy will later drill the Enyenra-4A well to further appraise the downdip extent of the field. The well will be located 6.8km south of Enyenra-2A and over 20km downdip from the Enyenra-3A well and a result is expected at the end of the year. The Enyenra-5A well also is then likely to be drilled north of Enyenra-3A to test the ultimate updip extent of the field. Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest). Elsewhere in West Africa, Tullow now expects to announce the result of the Montserrado-1 well offshore Liberia during October.

26 Sep 2011

14/10-8 Well Spud

ockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/10-8 exploration well (the "Well") was spudded at 03:45hrs BST on 25 September 2011. The Well is situated on Licence PL032, which is 100% owned and operated by Rockhopper, and is located approximately 4.1km to the south-south-east of the 14/10-2 discovery well, .... [+ read more] outside of the Sea Lion Discovery Area. This well is designed to investigate reservoir and hydrocarbon presence within the Sea Lion Main Complex in an area of relatively low amplitudes and is also an exploration well on both the Casper and Kermit oil prospects. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 28 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed.

23 Sep 2011

Lundin Petroleum commences drilling on the Janglau prospect

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that it has commenced the drilling of the Janglau prospect located in Block PM308A, offshore the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The Janglau-1 exploration well will test the hydrocarbon potential of Eocene to Oligocene alluvial sands overlying a Pre-Tertiary high that also forms a second objective of the well.The Janglau prospect .... [+ read more] is located to the north-east of the PM308A block, 7 km to the east of the Rhu oil discovery made in 1991. The planned total depth is 3,950 meters subsea and the well will be drilled using the jack-up drilling rig Offshore Courageous. The well is expected to take approximately 45 days. Lundin Petroleum operates and holds 35 percent interest in PM308A through its wholly owned subsidiary Lundin Malaysia BV. Partners in PM308A are JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration (Peninsular Malaysia) Limited with 40 percent interest and PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd. with 25 percent. Lundin Malaysia BV operates 6 Blocks in Malaysia, namely PM308A, PM308B, PM307, SB303, SB307 and SB308.

22 Sep 2011

DRC 2011 offshore drilling campaign launched with Libwa 12

The shallow-draft Hercules H260 RIG arrived in DR Congo the 1st of September for a drilling campaign that is expected to last approximately six months. This is a major milestone for the DRC subsidiary, with the first offshore drilling operation since the Perenco takeover of the offshore operatorship in July 2004. The planned campaign will consist of three new .... [+ read more] wells, one re-entry and one heavy work-over. The first well, the challenging LIB-12 dual lateral well is being drilled to unlock the southern part of the Libwa field. The campaign will then continue with MIB-19, targeting attic oil in the mature Mibale field followed by an appraisal well in Misato (MIS-4), one re-entry (LUBI-1X) and a heavy workover in Libwa (LIB-11). It demonstrates Perenco's commitment to exploit offshore undeveloped oil reserves in difficult reservoirs. The wells' selection and the launch of this campaign are a direct consequence of the good teamwork between the subsidiary and the Headquarter support departments: Geosciences (London) and Drilling & Completion (Paris). The drilling campaign has been launched while the SW1 is still in work-over operation and with the addition of one onshore rig, three pulling units and a hydraulic frac set-up in simultaneous operation, resulting in the highest activity rate for the subsidiary since Perenco's arrival in DRC in 2001.

22 Sep 2011

Small discovery on Aldous Major North

Statoil, together with partners Petoro AS, Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Lundin Norway AS, has drilled the Aldous Major North prospect (PL 265) in the North Sea. Samples taken from well 16/2-9S, drilled by the rig Transocean Leader, have proved a column of oil of up to 8 metres in formations dating from the Upper Jurassic period. Due to .... [+ read more] the limited reservoir quality, the partnership will consider further exploration drilling on Aldous Major North in order to clarify the structure’s potential. Well 16/2-9S was drilled some 12 kilometres north of the Aldous Major South oil discovery (16/2-8). Aldous Major North and Aldous Major South are two independent structures in the PL 265 licence and there was higher uncertainty related to well 16/2-9S in the northern part of the licence. “Statoil has previously communicated that the combined Aldous Major South and Avaldsnes discoveries may constitute an oil structure of between 500 and 1200 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents, and we stand firm on this estimate,” says Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. Following completion of well 16/2-9S on the Aldous Major North prospect, Transocean Leader will return to Aldous Major South to drill appraisal well 16/2-10. “An appraisal well on Aldous Major South demonstrates that we have great faith in the area’s potential and that the partnership would like to see speedy clarification of the total resource potential in order to secure the rapid development of this discovery,” says Haatvedt. Aldous Major North and Aldous Major South are located in production licence 265, where Statoil is operator (40%) along with partners Petoro (30%), Det norske oljeselskap (20%) and Lundin (10%).

10 Sep 2011

Keppel AmFELS delivers fourth consecutive Rowan rig ahead of schedule

Keppel AmFELS LLC, a wholly owned US subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has completed the delivery of its fourth EXL jack-up rig to a subsidiary of Rowan Companies, Inc. (Rowan) (NYSE: RDC) with a perfect safety record, four months ahead of schedule and within budget. The jack-up rig was christened Rowan EXL-IV yesterday by Ms. Mary .... [+ read more] J. Dunaway and Ms. Audra M. Williamson, daughters of Mr. Johnnie Huckabay, one of Rowan's senior rig managers. The rig was delivered on September 1, 2011 and is scheduled to depart Keppel AmFELS' yard in Brownsville, Texas in October 2011.

9 Sep 2011

Securing more rig capacity

Statoil has signed a contract with North Atlantic Norway to hire the West Hercules rig which can be used for exploration and production drilling internationally and on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Statoil has signed an agreement with North Atlantic Norway Ltd (Norwegian Branch), a company in the Seadrill group, for hire of the West Hercules rig for use on exploration .... [+ read more] prospects and production licences. The semi-submersible rig will be deployed to start drilling from Q3 2012. “With its many capabilities, West Hercules will contribute to maintaining a sustainable activity level of exploration, and also to execute on our company’s ambitious exploration strategy in the years to come,” says Tim Dodson, Statoil’s executive vice president for Exploration. “Inclusion of this rig in our portfolio provides the necessary flexibility we are looking for and it supports our earlier communicated strategy of revitalising the NCS with high value barrels and deliver on our exploration programme globally. Acquiring this rig is an important contribution to securing Statoil’s rig capacity.” The daily rate for the rig is USD 490.000. A mobilisation fee of USD 50 million is also payable. The contract is for a fixed four-year period. Statoil has secured a one-year option on the same conditions. ”Statoil’s focus continues to be on bringing more modern and flexible rigs to our portfolio,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil’s chief procurement officer. “West Hercules is the first-available suitable rig which is already in operation. This, together with its advanced capabilities such as deep waters, high pressure/high temperature and completion, has prompted Statoil to act on this opportunity. This modern rig will be complementary to our portfolio and bring us more flexibility. It will be utilised on targeted wells internationally and on the NCS.” West Hercules is a sixth generation, high specification, deep water, semi-submersible drilling unit, built in 2008. It has a high load carrying capacity and an efficient drilling floor layout with improved safety and working environment measures. West Hercules can run parallel drilling operations and is designed with a dynamic positioning system and a water depth capacity up to 3,000 metres. West Hercules is expected to complete a three-year contract for Husky Oil China Ltd for operations off China in May 2012.

8 Sep 2011

Apalis-1 well deemed non-commercial by African Petroleum

African Petroleum Corporation Limited (African Petroleum) has completed drilling the first well (Apalis-1) in deepwater offshore Liberia Block LB-09. The results of Apalis-1 confirm Blocks LB-08 and LB-09 (100% owned by African Petroleum) are located in a prospective oil basin, which is a major step forward. The geological and geophysical data have confirmed the critical components of a working hydrocarbon system .... [+ read more] are present and functioning. African Petroleum is now accelerating a multi well drilling program on the 25+ exploration prospects identified in both blocks offshore Liberia and plans to spud the next well during Q4 2011 and Q1 2012. Apalis-1 was drilled to a depth of 3,665 meters and encountered oil shows in several geological units including the shallower (Tertiary) and deeper (Cretaceous) and petrophysical analysis indicates the presence of hydrocarbons. No commercial quality reservoir with hydrocarbons was encountered and consequently no well production test was undertaken.

7 Sep 2011

LUNDIN PETROLEUM SPUDS EXPLORATION WELL MINDOU MARINE-1 ONCONGO BRAZZAVILLE MARINE XI LICENCE

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well Mindou Marine-1, located offshore in Block Marine XI Congo-Brazzaville, has commenced. The planned depth is approximately 3400 metres below meansea level and the well will be drilled by using the semi-submersible drillingrig ENSCO 5003. The drilling operation is expected to take 50 days. The .... [+ read more] well is targeting a pre-salt Toca formation carbonatereservoir within a combination structural and stratigraphic trap. This wellwill fulfill the Phase II drilling commitment on the licence and is the firstof a two to three well programme on blocks Marine XI and XIV. Lundin Petroleum has an 18.75 percent working interest inthe licence which is operated by SOCO International.

1 Sep 2011

CAT BA-1X sub-commercial oil and gas discovery

Salamander Energy announces the completion of the Cat Ba–1X (“101-CB-1X”) exploration well in Block 101-100/04, offshore northern Vietnam. Block 101-100/04 was the subject of a farm out as announced on 31st May 2011. The 101-CB-1X well was drilled to a total depth of 1,724 metres. The well encountered 38 metres of net hydrocarbon pay in Tertiary clastics, the secondary objective .... [+ read more] of the well. The pay section comprises a series of gas-bearing sandstones underlain by an oil-bearing reservoir. A full suite of wire-line logs and pressure data were recorded over the reservoir sections and samples of oil and gas were recovered. These data show that the Tertiary reservoirs are of good quality, however pressure data and seismic mapping indicates the in-place resource volumes encountered by the well are probably below levels needed for commercial development. No oil shows were observed and only low levels of gas were recorded while drilling the primary objective, the Palaeozoic ‘buried hills’ play. Subsequent wire-line logging did not reveal any zones of interest. The Cat Ba-1X well has subsequently been plugged and abandoned as a sub-commercial discovery.

22 Aug 2011

14/10-7 Exploration Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/10-7 exploration well (the "Well") was spudded at 0600hrs BST on 22 August 2011. The Well is situated on Licence PL032, which is 100% owned and operated by Rockhopper. The Well is located approximately 3.3km to the north west of the 14/10-2 .... [+ read more] discovery well, just outside of the Sea Lion Discovery Area. The Well is designed to investigate reservoir and hydrocarbon presence towards the northern limit of the currently mapped extent of the Sea Lion Main Complex within an area of relatively low amplitudes. Accordingly, the Sea Lion Main Complex will be the only target, with reservoir expected to be thinner than encountered in the 14/10-2 discovery well. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 32 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed.

17 Aug 2011

Pacific Drilling Announces Three-Year Contract for the Pacific Mistral

Pacific Drilling S.A. (NOTC: PDSA) announced today that its ultra-deepwater drillship the Pacific Mistral has been awarded a three-year contract by Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (“Petrobras”) for operations in Brazil. The contract is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2011, and estimated maximum contract revenues, including mobilization and client requested modifications, are expected to be approximately $536 million. Pacific .... [+ read more] Drilling Chief Executive Officer Chris Beckett stated: “We are pleased to announce the beginning of a core, strategic relationship with Petrobras. This contract for the Pacific Mistral underscores our commitment to work with the best operators in the industry and also expands our operating presence in the Atlantic Basin, a region of focus for our activities.” The Pacific Mistral was delivered by Samsung Heavy Industries in June 2011. The rig is equipped for and capable of operating in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drilling wells 37,500 feet deep.

11 Aug 2011

African Petroleum spuds Apalis-1 prospect in Liberia

African Petroleum Corporation Limited (African Petroleum) commenced drilling its first exploration well in Liberia on 8th August 2011 with the ‘Maersk Deliverer’semi-submersible deepwater drilling rig. The Company has a 100% interest in Blocks LB-08 and LB-09 and is fully funded for a further 5 additional exploration wells. African Petroleum will be drilling the Apalis Prospect on Block LB-09 in Liberia with .... [+ read more] estimated prospective recoverable oil resources of 500 (mean case) to 1,000 (upside) million barrels. Detailed technical analysis of the 3D seismic data acquired in 2010 has shown that the Apalis Prospect may contain multiple sand reservoirs in the Upper Cretaceous Maastrichtian and Turonian as well as in the Aptian and Albian. Some of the potential reservoirs in the Apalis Prospect have a well-developed 3D seismic class 3/4 AVO response, similar to those reported for nearby discoveries in Sierra Leone and Ghana. Due to the tightening rig market and limited availability of deepwater 5th generation drilling rigs in the West African region, African Petroleum has entered into agreements with Lukoil Overseas Cote d’Ivoire E&P Ltd (Lukoil), Vanco Cote d’Ivoire Ltd (Vanco) and AP Moller-Maersk (Maersk) that the ‘Maersk Deliverer’ will be released to Vanco and Lukoil for two wells after the drilling of the Apalis Prospect and will then be returned to African Petroleum for one additional well. The agreement to swap drilling slots with Lukoil and Vanco enhances the flexibility of the Company’s 2-3 well drilling program planned for 2012 as it allows the Maersk Deliverer to be reserved for the deepest water exploration drilling targets. Additionally, the planned interval between the “Apalis” well and the second well allows for the integration of both the geological and operational information to be better utilized in planning the 2012 wells. African Petroleum is currently planning to contract a second deepwater rig in 2012 to accelerate drilling plans in the West African Transform Margin.

10 Aug 2011

Pacific Drilling Announces Pacific Bora Operations Commencement

Pacific Drilling S.A. (NOTC: PDSA) announced today that its ultra-deepwater drillship the Pacific Bora commenced operations at the Agbami Field in Nigeria on August 10, 2011. The rig is contracted for three years to a wholly owned Chevron subsidiary. .... [+ read more]

10 Aug 2011

Pacific Drilling Announces Pacific Bora Operations Commencement

Pacific Drilling S.A. (NOTC: PDSA) announced today that its ultra-deepwater drillship the Pacific Bora commenced operations at the Agbami Field in Nigeria on August 10, 2011. The rig is contracted for three years to a wholly owned Chevron subsidiary. The Pacific Bora is capable of operating in water depths of up to 10,000 feet and drilling wells .... [+ read more] 37,500 feet deep.

8 Aug 2011

High-impact discovery in the North Sea

Statoil ASA and partners Petoro AS, Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Lundin Norway AS have made a high-impact oil discovery on the Aldous Major South prospect (PL 265) in the North Sea. Well 16/2-8, drilled by the Transocean Leader drilling rig, has identified an approximately 65-metre oil column in Jurassic sandstone. The acquired data confirm that this is a reservoir of .... [+ read more] excellent quality. Statoil has previously described the well as a high-impact well (*), and the result confirms Statoil’s belief in the exploration potential on the Norwegian continental shelf in line with what was communicated at the Capital Markets Day event in New York in June. Preliminary volumes are estimated to be between 200 and 400 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) for this part of the structure in PL 265, and Statoil expects additional upside in the licence both north and south of the discovery. Aldous Major South is located west of Lundin’s Avaldsnes discovery (licence PL 501), where Statoil has a 40% stake, and some 35 kilometres south of the Statoil-operated Grane field. Well 16/2-8 indicates the same oil-water contact as in the Avaldsnes discovery well, which suggests the likelihood of communication between the two structures. The Avaldsnes discovery encountered a 17-metre oil column. Statoil will update its total resource estimate for the area when the wells are completed and the data analysed. “Aldous Major South is a considerable oil discovery in one of Statoil’s core areas. Together with the Avaldsnes discovery this may allow for a new stand-alone development in the North Sea. As the largest resource owner our priority is to find the optimal solution for the area, adding maximum value to all partners,” says Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil’s senior vice president for Exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. After completing this well Transocean Leader will start drilling the Aldous Major North well. This well also has a considerable volume potential. The partnership is planning two appraisal wells in PL 265 next year and Statoil has secured rig capacity for this. The result of the ongoing drilling of the Lundin-operated well (well 16/2-7) in the Avaldsnes structure will help further clarify the area’s potential. Aldous Major South is located in licence 265. Statoil is the operator and has a 40% interest. The other partners are Petoro (30%), Det norske oljeselskap (20%) and Lundin (10%).

3 Aug 2011

Spudding of CAT BA-1X exploration well

Salamander Energy announces the spud of the Cat Ba–1X (“101-CB-1X”) exploration well in Block 101-100/04, offshore northern Vietnam. The 101-CB-1X well will be drilled to a depth of approximately 1,900 metres. The primary objective is a Palaeozoic carbonate, (buried hill) structure with secondary objectives in the overlying Tertiary clastic section. The mean gross pre-drill estimate of prospective recoverable resource is .... [+ read more] approximately 100 MMbo. The well will be drilled by the Aquamarine Driller jack-up rig in a water depth of 49 metres. It is expected to take approximately 25 days to complete on a dry hole basis. Salamander holds a 30% operated interest in Block 101-100/04, subject to final government approval of the farm-out of 20% interest to JX-Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation announced in May 2011.

31 Jul 2011

Keppel completes ultra deepwater rig for Saipem

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver Scarabeo 9, a 6th generation ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig, to Saipem S.p.A (Saipem) on time and with no lost time incidents. A significant part of Keppel FELS' workscope on Scarabeo 9 involved the completion and commissioning of marine and drilling systems onboard. .... [+ read more]

27 Jul 2011

Kora-1 exploration well drilling completion announced

Ophir Energy plc ("Ophir") announces the completion of drilling operations on the Kora-1 well in the AGC Profond Production Sharing Contract (PSC)*. Final wireline logging is now being carried out and the well will be plugged and abandoned as an unsuccessful exploration well. Kora-1 was a frontier exploration well drilled by the Maersk Deliverer semisubmersible in 2,600m of water and targeting .... [+ read more] a salt-cored, dip-closed anticline. The well was drilled to a total depth of 4447.5m subsea. Formation Evaluation While Drilling (FEWD) data shows that the primary (Albian) and secondary (Coniacian and Barremian) reservoir intervals were penetrated close to their anticipated depths, but the well encountered a predominantly claystone and thinly-bedded limestone sequence rather than the prognosed sandstone reservoir facies. In the absence of reservoir facies it is difficult to immediately assess the potential presence of hydrocarbons on the available FEWD data. A fuller analysis of the data will be required before the wider implications for the prospectivity of the Senegal-Guinea Bissau portion of the MSGBC Basin can be determined. In June 2011, Ophir completed the last of a series of farm outs on the asset. After the farm outs, Ophir's costs on the Kora-1 well have effectively been carried by the other partners. The beneficial interests in the AGC Profond PSC and the Kora-1 well are as follows:

18 Jul 2011

14/10-6 Appraisal Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/10-6 appraisal well ("the Well") was spudded at 2125 hrs BST on 15 July 2011. The Well is situated on Licence PL032, which is 100% owned and operated by Rockhopper, and is the third appraisal well to be drilled on the Sea Lion feature .... [+ read more] since Rockhopper's oil discovery in May 2010. The Well is located some 4.1km to the west of the 14/10-2 discovery well, on the western side of the structural low at top reservoir, and 2.3km to the south-west and 14m updip from the 14/10-4 appraisal well. The Well is designed to investigate reservoir and hydrocarbon presence outside what the Company considers the minimum case area. Both Sea Lion Main and Lower fan intervals are targets, with all the Sea Lion Main fan expected to be above the Oil-Water Contact established by the 14/10-4 appraisal well, and with reservoir expected to be thinner than encountered in previous wells on the Sea Lion feature. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 38 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed.

15 Jul 2011

Makore-1 well encounters thick water-bearing sands

Kosmos Energy (NYSE: KOS) announces today that the company's Makore-1 exploration well on the West Cape Three Points Block offshore the Republic of Ghana encountered 37 meters (121 feet) of good-quality Campanian-age water-bearing sandstone reservoirs and 46 meters (151 feet) of good-quality Turonian-age water-bearing sandstone reservoirs. The Makore-1 well was Kosmos' first well in the southeastern portion of the block. The .... [+ read more] well explored a stratigraphic trap in a Turonian-age fan system. The Makore-1 well is located 25 km (15 miles) southeast of the company's Mahogany-1 exploration well that discovered the Jubilee Field. The "Atwood Hunter" semi-submersible rig drilled the Makore-1 well in a water depth of 1,409 meters (4,623 feet) to a total depth of 3,876 meters (12,716 feet). The "Atwood Hunter" will remain on the block to drill the Akasa-1 exploration well, formerly known as the Dahoma Up-dip prospect. The Akasa-1 well is expected to be spudded shortly. Kosmos is the operator of the West Cape Three Points Block in which the company holds a 30.875% interest. An affiliate of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has a 30.875% interest; an affiliate of Tullow Oil plc has a 22.896% interest; E.O. Group Limited has a 3.5% interest; Sabre Oil & Gas Holdings Limited has a 1.854% interest; and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation has a 10% carried interest.

12 Jul 2011

LUNDIN PETROLEUM DISCOVERS GAS IN ITS FIRST MALAYSIAN EXPLORATION WELL

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that it has discovered gas in the Tarap-1 well that was drilled in Block SB303, offshore Sabah, East Malaysia. Tarap-1 was drilled with the Offshore Courageous rig in a water depth of approximately 70 meters. The well was directionally drilled to a measured depth of 2,675 metres. The Tarap discovery .... [+ read more] is a stratigrahic trap and the well encountered gas in each of the 5 independently sealed stacked Miocene sands targeted. Gross total vertical pay thickness for the sands encountered is approximately 150 metres. An extensive data acquisition program was completed including pressure measurements, sampling and a mini flow test in selected zones. The data recovered from the well will be analysed further in order to determine a range of resource estimates. Ashley Heppenstall, President and CEO of Lundin Petroleum comments:" This is an encouraging start to the drilling campaign in Malaysia and provides strong support for our strategy in South East Asia of pursuing organic growth and value creation in focused core areas. With a large number of prospects and leads already identified within SB303, I'm confident that we can continue grow our resource base in this area in the coming years. Sabah currently has two gas demand centres located in Kota Kinabalu and Labuan Island that are supplied from existing offshore infrastructure. The addition of a third demand centre with the construction of the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal at Kimanis and the Sabah-Sarawak gas pipeline gives us a broad range of options to explore for gas monetisation in the area." The rig will now move to drill the Cempulut prospect, also in SB303, the second well in Lundin Petroleum's five well drilling campaign in Malaysia in 2011. Lundin Petroleum holds a 75 percent interest in SB303 through its subsidiary Lundin Malaysia BV. Lundin Malaysia BV's partner is PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd with a 25 percent interest.

11 Jul 2011

Pacific Drilling confirms Total contract for 'Pacific Scirocco'

Pacific Drilling S.A. (Pacific Drilling) announced today that a Letter of Award has been converted to a definitive contract for the ‘Pacific Scirocco’ following the necessary approvals from authorities. The minimum duration of the contract is for an initial one-year term, with contract commencement expected during the third quarter of 2011. The contract provides for options, to be exercised at the .... [+ read more] client’s discretion, which could result in up to four additional years of contract term with an escalating dayrate dependent upon the option timing and term elected. Estimated maximum contract revenues related to the initial one-year term are expected to be approximately USD200 million, excluding client requested modifications and miscellaneous adjustments.

11 Jul 2011

Pacific Drilling Signs Contract for the Pacific Scirocco

Pacific Drilling S.A. (NOTC: PDSA) announced today that a Letter of Award has been converted to a definitive contract for the Pacific Scirocco following the necessary approvals from authorities. The minimum duration of the contract is for an initial one-year term, with contract commencement expected during the third quarter of 2011. The contract provides for options, to be exercised at .... [+ read more] the client’s discretion, which could result in up to four additional years of contract term with an escalating dayrate dependent upon the option timing and term elected. Estimated maximum contract revenues related to the initial one-year term are expected to be approximately $200 million, excluding client requested modifications and miscellaneous adjustments. The Pacific Scirocco is capable of operating in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drilling wells 40,000 feet deep.

11 Jul 2011

Secures exploration rig for Norwegian continental shelf

Statoil has signed a new contract with Songa Offshore for hire of the rig Songa Trym, which will be used for exploration drilling on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Statoil has signed a new agreement with Songa Offshore relating to rig hire for use on its exploration prospects on the NCS. The semi-submersible rig has been chartered for work .... [+ read more] on the Troll field until Q2 2012. It will be deployed to drill new exploration wells from Q3 2012. The rig will be considered for operation on several licences. “Access to rigs is vital in maintaining our exploration activity on the NCS, where we envisage great potential in both near field exploration and exploration in frontier areas. This rig will help Statoil fulfil its exploration ambitions,” says Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt, Statoil’s head of exploration on the NCS. The daily rate for the rig is USD 355.000, with upgrade costs additional. The contract is for a fixed three-year period, though Statoil has also secured two one-year options on the same conditions. ”The contract reflects a sustainable price level for this type of rig. We have built up a good relationship with Songa and are pleased to have secured Songa Trym as an exploration rig on the NCS for the next few years,” says Statoil’s chief procurement officer, Jon Arnt Jacobsen. Songa Trym has been in use on Troll since 2005 and has helped realise planned drilling activities in the area. It is a conventional exploration rig that can drill to depths of 400 metres.

5 Jul 2011

Songa providing Statoil with a new rig type

Statoil has awarded the contract for construction of two new drilling rigs for use on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) to Songa Offshore. The contract for the two category D rigs is worth an aggregate USD 2,47 billion for a fixed eight-year charter period. "Stepping up our industrialisation of the NCS we are very pleased to announce that Songa will help .... [+ read more] realise our industrial approach and we wish to give them recognition for their long-term perspective on this partnership", says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil's chief procurement officer. "Through joint efforts we intend to rejuvenate the rig fleet on the NCS and ensure that we use the right rig for the right purpose." "This procurement process has certainly attracted great interest among rig entrepreneurs, contractors and investors", says Jon Arnt Jacobsen. "Many bidders have taken part in this process and the competition has been keen. Considering that we are ready to start this less than two years after the idea was launched, I consider this a success story!" Capable of operating in 100 to 500 metres of water this specially designed category D drilling rig can drill wells down to 8,500 metres. It will be a workhorse on mature fields, primarily drilling production wells and completing wells, enabling Statoil and its partners to produce more oil from the fields. Troll is the very cornerstone of Norwegian gas production, and also one of the largest oil fields on the NCS, oil production in 2010 totalling more than 120 000 barrels per day. Holding many world records Troll will now also be the first field to be serviced by the new specially designed rigs. Statoil has awarded the contract for the charter of the two first category D rigs on behalf of the Troll licence. "Statoil and its Troll partners have high ambitions for the further development of the field and we are pleased to have taken a decision to charter two specially designed rigs", says Hans Jakob Hegge, Statoil's senior vice president for Eastern North Sea operations in Development and Production Norway. "We will now have a tool capable of performing the demanding tasks ahead. The rig capacity on the NCS is limited, and increased capacity is essential to ensure enhanced recovery. The new rigs are expected to operate 20% more efficiently than conventional rigs, and we look forward to having the new rigs up and running from 2014." A hull designer, several topside suppliers, yard and rig entrepreneurs have helped develop the category D rig concept. Songa has assigned the rig construction work to the DSME yard in South-Korea. Aker Solutions has been picked as the supplier of the drilling equipment. The project concept and design has taken one year and the implementation period is expected to take three years, including detail engineering, construction and transportation to the NCS. The mobilisation from the yard in South-Korea to the North Sea is included in the contract value and will take about three months. The rig hand-over is scheduled for the second half of 2014. The fixed contract period is for eight years per rig, with four three-year options, i.e. in practice a 20-year contract per rig. This is a long-term approach, which ensures rig capacity for Statoil's growth ambitions, as well as predictability for the rig company. Statoil is considering including two more category D rigs in its portfolio. For this purpose Statoil has secured the opportunity to exercise its option for two category D rigs from Songa Offshore, but is also continuing its evaluation of the received bids from other bidders. During the last half of 2011 Statoil will consider various contractual solutions to ensure the construction of another two category D rigs, including the opportunity to take an ownership position in the rigs.

5 Jul 2011

Songa providing Statoil with a new rig type

Statoil has awarded the contract for construction of two new drilling rigs for use on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) to Songa Offshore. The contract for the two category D rigs is worth an aggregate USD 2,47 billion for a fixed eight-year charter period. "Stepping up our industrialisation of the NCS we are very pleased to announce that Songa will help .... [+ read more] realise our industrial approach and we wish to give them recognition for their long-term perspective on this partnership", says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil's chief procurement officer. "Through joint efforts we intend to rejuvenate the rig fleet on the NCS and ensure that we use the right rig for the right purpose." "This procurement process has certainly attracted great interest among rig entrepreneurs, contractors and investors", says Jon Arnt Jacobsen. "Many bidders have taken part in this process and the competition has been keen. Considering that we are ready to start this less than two years after the idea was launched, I consider this a success story!" Capable of operating in 100 to 500 metres of water this specially designed category D drilling rig can drill wells down to 8,500 metres. It will be a workhorse on mature fields, primarily drilling production wells and completing wells, enabling Statoil and its partners to produce more oil from the fields. Troll is the very cornerstone of Norwegian gas production, and also one of the largest oil fields on the NCS, oil production in 2010 totalling more than 120 000 barrels per day. Holding many world records Troll will now also be the first field to be serviced by the new specially designed rigs. Statoil has awarded the contract for the charter of the two first category D rigs on behalf of the Troll licence. "Statoil and its Troll partners have high ambitions for the further development of the field and we are pleased to have taken a decision to charter two specially designed rigs", says Hans Jakob Hegge, Statoil's senior vice president for Eastern North Sea operations in Development and Production Norway. "We will now have a tool capable of performing the demanding tasks ahead. The rig capacity on the NCS is limited, and increased capacity is essential to ensure enhanced recovery. The new rigs are expected to operate 20% more efficiently than conventional rigs, and we look forward to having the new rigs up and running from 2014." A hull designer, several topside suppliers, yard and rig entrepreneurs have helped develop the category D rig concept. Songa has assigned the rig construction work to the DSME yard in South-Korea. Aker Solutions has been picked as the supplier of the drilling equipment. The project concept and design has taken one year and the implementation period is expected to take three years, including detail engineering, construction and transportation to the NCS. The mobilisation from the yard in South-Korea to the North Sea is included in the contract value and will take about three months. The rig hand-over is scheduled for the second half of 2014. The fixed contract period is for eight years per rig, with four three-year options, i.e. in practice a 20-year contract per rig. This is a long-term approach, which ensures rig capacity for Statoil's growth ambitions, as well as predictability for the rig company. Statoil is considering including two more category D rigs in its portfolio. For this purpose Statoil has secured the opportunity to exercise its option for two category D rigs from Songa Offshore, but is also continuing its evaluation of the received bids from other bidders. During the last half of 2011 Statoil will consider various contractual solutions to ensure the construction of another two category D rigs, including the opportunity to take an ownership position in the rigs.

25 Jun 2011

Keppel on track to deliver third harsh environment N-Class rig to Rowan

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver its third KFELS N-Class jack-up rig to Rowan Companies, Inc. (Rowan) (NYSE: RDC) on time and within budget. The KFELS N-Class combines state-of-the-art design with the dual capabilities of performing drilling and production activities efficiently and safely. Equipped to operate in some of the harshest offshore environments in the world, .... [+ read more] Rowan Norway has been chartered to Xcite Energy for work in the severe conditions of the UK North Sea.

21 Jun 2011

Seadrill sells the jack-up rig West Janus

Hamilton, Bermuda, June 21, 2011 - Seadrill has entered into an agreement to sell the 1985 built jack-up drilling rig West Janus to Harrington LLC in Dubai for a total consideration of US$73 million. Seadrill expects to record a gain on the sale in excess of US$50 million on closing. Closing of the agreement and the transfer of ownership of .... [+ read more] the unit is scheduled upon completion of the rig's present drilling assignment in the second half of 2011. Seadrill's fleet of jack-up rigs remains the world largest modern jack-up fleet with a total of 19 units built after 2006, including rigs under construction. Furthermore, Seadrill has options for construction of six further units at attractive prices. Alf C Thorkildsen, CEO of Seadrill Management AS says, "We remain optimistic about the market outlook for premium jack-up rigs, and at the same time continue to highgrade our fleet by disposing some older units, whilst adding new rigs to it. The disposal of West Janus further reduces the average age of the modern Seadrill jack-up fleet to 2.6 years, and is in line with our strategy of focusing our company on modern, premium offshore drilling units."

16 Jun 2011

Keppel to deliver fifth ENSCO 8500 Series® ultra-deepwater rig

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver ENSCO 8504, the fifth of seven ENSCO 8500 Series® ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs being built exclusively for Ensco plc (NYSE: ESV). Keppel FELS expects to deliver the rig on time, within budget and with no lost time incidents. ENSCO 8504 has been contracted to TOTAL E&P Deep Offshore Borneo B.V. .... [+ read more] for deployment in Brunei.

8 Jun 2011

Delivery of 'Maersk Deliverer' rig again delayed

African Petroleum (APCL) entered into a contract with Maersk Drilling in September 2010 for a two well programme using the Maersk Deliverer drilling rig. The ‘Maersk Deliverer’ is the third in a series of three state-of-the-art newbuild ultra deepwater development semi-submersibles in Maersk Drilling’s fleet and is capable of drilling in water depths of up to 3,000 metres.As mentioned in the .... [+ read more] March 2011 Quarterly Report, the Company was due to take delivery of the drilling rig in June 2011. However, Maersk Drilling has now advised that its current contractual drilling commitments with Amerada Hess Corporation for the ‘Maersk Deliverer’ rig has been extended due to that company making a discovery offshore Ghana. As a consequence, the Company now expects to take delivery of the ‘Maersk Deliverer’ in August 2011.

6 Jun 2011

Athena Development Drilling Completed

Ithaca Energy Inc. (TSX VENTURE:IAE)(AIM:IAE) announces the final production well on the Athena field has been drilled and fully cased. The well encountered a considerable section of oil saturated net reservoir, with good porosities. Development drilling has now been successfully concluded and the project remains on schedule for production start up in Q4 2011 at approximately 22,000 barrels of oil per .... [+ read more] day ("bopd") (gross), approx. 5,000 bopd (net to Ithaca), in-line with previous disclosure. Athena field development well 14/18b-A2Z ("the Well") intersected 515 feet (measured depth) of net reservoir in the sub horizontal section of the well bore which was drilled to a total measured depth of 15,497 feet. The drilling rig, Sedco 704, is now proceeding to run completion equipment and perforate the Well, the three existing suspended production wells and the water injection well. The Well was directionally drilled to the northwest of the Athena field where it encountered the principal reservoir section, the Scapa A reservoir, at 11,967 feet (measured depth), 8,851 feet (true vertical depth subsea), in line with prognosis. Electric logs acquired across the entire reservoir section of interbedded Scapa age sandstones and shales confirmed a series of reservoir sands with porosities up to 20%. Two of the thickest, high porosity sandstone units were encountered close to the top of the reservoir section and Management anticipates that these will contribute to strong flow rates when the Well comes into production. A production liner has been run across the reservoir section. The ongoing modification and recertification work on the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading ("FPSO") vessel, BW Athena (currently in dry dock in Dubai) is well advanced. The vessel has been successfully separated for installation of a turret docking section which is currently being welded into the structure amidships. The vessel will be extended by approximately 65 feet. The FPSO will return to UK waters for hook up to the turret mooring buoy by the end of Q3 2011.

3 Jun 2011

Exploration Offshore Greenland

Cairn has commenced drilling operations on two wells offshore West Greenland. The AT-7 well in the Atammik Block, approximately 160 kilometres offshore Nuuk, west Greenland and the LF-7 well in the Lady Franklin Block approximately 300 kilometres offshore Nuuk have both started operating. The Leiv Eiriksson, a fifth generation semi submersible and the Ocean Rig Corcovado, a sixth generation .... [+ read more] drillship, are to carry out the drilling programme offshore Greenland this summer. The AT-7 prospect in the Atammik Block and LF-7 prospect in the Lady Franklin Block are in water depths of 905 and 989 metres respectively. An update on the drilling operations will be provided in due course.

2 Jun 2011

Pacific Drilling Receives Delivery of its Drillship the Pacific Mistral

Pacific Drilling S.A. (NOTC: PDSA) announced today that it has received delivery of its newest drillship, the Pacific Mistral. The Pacific Mistral can operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drill wells of up to 35,000 feet total depth. The rig features technologically advanced equipment that allows customers to improve drilling efficiency, including offline handling capabilities. .... [+ read more] Pacific Drilling CEO Chris Beckett stated, “We are proud to announce the delivery of the Pacific Mistral. This constitutes the third on-time, on-budget delivery in Pacific Drilling’s fleet of six premium ultra-deepwater drillships. The final payment to the shipyard was substantially funded by our Project Facilities Agreement lenders, consisting of two Export Credit Agencies and nine commercial banks based in the United States and Europe. We are in the advanced stages of negotiations with several major E&P companies and expect to announce a drilling contract for the Pacific Mistral in the near future.” With its best-in-class drillships and highly experienced team, Pacific Drilling is a fast growing company that is dedicated to becoming the preferred ultra-deepwater drilling contractor. In addition to the three ultra-deepwater drillships delivered to date, Pacific Drilling expects delivery of an additional drillship in August 2011 and has two drillships on order at Samsung for delivery during 2013.

2 Jun 2011

Pacific Drilling takes delivery of 'Pacific Mistral'

Pacific Drilling S.A. (Pacific Drilling) announced today that it has received delivery of its newest drillship, the ‘Pacific Mistral’. The ‘Pacific Mistral’ can operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drill wells of up to 35,000 feet total depth. The rig features technologically advanced equipment that allows customers to improve drilling efficiency, including offline handling capabilities. Pacific .... [+ read more] Drilling CEO Chris Beckett stated, “We are proud to announce the delivery of the ‘Pacific Mistral’. This constitutes the third on-time, on-budget delivery in Pacific Drilling’s fleet of six premium ultra-deepwater drillships.

18 May 2011

Jacky Field Well Operations

Ithaca Energy Inc. announces that the J03 well on the Jacky field ("the well") has been suspended having encountered a smaller than anticipated oil column in the Beatrice 'A'; Sand reservoir. Given the result of the well, technical work is ongoing to determine whether to re-enter the well and complete it as a water injector to maximise oil recovery from the .... [+ read more] Jacky field. Meanwhile, the drilling unit for the J03 well, Northern Enhancer, currently located over the Jacky platform, will commence a workover operation to replace downhole pumps in the J01 production well. This operation is estimated to last approximately 15 days.

16 May 2011

LUNDIN PETROLEUM SPUDS SKALLE EXPLORATION WELL IN BARENTS SEA

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of exploration well 7120/2-3 in PL438 has commenced. The well will target the Skalle prospect, which is situated to the north of the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea, offshore Norway. The main objective of well 7120/2-3 is to test Cretaceous and Jurassic/Triassic age sandstones of a multiple .... [+ read more] target structure. Lundin Petroleum estimates the Skalle prospect contains unrisked, gross, prospective resources of 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). The planned total depth is 2,650 meters below mean seal level and the well will be drilled using the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Leader. Drilling is expected to take approximately 60 days. Lundin Petroleum is the operator of PL438 with 25 percent interest. Partners are RWE Dea Norge AS with 20 percent interest, Petoro AS with 20 percent, Spring Energy with 17.5 percent and Talisman Energy Norge with 17.5 percent interest.

10 May 2011

Oil discovery in the North Sea

Oil has been proven by Statoil and its partners Det norske oljeselskap ASA and Svenska Petroleum Exploration AS on the North Sea Krafla prospect. The well is located in block 30/11 around 26 kilometres south of the Oseberg South field. Based on preliminary calculations the size of the discovery is between 12.5 and 56.5 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. .... [+ read more] ”Statoil has had great exploration success in mature areas during the last years,” says Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt, Statoil’s head of exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). “The North Sea is a strategically important area to Statoil, and this discovery on Krafla confirms once again that the company can still find interesting volumes close to established infrastructure.” ”These discoveries can quickly be put on stream and help extend the life of our installations,” she says. Drilled by the Ocean Vanguard rig the well proved a column of around 200 metres in good quality reservoir rocks. ”Previously six exploration wells have been drilled in block 30/11 without commercial success, so we are very pleased that Statoil seems to have made a fast track discovery in our first operated well in this license,” says Tom Dreyer, exploration manager for the Northern North Sea. “Although data collection is still ongoing, the results so far clearly indicate that this is an oil discovery. If this is the case then we have unlocked the exploration potential of this area and have several follow-up opportunities.” When the Krafla well is completed, the Ocean Vanguard will start drilling the planned sidetrack well on Krafla West, which is located west of the recently drilled well. The find will probably be developed and produced by tie-back to one of the subsea installations in the Oseberg area. The licensees in PL035/PL272 are: Statoil (operator) (50%), Det norske oljeselskap ASA (25%) and Svenska Petroleum Exploration AS (25%).

3 May 2011

14/10-5 Appraisal Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/10-5 appraisal well ("the well") was spudded at 13.20hrs BST on 1 May 2011. The well is situated on Licence PL032, which is 100% owned and operated by Rockhopper. The well is located just north of the Sea Lion 14/10-2 discovery well .... [+ read more] and 13 metres updip at top reservoir level. The well is designed to appraise the Sea Lion main fan reservoir and investigate hydrocarbon column and reservoir distribution. The location is 77 metres updip at top reservoir level from the recently drilled 14/10-4 appraisal well. Specialist flow test equipment is being mobilised and Rockhopper intends, if reservoir is as prognosed, to flow test the well to obtain a greater understanding than was possible during the test of well 14/10-2 last year. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 38 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed.

2 May 2011

Total issue LOA for 'Pacific Scirocco' drillship in Nigeria

Pacific Drilling S.A. (Pacific Drilling) announced today that their latest generation drillship, the ‘Pacific Scirocco’, has received a Letter of Award from Total E&P Nigeria Limited, subject to completion of formalities with relevant government agencies in the near future, to perform exploration and development work in Nigeria. The minimum duration of the award is for a one-year initial term at .... [+ read more] a dayrate of USD470,000 plus mobilisation and client requested upgrades. The agreement further contemplates two one-year options at Total’s discretion.

2 May 2011

Pacific Drilling Receives a Letter of Award from Total in Nigeria

Pacific Drilling S.A. (NOTC: PDSA) announced today that their latest generation drillship, the Pacific Scirocco, has received a Letter of Award from Total E&P Nigeria Limited, subject to completion of formalities with relevant government agencies in the near future, to perform exploration and development work in Nigeria. The minimum duration of the award is for a one-year initial term at .... [+ read more] a dayrate of $470,000 plus mobilization and client requested upgrades. The agreement further contemplates two one-year options at Total’s discretion. “We are very pleased to announce a new core relationship with Total, a leading deepwater operator, consistent with our vision to work with the best in the industry,” commented Pacific Drilling CEO Chris Beckett. “This represents Pacific Drilling’s third commitment from a major oil company, including the two previously announced contracts for the Pacific Santa Ana and the Pacific Bora both contracted to Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico and Nigeria respectively.” Pacific Drilling’s fourth ultra-deepwater drillship, the Pacific Mistral, is under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries. The Mistral is on target for on time delivery in May 2011 and is the subject of advanced discussions with various clients. In March 2011 Pacific Drilling ordered two additional drillships from Samsung Heavy Industries, the Pacific Khamsin and the Pacific Sharav, scheduled for delivery in April and September 2013 respectively.

20 Apr 2011

Pacific Drilling Receives Delivery of its New Drillship the Pacific Scirocc

Pacific Drilling S.A. received on-time delivery of its newest drillship, the Pacific Scirocco. The Pacific Scirocco is designed to operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and is equipped with the newest and most technologically advanced equipment, including a dual derrick with double load path. CEO Chris Beckett stated, “We are proud to be involved in the .... [+ read more] construction of this new addition to our expanding fleet. The Pacific Scirocco boasts some of the most modern equipment and highest capabilities of any drillship in the market. As previously stated, we expect to sign the Pacific Scirocco to a contract with a top quality E&P company in the near future.” With its best-in-class drillships and highly experienced team, Pacific Drilling is a fast growing company that is dedicated to becoming the preferred ultra-deepwater drilling contractor. Pacific Drilling’s fleet of four of the newest ultra-deepwater drillships is expected to be in operation by the end of 2011, with two additional drillships on order at Samsung for delivery during 2013.

20 Apr 2011

'Pacific Scirocco' drillship delivered to Pacific Drilling

Pacific Drilling S.A. received on-time delivery of its newest drillship, the ‘Pacific Scirocco’. The ‘Pacific Scirocco’ is designed to operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and is equipped with the newest and most technologically advanced equipment, including a dual derrick with double load path. CEO Chris Beckett stated, “We are proud to be involved in the .... [+ read more] construction of this new addition to our expanding fleet. The ‘Pacific Scirocco’ boasts some of the most modern equipment and highest capabilities of any drillship in the market. As previously stated, we expect to sign the ‘Pacific Scirocco’ to a contract with a top quality E&P company in the near future.”

18 Apr 2011

14/15-3 exploration well result

Based on drilling and wireline logging, the well encountered two sand-prone sections in the Upper and Middle F2 intervals, which were the primary targets (2323 metres to 2334 metres and 2365 metres to 2389 metres). The sands have a combined gross thickness of 35 metres and oil shows were encountered throughout both intervals while drilling. The reservoir quality is .... [+ read more] generally poor having only 5.6 metres of net reservoir with an average porosity of 13%. A thin interval of around 1.2 metres at the top of the Middle F2 zone is interpreted to be oil bearing from log analysis. Wireline formation pressure measurements were attempted, but no valid pressures were obtained, indicating that the reservoirs are low permeability at this location. As a result no wireline sampling was attempted. The depositional model suggests these sands are sourced from the east and therefore better reservoir quality may be expected downdip. In addition, there are indications from seismic of further sands along strike on the Ninky structural high, which were not penetrated in this well. These opportunities will be evaluated with the new 3D seismic as part of the Operator's prospect inventory update. Operations on the Ninky well will now be completed and the well will be plugged and abandoned. Upon completion of operations on the Ninky well, the Ocean Guardian drilling rig will return to Rockhopper. Rockhopper will drill a minimum of 3 additional wells using the Ocean Guardian drilling unit. Rockhopper's next well is planned to be located near to the 14/10-2 discovery well. Specialist flow test equipment is due to be in the Islands in early May and Rockhopper intends to flow test the well if appropriate using this equipment to obtain a greater understanding than was possible during the test of well 14/10-2.

14 Apr 2011

Oil find near Peregrino

A new oil find has been made by Statoil immediately adjacent the Peregrino field in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil. An exploration well drilled in the Peregrino South structure a few kilometres south of Peregrino has encountered oil in sandstones of the Carapebus geological formation. A significant gross oil column of 130 metres has been proven in the well and .... [+ read more] further work will be performed to confirm the volumes. The drilling operation is still ongoing to penetrate deeper reservoir units and explore additional upside potential below the main reservoir unit. Significant upside “The results confirm the significant potential in the Peregrino area and underline the beliefs we have had in the upside,” says Tim Dodson, executive vice president for Exploration in Statoil. “The well verifies the upside potential and will together with the Peregrino Southwest discovery from 2007 play an important role in further development of the Peregrino area.” “The results will indeed be implemented into our plans for further development of the field,” says Kjetil Hove, head of Statoil’s Brazil activities and vice president in the company’s Development and Production International business area. Following the completion of the Peregrino South well, one additional appraisal well in the Peregrino Southwest structure will be drilled to conclude the overall size of the new development. Oil production from the Peregrino field started last week and will gradually ramp up to a plateau of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, making Statoil an important long-term operator and partner in Brazil’s growing oil and gas industry. The initial development of the field is estimated to contain 300 to 600 recoverable million barrels of oil equivalents, and the new discovery will add additional volumes going forward. Drilling of the well is being carried out by the Blackford Dolphin rig at a water depth of 120 metres. Operated by Statoil, the Peregrino field is 85 kilometres off the Brazilian coast from Rio de Janeiro. In May 2010 Statoil sold a 40% stake of the Peregrino field to the Sinochem Group. Statoil holds 60% ownership and the operatorship of the field and Sinochem the remaining 40%. The closing of the transaction is pending governmental approvals.

8 Apr 2011

Delivery of 'Maersk Deliverer' delayed

African Petroleum Corporation Limited (African Petroleum) holds 100% of Blocks LB-08 and LB-09, located offshore Liberia, West Africa. Further to the Company’s announcement dated 11th March 2011 (11th March Announcement), the Company advises that due to operational delays being encountered by the existing operator, its 2011 two well deepwater offshore drilling programme in West Africa, using the ‘Maersk Deliverer’, is now .... [+ read more] expected to commence in relation to the first well in Block LB-09 in June 2011 (rather than May 2011 as previously contemplated in the 11th March Announcement).

4 Apr 2011

Gas discovery block 1 offshore Tanzania

Ophir Energy plc (Ophir), the Africa-focused upstream oil and gas company, is pleased to announce that a gas discovery has been made in the Chaza-1 exploration well offshore Tanzania. This is the first gas discovery in Block 1 but the third consecutive discovery made in this drilling campaign following on from the Chewa and Pweza discoveries made in Block 4. The .... [+ read more] Chaza-1 well was operated by Ophir (40%) on behalf of a joint venture with BG International (BG) (60%). The well is located approximately 18km from the coastline in 952m of water. The Chaza-1 well was drilled to a total depth of 4,895m sub-sea. The well encountered a high quality gas bearing reservoir of which is associated with a distinctive seismic anomaly. Chaza-1 is the third of a three-well sequence which forms part of an Initial Work Programme across Blocks 1, 3 and 4. The Deepsea Stavanger will now move back to the Chewa location in Block 4 to side-track and appraise the earlier announced Chewa-1 discovery and deepen the well to test older reservoir objectives. The Ophir/BG Joint Venture has interests in Blocks 1, 3 and 4 offshore southern Tanzania. These blocks cover more than 27,000km2 of the Mafia Basin and northern portion of the Ruvuma Basin in water depths ranging from approximately 100m to greater than 3,000m. The Ophir/BG Joint Venture is currently completing the acquisition of approximately 5,000km2 of additional 3D seismic data across all three blocks.

1 Apr 2011

Major oil discovery in the Barents Sea

Statoil, along with partners Eni Norway and Petoro, has made a significant oil discovery on the Skrugard prospect in the Barents Sea. The breakthrough discovery is one of the most important finds on the Norwegian continental shelf in the last decade. Statoil and its partners are in the process of concluding drilling operations on the Skrugard prospect, which is located approximately .... [+ read more] 100 kilometres north of the Snøhvit gas field in the Barents Sea. The well was drilled with the Polar Pioneer rig, and has proven gas column of 33 metres and an oil column of 90 metres. The oil is anticipated to be easily producible. The estimated volume of the discovery is between 150–250 million recoverable barrels of oil equivalent (boe), while Statoil sees opportunities for further upside in the license of up to 250 million barrels – for a potential total of 500 million boe. “The Skrugard find is significant and a break-through for frontier exploration in the Barents Sea. This opens a new oil province that can provide additional resource growth,” says Tim Dodson, executive vice president for Exploration in Statoil. He emphasises that it is too early to say something concrete about the total potential of the area, but ventures to characterise the Skrugard find as the most important exploration event on the Norwegian continental shelf in the last decade. The discovery is vital in order to maintain the technology and technical environments in the oil and gas industry in Norway in the future. Statoil has plans for both the drilling of a new prospect in the same license next year, and a possible appraisal drilling at Skrugard. The Skrugard prospect was Statoil's first priority in the 20th licensing round on the Norwegian continental shelf, which was awarded in April 2009. Over the course of the spring the Norwegian government will allocate acreage in the 21st licensing round. Acreage in areas nearby Skrugard is expected to be assigned during the round. Drilling operations have been conducted in a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Several core samples have been taken in order to understand reservoir properties, and some data collection in the well still remains. In total there have been over 80 wells drilled in the southern Barents Sea, and Statoil has been the operator for more than 60 of these. The Snøhvit gas field, which is operated by Statoil, is the only field centre established so far in the Barents Sea, while Eni's Goliat field is under development. “The Barents Sea is large, and we can not say that we have cracked the code for the entire area yet. But we have confirmed that our exploration model is correct. This is a break-through, and an important step in understanding how the geology – and thus the hydrocarbon systems in the Barents Sea – works,” says Dodson. “If the volume estimates are confirmed, then this discovery could provide a basis for an independent development. Given that it takes between five to 10 years from discovery to production, we are planning for the future now. Our ambition is to put this find into production as quickly as possible,” he adds. Statoil is the operator of license 532 with a 50% share. The license partners are Eni (30%) and Petoro (20%).

29 Mar 2011

Keppel receives US$8 million from QGOG for early delivery of Alpha Star

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered Alpha Star, the second of two DSSTM 38 semisubmersible rigs, to Brazil's Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás (QGOG) four months ahead of schedule and with zero lost time incidents. This continues Keppel FELS track record of delivering its rigs on time or ahead of schedule. It is the third early delivery this year, .... [+ read more] following the early delivery of the semisubmersible drilling tender, West Jaya, to Seadrill and of the KFELS N Class rig, Rowan Stavanger, for Rowan Companies. The rig has been chartered by Petrobras for six years to support exploration and production activities offshore Brazil.

29 Mar 2011

Ninky 14/15-3 exploration well spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, notes the announcement by Desire Petroleum plc (the "Operator") that the 14/15-3 exploration well on the Ninky prospect was spudded at 02.45 BST on 29 March 2011. Rockhopper has a 7.5% interest in the well. The Operator described the prospect as a combined structural dip .... [+ read more] and stratigraphic pinch-out trap with multiple reservoir targets within the Barremian source rock interval. The well has a planned total depth of circa 2,620 metres and drilling operations are expected to take approximately 30 days. The Operator will make a further announcement once logging is complete.

28 Mar 2011

Teak-2 exploration well discovers hydrocarbons offshore Ghana

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Teak-2 exploration well in the West Cape Three Points licence offshore Ghana has discovered 27 metres of net hydrocarbon bearing Campanian and Turonian reservoirs. The well was targeting an undrilled fault block between the Jubilee field and the Teak-1 discovery, located 1.8 km southwest of the recent Teak-1 well and 3.5 km northeast of .... [+ read more] the Mahogany-2 well. Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids confirm that the well has intersected five intervals containing high quality oil, gas and gas-condensate. Six metres of net oil and gas pay were encountered at the top of good quality Campanian reservoirs, over 100 metres thick. Jubilee equivalent Turonian reservoirs contain 21 metres of net hydrocarbon pay, 16 metres of which is rich gas. Static pressure data suggests this potentially forms a gas cap to the Jubilee oil field. Future analyses and pressure interference testing will determine hydrocarbon contacts and the extents of these two adjoining fields. The Atwood Hunter rig drilled Teak-2 to a total depth of 3,409 metres in water depths of 885 metres. On completion of operations, the well will be suspended for future use and the rig will move to drill the Banda-1 well which is targeting Campanian and Cenomanian reservoirs in the east of the licence. Tullow has a 22.896% interest in the West Cape Three Points licence and its partners are Kosmos Energy (Operator) and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (30.875% each), the E.O.Group (3.5%), Sabre Oil & Gas Holdings Ltd (1.854%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

19 Mar 2011

Keppel FELS delivers 7th KFELS SSDT to Seadrill ahead of schedule

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered its seventh KFELS semisubmersible drilling tender (SSDT), West Jaya, to Seadrill Limited (Seadrill). Completed two weeks ahead of schedule, the vessel was delivered with a perfect safety record and within budget. West Jaya is built to Keppel's proven KFELS SSDT 3600E design which was conferred the ASEAN outstanding engineering achievement award in December .... [+ read more] 2009 for its eco-friendly features and sustainable operations. Seadrill are in negotiation with BP Trinidad & Tobago LLC for West Jaya to work in the Immortelle field for two years.

17 Mar 2011

New rig for Statoil’s fast-track portfolio

Statoil has awarded Songa Offshore a contract for hire of the semi-submersible rig Songa Delta, for use in the fast-track portfolio on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The contract value is approximately USD 400 million. The rig will carry out production drilling for Statoil’s fast-track portfolio on the NCS. It will be used for drilling and completing wells, and will quickly .... [+ read more] be able to contribute to the production of the fields. “We will be able to realise small finds that normally would not be profitable through fast-track developments and standardised solutions,” says Ivar Aasheim, head of field development on the NCS. “Securing drilling capacity is vital to be able to execute our fast-track developments. This helps to maintain the production level on the NCS.” Plans call for the rig to start its production assignment for Statoil in the summer of 2012. Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil chief procurement officer, is pleased that the company has acquired future rig capacity. “We are pleased to have secured yet another rig from Songa Offshore. This contract award addresses our ambition to sustain production,” says Jacobsen. “The rig will work specifically for Statoil’s fast-track developments, and will play an important part in maintaining the pace of our fast-track projects.” The contract period is three years firm, and includes a one-year option following the completion of the drilling programme. Statoil has an option to extend the contract period from three to four years firm.

15 Mar 2011

Japan Drilling Company awards US$210 million jackup contract to Keppel

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has secured a contract worth about US$210 million from Japan Drilling Company (JDC) to build a KFELS Super B Class jackup rig. Slated for delivery in the first quarter of 2013, the rig will be JDC's first newbuild rig order in six years and Keppel FELS' first for JDC. .... [+ read more]

11 Mar 2011

Enyenra-2A appraisal well proves major light oil field

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Enyenra-2A appraisal well, in the Deepwater Tano licence offshore Ghana, has successfully encountered oil in excellent quality sandstone reservoirs. Good evidence of communication with Owo-1 confirms that the Owo oil discovery, now renamed Enyenra, is a major light oil field. Located over seven kilometres south and down-dip of Owo-1, the well was drilled to .... [+ read more] appraise the Upper and Lower Channels of the Enyenra oil field. Results of drilling, wireline logs, samples of reservoir fluids and pressure data show that Enyenra-2A has intersected 21 metres of net oil pay in the Upper Channel and 11 metres of net oil pay in the Lower Channel. Pressure data from the Upper Channel has also demonstrated that the oil is in communication with the Owo-1 well. Oil pressures in the Lower Channel suggest it may also be in communication with the deeper pools seen in Owo-1 and its sidetrack. The well also tested a deeper Turonian fan where five metres of gas-condensate bearing sandstones were intersected. Interpretation of the extent and thickness of this zone away from the well is ongoing. The Deepwater Millennium drillship drilled Enyenra-2A to a total depth of 4,234 metres in water depths of 1,674 metres. On completion of operations, the well will be suspended for later use. Prior to flow testing, pressure gauges will be deployed to measure reservoir connectivity. The drillship will remain in the Deepwater Tano block to complete the drilling of the Tweneboa-4 well. The next appraisal well will be Enyenra-3A located up-dip to the north of the Owo-1 discovery. Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

7 Mar 2011

Keppel to build new jackup worth US$195 million for Mexico

Keppel AmFELS LLC, a US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has won a contract from Mexico's Perforadora Central SA de CV (Perforadora Central) to build a repeat jackup rig valued at about US$195 million. Slated for delivery in 1Q 2013, this latest high specification unit will be based on the LeTourneau Super 116E design. Unlike .... [+ read more] the existing LeTourneau Super 116Es, this will be the first Super 116E newbuild to be further enhanced to provide for an additional 1,500 kips of elevated load. It will have leg lengths of 511 ft and the capability to drill wells up to 30,000 ft at a water depth of 375 ft. Mexico is the world's sixth largest producer of oil and has the seventh largest natural gas reserve in the western hemisphere. PEMEX, Mexico's national oil company, has recently announced plans to invest approximately Ps. 286.3 billion (US$23.6 billion) in 2011, more than 80% of which would be allocated to exploration and production activities.

7 Mar 2011

Athena field final development well drilling commenced

Ithaca Energy Inc. announces today that the Sedco 704 semi submersible drilling unit has commenced the drilling of the final production well for the development of the Athena field ("Athena"). Well 14/18b-A2 ("the well") is being drilled from the Athena drill centre and is the final well to be drilled of a 180 day campaign of drilling and .... [+ read more] completion activities. The well is planned to be directionally drilled to produce oil reserves lying in the north west of Athena. In addition, this well is planned to intersect the top reservoir (Top Scapa A sands) at a point within the appraised Athena oil pool and continue north, drilling at a high angle to provide valuable information relating to an area of the field targeted for future development. The drilling and completion of the well as a producer is scheduled to last approximately 80 days. Co-venturers in the Athena are Ithaca (operator, 22.5%), Dyas UK Ltd (47.5%), EWE Aktiengesellschaft (20%) and Zeus Petroleum Limited (10%).

28 Feb 2011

Completion of Trident XX acquisition from Transocean

EDC announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Trident XX jack-up drilling rig from Transocean for a total consideration of US$ 260 million. The Trident XX is a Keppel FELS CS Mod V cantilever jack-up capable of operating in water depths to 350 feet and capable of drilling to 26,000 feet. The rig is presently operating in Turkmen .... [+ read more] waters of the Caspian Sea on a long-term contract with PETRONAS Carigali (Turkmenistan) Sdn Bhd, which runs through 2012.

23 Feb 2011

Noble Corporation Announces Letter of Intent on Noble Jim Day

Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) today announced that the Company has secured a Letter of Intent ("LOI") with a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc for the 12,000 foot ultra-deepwater semisubmersible Noble Jim Day to operate in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Under the terms contemplated by the LOI, the effective date of the commitment would be February 15, 2011 and the .... [+ read more] contract would extend through January 31, 2012. The LOI contemplates that Noble would receive a standby rate if Shell is unable to secure drilling permits. Beginning the sooner of August 1, 2011 or Shell securing a drilling permit for use of the unit, the operating dayrate would be $485,000 per day. During the operating period, the unit would be eligible for a performance bonus of up to 15 percent of the dayrate. The LOI is subject to execution of the drilling contract, although the parties have agreed to a base form of contract and certain of the particular modifications for this work. "We are extremely pleased to see the Noble Jim Day be awarded this LOI so that it can go on the payroll and earn a dayrate effective from mid-February," said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Noble Corporation. "This is an extremely high quality rig and there was significant customer interest, however, other opportunities that would have required a mobilization out of the U.S. Gulf would have precluded us from being able to begin recognizing revenue until much later in the year. Furthermore, the terms of the LOI ensure that under the contract we would earn a full operating dayrate beginning no later than August 1st with potential upside if Shell is able to secure a drilling permit sooner. And the short-term nature of the commitment positions us well if dayrates increase as expected in the latter half of the year."

23 Feb 2011

THE EARB EXPLORATION WELL IN PL505 HAS SPUDDED, OFFSHORE NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of exploration well 25/10-11 on the Earb South prospect has commenced. The well is located in licence PL505 in the Norwegian North Sea. The Earb South prospect is located 15 km west of the Balder Field and 35km south of the Heimdal facilities. The well will target sandstones .... [+ read more] within the Draupne Formation (Brae Formation equivalent) and the Hugin Formation. The Earb South prospect is estimated by Lundin Petroleum to contain gross unrisked prospective gas and condensate resources of 81 million barrel oil equivalents (MMBOE). The planned total depth is 4,460 metres below mean sea level. The well will be drilled with the drilling rig Transocean Winner, and the duration is expected to be 90 days excluding test. Lundin Petroleum holds 30 percent interest in PL505. Partners are Marathon Petroleum Norge AS (operator) with 50 percent interest and VNG with 20 percent.

21 Feb 2011

14/10-4 Appraisal Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/10-4 appraisal well was spudded at 0040hrs GMT on 19 February 2011. 14/10-4 is the first appraisal well to be drilled on the Sea Lion feature situated on Licence PL032, which is 100% owned and operated by Rockhopper. The appraisal well (14/10-4) .... [+ read more] is located 2.3km away from the Sea Lion 14/10-2 discovery well, in the southern lobe of the Sea Lion fan system. 14/10-4 is designed to investigate reservoir and hydrocarbon columns downdip of the Sea Lion 14/10-2 discovery well. The planned Target Depth of circa 3,000 metres will investigate the possibility of deeper sands than those encountered in the Sea Lion discovery well. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 38 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed.

21 Feb 2011

Long-term contract for new rig design

Statoil is sending out an invitation to tender for a new type of drilling rig. It is specially-designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil for use on mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The purpose is to make drilling and completion of production wells less expensive, more effective and safer, and thereby boost oil recovery. Discoveries on .... [+ read more] the NCS are getting smaller and it is becoming more important to increase drilling activity in mature fields to attain the full potential of the NCS. To meet this challenge, lower rig rates, greater drilling efficiency and access to rigs are key factors. “The rigs delivered to the NCS in recent years were first and foremost constructed for operations in deep water,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer in Statoil. “That means that they are big and too costly for our requirements and challenges on the NCS. We are therefore taking steps to rejuvenate the rig fleet and ensure that the right rig meets the right requirements.” The specially-designed category D rig is able to operate at water depths of 100-500 metres and drill wells down to 8,500 metres. It will be a workhorse on mature fields, primarily for drilling production wells and well completion. In this way, Statoil and its partners can get more oil out of the fields. The rig has been developed in collaboration with various industry players. Statoil is issuing a tender for minimum two such rigs for work on the NCS. The contract will run for either eight years with four three-year options or for 20 years firm contract period. This is an unusually long period of contract which will reduce the risk for the drilling contractor who will build the rig. Statoil is also considering taking an ownership stake in the rig. “Statoil is taking responsibility for a long-term development of the NCS – we see that there are still big opportunities here,” says Jacobsen. “Now we need to think anew with regard to reducing drilling costs and we will see if it’s possible to achieve a more industrialised development.” It is many years since big discoveries were made on the NCS. Minor finds are made but the margins are lower. It is therefore necessary to reduce rig costs in order to realise the potential value. Small finds are also often made near existing fields. Fast developments are then important so that the existing infrastructure can be utilised. “The key to maintaining today’s production level on the NCS towards 2020 is improved recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields,” says Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. “In order to implement these measures it is crucial that we secure a rig fleet which is adapted to suit the assignments and which can work more effectively.” A rig like this will be able to drill and do well completions in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea throughout the year. “The goal is that the new rig will drill 20% more effectively than conventional rigs,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen. “This will help to counteract the cost trends in the rig market.” Plans call for the contract to be awarded in the third quarter of 2011 and the rigs to be delivered in the second half of 2014.

21 Feb 2011

Long-term contract for new rig design

Statoil is sending out an invitation to tender for a new type of drilling rig. It is specially-designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil for use on mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The purpose is to make drilling and completion of production wells less expensive, more effective and safer, and thereby boost oil recovery. Discoveries on .... [+ read more] the NCS are getting smaller and it is becoming more important to increase drilling activity in mature fields to attain the full potential of the NCS. To meet this challenge, lower rig rates, greater drilling efficiency and access to rigs are key factors. “The rigs delivered to the NCS in recent years were first and foremost constructed for operations in deep water,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer in Statoil. “That means that they are big and too costly for our requirements and challenges on the NCS. We are therefore taking steps to rejuvenate the rig fleet and ensure that the right rig meets the right requirements.” The specially-designed category D rig is able to operate at water depths of 100-500 metres and drill wells down to 8,500 metres. It will be a workhorse on mature fields, primarily for drilling production wells and well completion. In this way, Statoil and its partners can get more oil out of the fields. The rig has been developed in collaboration with various industry players. Statoil is issuing a tender for minimum two such rigs for work on the NCS. The contract will run for either eight years with four three-year options or for 20 years firm contract period. This is an unusually long period of contract which will reduce the risk for the drilling contractor who will build the rig. Statoil is also considering taking an ownership stake in the rig. “Statoil is taking responsibility for a long-term development of the NCS – we see that there are still big opportunities here,” says Jacobsen. “Now we need to think anew with regard to reducing drilling costs and we will see if it’s possible to achieve a more industrialised development.” It is many years since big discoveries were made on the NCS. Minor finds are made but the margins are lower. It is therefore necessary to reduce rig costs in order to realise the potential value. Small finds are also often made near existing fields. Fast developments are then important so that the existing infrastructure can be utilised. “The key to maintaining today’s production level on the NCS towards 2020 is improved recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields,” says Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. “In order to implement these measures it is crucial that we secure a rig fleet which is adapted to suit the assignments and which can work more effectively.” A rig like this will be able to drill and do well completions in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea throughout the year. “The goal is that the new rig will drill 20% more effectively than conventional rigs,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen. “This will help to counteract the cost trends in the rig market.” Plans call for the contract to be awarded in the third quarter of 2011 and the rigs to be delivered in the second half of 2014.

21 Feb 2011

Long-term contract for new rig design

Statoil is sending out an invitation to tender for a new type of drilling rig. It is specially-designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil for use on mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The purpose is to make drilling and completion of production wells less expensive, more effective and safer, and thereby boost oil recovery. Discoveries on .... [+ read more] the NCS are getting smaller and it is becoming more important to increase drilling activity in mature fields to attain the full potential of the NCS. To meet this challenge, lower rig rates, greater drilling efficiency and access to rigs are key factors. “The rigs delivered to the NCS in recent years were first and foremost constructed for operations in deep water,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer in Statoil. “That means that they are big and too costly for our requirements and challenges on the NCS. We are therefore taking steps to rejuvenate the rig fleet and ensure that the right rig meets the right requirements.” The specially-designed category D rig is able to operate at water depths of 100-500 metres and drill wells down to 8,500 metres. It will be a workhorse on mature fields, primarily for drilling production wells and well completion. In this way, Statoil and its partners can get more oil out of the fields. The rig has been developed in collaboration with various industry players. Statoil is issuing a tender for minimum two such rigs for work on the NCS. The contract will run for either eight years with four three-year options or for 20 years firm contract period. This is an unusually long period of contract which will reduce the risk for the drilling contractor who will build the rig. Statoil is also considering taking an ownership stake in the rig. “Statoil is taking responsibility for a long-term development of the NCS – we see that there are still big opportunities here,” says Jacobsen. “Now we need to think anew with regard to reducing drilling costs and we will see if it’s possible to achieve a more industrialised development.” It is many years since big discoveries were made on the NCS. Minor finds are made but the margins are lower. It is therefore necessary to reduce rig costs in order to realise the potential value. Small finds are also often made near existing fields. Fast developments are then important so that the existing infrastructure can be utilised. “The key to maintaining today’s production level on the NCS towards 2020 is improved recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields,” says Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. “In order to implement these measures it is crucial that we secure a rig fleet which is adapted to suit the assignments and which can work more effectively.” A rig like this will be able to drill and do well completions in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea throughout the year. “The goal is that the new rig will drill 20% more effectively than conventional rigs,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen. “This will help to counteract the cost trends in the rig market.” Plans call for the contract to be awarded in the third quarter of 2011 and the rigs to be delivered in the second half of 2014.

21 Feb 2011

Long-term contract for new rig design

Statoil is sending out an invitation to tender for a new type of drilling rig. It is specially-designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil for use on mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The purpose is to make drilling and completion of production wells less expensive, more effective and safer, and thereby boost oil recovery. Discoveries on .... [+ read more] the NCS are getting smaller and it is becoming more important to increase drilling activity in mature fields to attain the full potential of the NCS. To meet this challenge, lower rig rates, greater drilling efficiency and access to rigs are key factors. “The rigs delivered to the NCS in recent years were first and foremost constructed for operations in deep water,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer in Statoil. “That means that they are big and too costly for our requirements and challenges on the NCS. We are therefore taking steps to rejuvenate the rig fleet and ensure that the right rig meets the right requirements.” The specially-designed category D rig is able to operate at water depths of 100-500 metres and drill wells down to 8,500 metres. It will be a workhorse on mature fields, primarily for drilling production wells and well completion. In this way, Statoil and its partners can get more oil out of the fields. The rig has been developed in collaboration with various industry players. Statoil is issuing a tender for minimum two such rigs for work on the NCS. The contract will run for either eight years with four three-year options or for 20 years firm contract period. This is an unusually long period of contract which will reduce the risk for the drilling contractor who will build the rig. Statoil is also considering taking an ownership stake in the rig. “Statoil is taking responsibility for a long-term development of the NCS – we see that there are still big opportunities here,” says Jacobsen. “Now we need to think anew with regard to reducing drilling costs and we will see if it’s possible to achieve a more industrialised development.” It is many years since big discoveries were made on the NCS. Minor finds are made but the margins are lower. It is therefore necessary to reduce rig costs in order to realise the potential value. Small finds are also often made near existing fields. Fast developments are then important so that the existing infrastructure can be utilised. “The key to maintaining today’s production level on the NCS towards 2020 is improved recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields,” says Øystein Michelsen, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. “In order to implement these measures it is crucial that we secure a rig fleet which is adapted to suit the assignments and which can work more effectively.” A rig like this will be able to drill and do well completions in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea throughout the year. “The goal is that the new rig will drill 20% more effectively than conventional rigs,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen. “This will help to counteract the cost trends in the rig market.” Plans call for the contract to be awarded in the third quarter of 2011 and the rigs to be delivered in the second half of 2014.

15 Feb 2011

CATERPILLAR EXPLORATION WELL IN NORWAY IS AN OIL DISCOVERY

Lundin Petroleum AB has successfully concluded the drilling of the Caterpillar exploration well (24/9-10S) and its side track (24/9-10A) located in production licence PL340 BS approximately 31 kilometres south of the Alvheim FPSO in the Norwegian North Sea. The Caterpillar exploration well reached a total vertical depth of 2,161m in the Paleocene Lista Formation. The primary objective of the .... [+ read more] Caterpillar exploration well was to prove oil in the upper Paleocene reservoir rocks (Hermod Formation). Both the Caterpillar main exploration well as well as its sidetrack encountered respectively a 26 and 24 meter oil column in sandstone reservoir in the Hermod Formation. A comprehensive data acquisition programme was undertaken. Preliminary gross resource range for the Caterpillar discovery is estimated at between 5 to 12 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). Development studies are progressing for the Bøyla (formerly Marihøne) field tieback to the Alvheim FPSO. The Caterpillar discovery located 8 kilometres to the southeast of Bøyla is likely be developed as part of the Bøyla development concept. Ashley Heppenstall President and CEO of Lundin Petroleum comments: "We are very pleased to find additional resources in the Greater Alvheim Area. The Caterpillar discovery will be developed with the Bøyla field as a tieback to the Alvheim FPSO controlled by the same partners." Lundin Petroleum holds 15 percent interest in PL340BS. Partners are Marathon Petroleum (operator) with 65 percent interest and ConocoPhillips with 20 percent. The Transocean Winner rig will now move to production license PL505 to drill the Earb south prospect where Lundin Petroleum has a working interest of 30%.

12 Feb 2011

Keppel to deliver second DSSTM 38 deepwater rig ahead of schedule to Brazil

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track for an early and safe delivery of Alpha Star, the second of two DSSTM 38 semisubmersible rigs, to Brazil's Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás (QGOG). Keppel FELS was awarded a total of S$40,000 in safety bonuses from QGOG for the strong safety performance during the construction phase. The rig has been chartered .... [+ read more] by Petrobras for six years to support exploration and production activities offshore Brazil.

11 Feb 2011

West Alpha arrives at Westcon

West Alpha arrived at Westcon on the 7th of February; it was also in for a major yard stay in autumn 2009. The main job this time will be to install third party equipment required for the rig’s next task which is involves the drilling and completion of well 6507/3-L-4 AH on the Alve field and the intervention of well. While .... [+ read more] this work is in progress there will also be a new Gantry Crane installed in addition to various minor works. The rig is expected to remain in the yard for a period of one week.

10 Feb 2011

Well incident on Deepsea Atlantic last night

At 03.25 on Thursday morning a well incident was detected on the exploration rig Deepsea Atlantic. The incident was reported to the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway. Statoil will closely examine the incident and is dispatching its own personnel, and personnel from drilling operator Odfjell Drilling, to conduct investigations. The team will also determine the final classification of the incident. .... [+ read more] The incident led to the crew being mustered on board in accordance with regulations. Normalisation efforts on the rig commenced a half-hour later and the situation was quickly clarified. Work on the well has now been resumed. Deepsea Atlantic is exploring for Statoil close to the Gullfaks South field, where it is about to complete operations in connection with the gas and condensate discovery in well 34/10-53. This constitutes an independent exploration prospect unconnected to the main reservoir on the Gullfaks field. The well has been closed for seven days owing to bad weather conditions on the field. Normal procedures are followed after such an incident to ascertain any possible seepage in the well. When the blow-out preventer (BOP) was opened after the closure and mud circulated, gas was registered in the mud processing unit on the platform. The well control system was then immediately closed down in line with procedures. The gas in the well was circulated in a controlled manner and the second well barrier was thereby re-established. The well was drilled using conventional drilling technology in an area where there are not the same demanding reservoir and pressure conditions as on the main Gullfaks field. Pressure conditions during this drilling operation were in accordance with the calculations made in advance.

10 Feb 2011

Production and exploration rig chartered

Statoil has awarded Transocean a contract for hire of the Transocean Leader drilling unit to be used on our licenses on the Norwegian continental shelf. As operator of several licences Statoil has awarded a contract to Transocean for use of the semi-submersible Transocean Leader rig for drilling in Norway. Plans call for the rig to be used for production and exploration .... [+ read more] drilling on the Norwegian continental shelf during the contract period. “We are pleased with securing Transocean Leader for a new contract period. Chartering this rig will also contribute to Statoil's deepwater capacity being able to operate on water depths down to 1500 meters”, says newly appointed chief procurement officer in Statoil, Jon Arnt Jacobsen. The contract period is three years, starting in 2012, and includes a one-year option following the completion of the drilling programme. “The key to uphold present production level on the Norwegian continental shelf towards 2020 is enhanced recovery from existing fields, quick and efficient development of new fields and an active exploration programme. To implement these measures, it is crucial that we secure necessary rig capacity”, says executive vice president for Development & Production Norway, Øystein Michelsen. The Transocean Leader is a Aker H-4.2 self-propelled semi-submersible drilling unit capable of operating in harsh environments and water depths up to 4500 feet, built in 1987. The drilling unit has previously been chartered by Statoil for use on the Statfjord satellites in the North Sea and it is currently under a three-year contract with Statoil in the same area.

10 Feb 2011

Teak-1 exploration well discovers hydrocarbons offshore Ghana

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Teak-1 exploration well in the West Cape Three Points licence offshore Ghana has discovered approximately 73 metres of net hydrocarbons in two Campanian and three Turonian-aged reservoirs. The well was located 4.6 km northeast of the Mahogany-2 well, 2.7 km outside the Jubilee Unit boundary. In the shallower Campanian-aged reservoirs, the well intersected 6 .... [+ read more] metres of oil pay in the upper zone and 33 metres of gas pay with an underlying 15 metre 40 degree API oil leg, in the lower zone. In the deeper stratigraphic Turonian-aged reservoirs, the well intersected 14 metres of gas-condensate pay in two separate zones and 5 metres of 32 degree API oil pay in a deeper level. The up-dip combination structural and stratigraphic Campanian trap is potentially 50 sqkm in area and will be the subject of further appraisal activity. Interpretation of the potential extent of each of the deeper Turonian zones is ongoing. The Atwood Hunter rig drilled Teak-1 to a total depth of 3,170 metres in water depths of 868 metres. On completion of operations, the well will be suspended for future use and the rig will move to drill the Teak-2 well which is targeting Campanian and Turonian age reservoirs in a separate fault block between the Teak discovery and the Jubilee field. Tullow has a 22.896% interest in the West Cape Three Points licence and its partners are Kosmos Energy (Operator) and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (30.875% each), the E.O.Group (3.5%), Sabre Oil & Gas Holdings Ltd (1.854%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

9 Feb 2011

Discovery close to Gullfaks

Statoil has found gas and condensate around two kilometres west of the Gullfaks South field in the middle sector of the North Sea. The size of the discovery is estmated at between 19 and 75 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. Plans call for tie-back of the discovery to existing infrastructure in the Gullfaks South area. “The discovery by .... [+ read more] Gullfaks confirms once again that infrastructure-led exploration is important and leads to finds with high profitability that can quickly come on stream,” says Gro Gunleiksrud Haatvedt, senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The discovery was made in the Rimfaks valley where drilling of well 34/10-53 S confirmed a column of around 300 metres in good-quality reservoir rocks. Gas was found in the Brent group while no hydrocarbons were discovered in the Statfjord group. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3,847 metres below sea level, and was concluded in the Lower Jurassic rocks of the Statfjord group. Water depth in the area is 136 metres. “We regard the area around Gullfaks South to be prospective and the find confirms our faith in the area,” says Haatvedt. “Even if the volumes are modest compared to the large discoveries previously made on the NCS, discoveries of this type are important in order to maximise the potential on the NCS. They help extend the lifetime of the installations.” The well has not been formation tested, but further data acquisition and sampling are being made to determine the hydrocarbon system and estimate contacts. The well was drilled by the Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig. After completing the data acquisition and permanently plugging the well the rig is to drill a sidetrack well to Opal, which is a prospect in the Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks (Brent group) located west of the Rimfaks valley in production licence 050B. The licensees of PL050 and PL050B are Statoil (operator, 70%) and Petoro (30%).

7 Feb 2011

Anadarko strikes gas at Tubarao well in Mozambique

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (“Anadarko”) today announced the latest in a string of major deepwater natural gas discoveries off the coast of Mozambique. The Tubarão discovery well encountered more than 110 net feet (34 meters) of natural gas pay and no water in a high-quality Eocene-age reservoir that is separate and distinct from the hydrocarbon accumulations in Anadarko s three previous discoveries .... [+ read more] in the Offshore Area 1 of the Rovuma Basin. The discovery at the Tubarão prospect opens an entirely new play style, which has additional opportunities in Mozambique s Offshore Area 1, Anadarko Sr. Vice President, Worldwide Exploration Bob Daniels said. This is our fourth significant discovery in the offshore Rovuma Basin and further strengthens our confidence in our geologic and geophysical models of the basin. Our seismic imaging indicates Tubarão s areal extent could cover about 15,000 acres that will be better defined with appraisal drilling. In addition, we continue to safely enhance our drilling efficiencies, procedures and methodology in Mozambique, as we drilled this well in half the time of our first exploration wells. The Tubarão discovery well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 13,900 feet (4,237 meters) in water depths of approximately 2,950 feet (898 meters), approximately 18 miles (29 kilometers) off the Mozambique coast. The partnership plans to preserve the wellbore at Tubarão for potential utilization in future testing. Once operations are complete, the partnership plans to mobilize the rig to the previously announced Windjammer discovery, approximately 26 miles (42 kilometers) northeast of Tubarão, to begin a coring program that will be followed by appraisal drilling in the Windjammer, Barquentine, Lagosta complex.

26 Jan 2011

LUNDIN PETROLEUM SPUDS TELLUS EXPLORATION WELL IN PL338, OFFSHORE NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of exploration well 16/1-15 in PL338 has commenced. The well will target the Tellus prospect, which is situated immediately to the north of the Luno field. The main objective of well 16/1-15 is to test Jurassic/Triassic age sandstones and conglomerates in a separate fault segment north of the .... [+ read more] Luno Field. We estimate the Tellus prospect to contain gross unrisked prospective resources of 40 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe), which could prove additional volumes to the Luno development. The planned total depth is approximately 2,500 meters below mean seal level and the well will be drilled using the semi-submersible drilling rig Bredford Dolphin. Drilling is expected to take approximately 45 days. Lundin Petroleum is the operator of PL338 with 50 percent interest. Partners are Wintershall Norge ASA with 30 percent and RWE Dea Norge AS with 20 percent interest.

19 Jan 2011

EDC negotiating with Transocean to acquire Trident XX drilling rig

Eurasia Drilling Company Limited ("EDC" or the "Company" - LSE: EDCL) today announced that it is in negotiations with an affiliate of Transocean for the acquisition of the TRIDENT XX jack-up drilling rig presently operating in the Caspian Sea. If agreed, the acquisition from Transocean is anticipated to close by January 31, 2011 or shortly thereafter, with an estimated transaction value .... [+ read more] of US$ 260 million. The TRIDENT XX is a Keppel FELS CS Mod V cantilever Jack-up capable of operating in water depths to 350 feet and drilling to 26,000 feet.

17 Jan 2011

Pacific Bora Awarded Initial 3-year Contract with Chevron

Pacific Drilling is pleased to announce that the Pacific Bora has been contracted to Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, a wholly owned Chevron subsidiary to work on the continued development of the Agbami Field in Nigeria. Total revenue from the contract is expected to be approximately $585million over the initial three year term. The rig is expected to mobilize to .... [+ read more] Nigeria in late February upon completion of client requested enhancements to facilitate completion activities. This represents Pacific Drilling’s second contract with a Chevron subsidiary, including the previously announced contract for the Pacific Santa Ana, which is contracted to provide the first commercial application of Dual Gradient Drilling. Dual gradient techniques use a pump or other method to reduce the hydrostatic head from the mudline to the surface to that of seawater. Pacific Drilling has two further ultra-deepwater drillships (Pacific Scirocco and Pacific Mistral) under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries, both of which are on target for on time delivery in March 2011 and May 2011 respectively, and are the subject of advanced discussions with various clients.

17 Jan 2011

Pacific Drilling secure initial three year contract for 'Pacific Bora'

Pacific Drilling is pleased to announce that the ‘Pacific Bora’ has been contracted to Star Deep Water Petroleum Limited, a wholly owned Chevron subsidiary to work on the continued development of the Agbami Field in Nigeria. Total revenue from the contract is expected to be approximately USD585million over the initial three year term. The rig is expected to mobilize to Nigeria .... [+ read more] in late February upon completion of client requested enhancements to facilitate completion activities. This represents Pacific Drilling’s second contract with a Chevron subsidiary, including the previously announced contract for the ‘Pacific Santa Ana’, which is contracted to provide the first commercial application of Dual Gradient Drilling. Dual gradient techniques use a pump or other method to reduce the hydrostatic head from the mudline to the surface to that of seawater. Pacific Drilling has two further ultra-deepwater drillships (‘Pacific Scirocco’ and ‘Pacific Mistral’) under construction at Samsung Heavy Industries, both of which are on target for on time delivery in March 2011 and May 2011 respectively, and are the subject of advanced discussions with various clients.

14 Jan 2011

14/10-3 Exploration Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the 14/10-3 exploration well was spudded at 1700hrs GMT on 13 January 2011. 14/10-3 is located 8km North West of the Sea Lion 14/10-2 discovery well on Licence PL032, which Rockhopper operates and holds a 100% working interest in. The well is located .... [+ read more] on the undrilled northern lobe of the Sea Lion fan system. The well will also penetrate the distal, downdip portion of the newly-identified and underlying S2 fan body which has been mapped over an area of 42 sq. km. 14/10-3 is situated outside of the Sea Lion Discovery Area. Total depth is planned to be ca. 3,000 metres. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 38 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed. It is currently anticipated that, on completion of operations on 14/10-3, Rockhopper will drill 14/10-4, an appraisal well on the southern lobe of the Sea Lion fan system within the Discovery Area, before the rig is released.

10 Jan 2011

Successful Cormoran-1 exploration well offshore Mauritania

Dana Petroleum, the operator of the Cormoran-1 exploration well in Mauritania, in which Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) is a 16.20% partner, today issued the following press release: Dana Petroleum advises that the Cormoran-1 exploration well has been drilled to a total depth of 4,695 metres below sea level and has been plugged and abandoned as a gas discovery. Stabilised gas flow .... [+ read more] rates of between 22 and 24 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscfpd) were obtained during a test of one of the four separate gas columns encountered by the well. The Cormoran-1 exploration well is located in Block 7, offshore Mauritania. It lies approximately 2km to the south of the Pelican-1 gas discovery well, which was drilled in late 2003. The well was drilled by Dana Petroleum, as Operator of Block 7, using the Maersk Deliverer deep water semi-submersible drilling rig. Water depth at the well location is approximately 1,630m. The primary purpose of the Cormoran-1 well was to test the Cormoran prospect, which adjoins but lies at a greater depth than the Pelican discovery. A secondary exploration objective was the Petronia prospect, which lies beneath the Cormoran prospect. A further objective of the well was to provide appraisal information on the Pelican gas discovery. The Cormoran-1 well encountered generally thin but good quality, gas-bearing, sands within the Pelican Group at depths between 3,376m and 3,711m true vertical depth subsea (TVDSS). This interval comprised two gas columns, one in the Upper Pelican Group (3,376 to 3,420m TVDSS) and one in the Lower Pelican Group (3,691 to 3,711m TVDSS). Good quality, gas-bearing, sands were also encountered within the Cormoran prospect, in the gross interval from 4,351 to 4,471m TVDSS, and at the top of the Petronia prospect, in the gross interval from 4,660m to 4,695m TVDSS. Drilling was stopped at a depth of 4,695m TVDSS for operational reasons (elevated pore pressures). The well was still in gas-bearing reservoir section at this depth. A drill stem test was carried out across a 33m interval in the Lower Pelican Group (3,679 to 3,712 TVDSS). Stabilised flow rates of up to 22 to 24 MMscfpd were obtained on a 32/64" choke, the flow rate being constrained by the need to avoid sand production. Substantially higher flow rates could have been achieved were it not for this operational constraint. Following the DST, the Cormoran-1 well was plugged and abandoned, this being done in such a way that the well could be re-entered in the future.

10 Jan 2011

Tweneboa-3 appraisal well confirms Greater Tweneboa Area resource potential

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Tweneboa-3 appraisal well in the Deepwater Tano licence offshore Ghana has successfully encountered gas condensate in excellent quality sandstone reservoirs. Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids, together with the well's down-dip position confirms the Greater Tweneboa Area resource base potential. The well, located over six kilometres south-east of the Tweneboa-2 .... [+ read more] well and 12 kilometres south-east from the Tweneboa-1 discovery well, was planned with two deviated boreholes to test separate areas of the Tweneboa field. The first leg was drilled to calibrate the potential of an area with a very weak seismic response. Within prognosis, this leg encountered thin reservoir sands and approximately 9 metres of gas condensate pay. The well was then sidetracked 550 metres west, targeting the significant Ntomme anomaly, an area of strong seismic response. This leg successfully encountered a gross vertical reservoir interval of approximately 65 metres containing 34 metres of net gas condensate pay in two zones of high quality stacked reservoir sandstones. Work is underway to integrate seismic, pressure and hydrocarbon phase data in order to progress development options for the Tweneboa and Enyenra (Owo) fields in the Greater Tweneboa Area. Tweneboa-3 was drilled by the Deepwater Millennium drillship to a total depth of 3,906 metres in a water depth of 1,601 metres. On completion of operations, the well will be suspended for future use in the field development. The rig will remain in the Deepwater Tano block to drill the top-hole section of the Tweneboa-4 appraisal well which will then be suspended before moving to drill the high impact Enyenra-2A well which will appraise down-dip from the Owo-1 oil discovery. The significant oil discovery, made by the Owo-1 exploration well has now been named the Enyenra field. Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy Ghana (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

4 Jan 2011

Cairn secures rigs for 2011 Greenland Exploration

Cairn has secured two state of the art dynamically positioned drilling vessels for its 2011 dual rig exploration programme offshore Greenland. The “Leiv Eiriksson”, a fifth generation semi-submersible drilling rig and the “Ocean Rig Corcovado”, a sixth generation drillship, have been contracted to operate in the 2011 drilling season on Cairn’s offshore Greenland exploration programme. Both drilling vessels are operated .... [+ read more] by Ocean Rig. Subject to approval from the Government of Greenland, Cairn intends to drill up to four wells in 2011. Further details on the exploration programme will be provided in Cairn’s next operational update. To provide the immediate liquidity required to enable the group to agree these contracts, Cairn has entered into a stand-by secured revolving debt facility of US $900 million that will also provide funding for general corporate purposes. The facility is provided by Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Scotland Plc, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, HSBC Bank PLC and Société Générale.

4 Jan 2011

Cairn secures rigs for 2011 Greenland Exploration

Cairn has secured two state of the art dynamically positioned drilling vessels for its 2011 dual rig exploration programme offshore Greenland. The “Leiv Eiriksson”, a fifth generation semi-submersible drilling rig and the “Ocean Rig Corcovado”, a sixth generation drillship, have been contracted to operate in the 2011 drilling season on Cairn’s offshore Greenland exploration programme. Both drilling vessels are operated .... [+ read more] by Ocean Rig. Subject to approval from the Government of Greenland, Cairn intends to drill up to four wells in 2011. Further details on the exploration programme will be provided in Cairn’s next operational update. To provide the immediate liquidity required to enable the group to agree these contracts, Cairn has entered into a stand-by secured revolving debt facility of US $900 million that will also provide funding for general corporate purposes. The facility is provided by Standard Chartered Bank, Bank of Scotland Plc, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, HSBC Bank PLC and Société Générale.

3 Jan 2011

Noble Corporation Updates Noble Jim Day Contract Status

Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) today reported that Marathon Oil Company ("Marathon") has provided notice that it is terminating the drilling contract for the ultradeepwater semisubmersible drilling rig Noble Jim Day. Marathon's stated reason for the termination was that the rig had not been accepted by Marathon by December 31, 2010. Noble believes the rig is ready to commence operations and should .... [+ read more] have been accepted by Marathon. The contract was for four years and represented approximately $752 million in contract backlog to Noble. "We are disappointed by Marathon's actions," said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Noble Corporation. "Fortunately, the Noble Jim Day is one of the most capable rigs in existence and there are already a number of potential customers interested in a unit of this caliber." Noble also reported that an independent third-party has affirmed the rig's readiness. The Company also confirmed that the unit's subsea system, including the BOP, has received its certificate of compliance.

23 Dec 2010

Keppel AmFELS delivers third Rowan rig ahead of schedule

Keppel AmFELS Inc., a wholly-owned US subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered the third of four EXL jackup rigs to a subsidiary of Rowan Companies, Inc. (Rowan) ahead of schedule and within budget. The jackup was christened Rowan EXL-III yesterday by Mrs Barbara Ladner, spouse of Mr Laron Ladner, Operations Construction Manager and employee of .... [+ read more] 41 years for Rowan. The rig is scheduled to depart Keppel AmFELS' yard in Brownsville, Texas in January 2011 to commence operations on an ultra deep gas well for McMoRan Exploration Company in the Gulf of Mexico.

17 Dec 2010

Oil find off Brazil

Statoil and Petrobras of Brazil have struck oil on the Indra prospect in the Espirito Santo basin off the coast of Brazil. Petrobras is operator for licence BM-ES-32, where the discovery was made and where Statoil holds a 40% stake. The exploration well was drilled at a depth of 2,130 metres and both oil and reservoir quality is good. .... [+ read more] The reservoir thickness is approximately 70 metres and is of good quality. The preliminary analysis of the oil shows a density in the range between 25 and 30 degrees API. “We are very pleased to have struck oil here and the result will have an important bearing on our decision regarding further exploration activity in this area,” says Tim Dodson vice president, international exploration. The Inndra find was made by the semi-submersible rig Paul Wolfe. The location is situated 140 kilometres from land and some 400 kilometres north of the Peregrino field. At the moment Statoil is also participating in exploratory drilling in the Campos basin on licence BM-C-33, where Repsol is the operator. Statoil is operator on the Peregrino field and will hold a 60% share once the 40% divestment to Sinochem has been approved by the Brazilian authorities. Peregrino is planned to come on stream in the latter half of the first quarter of 2011. By next year Statoil plans to operate three exploration wells in Brazil, two in the Peregrino area in order to prove additional resources on the field, as well as an exploration well in the Camamu basin.

7 Dec 2010

Oil discovery offshore Norway near the Gjoa Field

RWE Dea Norge AS, operator of production licence 420, is in the process of completing the drilling of wildcat well 35/9-6 S. The well was drilled approximately 16 km west of the Gjøa Field in the North Sea. Petroleum was proven (mainly oil) in a 435-metre column in the Heather Formation, the Brent Group, the Drake Formation and the Cook Formation. .... [+ read more] The reservoir levels in the well are in different pressure regimes, and no hydrocarbon-water contact was encountered. “It’s been an exciting year. We’ve drilled two of our operated licences this year, and we’ve made two discoveries. We’re very pleased about making another discovery that looks promising, but it’s too soon to draw any firm conclusions until an appraisal well has been drilled”, says Hugo Sandal, Managing Director of RWE Dea Norge. “We also believe there is further exploration potential in the licence”, he continues. Preliminary estimates of the size of the discovery indicate between 2 and 10 million Sm3 of recoverable oil equivalents. Small scale formation tests (mini-DST) were carried out, showing a variation in reservoir quality. The well is the first exploration well in production licence 420, which was awarded on February 16th, 2007 (APA 2006). The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3,664 meters and was terminated in Upper Triassic rocks. The water depth at the site is 370 meters. The well will be permanently plugged and abandoned. Well 35/9-6 S was drilled by the Bredford Dolphin drilling facility, which will now proceed to Coast Centre Base (CCB Ågotnes) for a stay at the yard.

3 Dec 2010

Seadrill takes delivery of sixth KFELS B Class jackup rig

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered the KFELS B Class jackup rig, West Juno, to Seadrill Jack-ups Limited (Seadrill) on time, within budget and with a perfect safety record. Mr Wong Kok Seng, Executive Director of Keppel FELS, said, "We are proud to have maintained an outstanding track record of quality deliveries to Seadrill over 17 years of close .... [+ read more] collaboration and 16 state-of-the-art offshore drilling units.

2 Dec 2010

Rachel North 14/15-2 - Oil discovery

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, notes the announcement by Desire Petroleum plc (the "Operator") that the 14/15-2 Rachel North well, in which Rockhopper holds a 7.5% working interest, has reached a total depth of 3052 metres. Preliminary data collected indicate that this well is an oil discovery. The Operator has .... [+ read more] run an initial suite of wireline logs and this together with the drilling data indicate that the well encountered a 349 metres gross interval from 2621 metres to 2970 metres of sands and shales with hydrocarbons, of which 57 metres is net pay in multiple zones. The thickest zone is 8 metres thick with an average porosity of 20%. Other zones are thinly bedded and lower porosity but require further analysis from additional wireline logs to establish reservoir potential. The Operator now intends to complete the wireline logging and wireline sampling programme to obtain more information on the reservoir quality, the hydrocarbon saturations and the fluid type to assess the significance of this discovery. Further information will be released in due course. The completion of the drilling of the Rachel North 14/15-2 well will complete Rockhopper's earn-in on Desire's licences PL03 and PL04 under the terms of the farm-in agreement and result in Rockhopper holding a 7.5% working and economic interest in those licences.

1 Dec 2010

Second gas discovery block 4 offshore Tanzania

Ophir Energy plc ("Ophir"), an Africa-focused upstream oil and gas company, is pleased to announce that a significant gas discovery has been made in the Chewa-1 exploration well. This is the second gas discovery in the Mafia Basin, offshore Tanzania and follows on from the successful Pweza-1 well. The Chewa-1 well is located in Block 4 which is operated by one .... [+ read more] of Ophir's wholly owned subsidiaries on behalf of a joint venture which consists of itself (40%) and BG International ("BG") (60%). The well is located approximately 80km from the coastline in 1,315m of water. The Ophir/BG Joint Venture has interests in Blocks 1, 3 and 4 offshore southern Tanzania. These blocks cover more than 27,000km2 of the Mafia Basin and northern portion of the Ruvuma Basin, in water depths ranging from approximately 100m to greater than 3,000m. Chewa-1 is the second of a three-well sequence which forms part of an Initial Work Programme across Blocks 1, 3 and 4. Upon completion of the Initial Work Programme, which also includes the acquisition of 4,000km2 of 3D seismic data, BG has the option to assume operatorship of all three blocks.

30 Nov 2010

Pacific Bora Contract

In November 2010, Pacific Drilling converted a previously agreed Letter of Intent to a definitive contract for the Pacific Bora drillship with a major international oil company for operations in Nigeria. The term of the contract is three years, with two additional one year options. The Pacific Bora is a sixth generation ultra deepwater drillship with off-line handling. It will travel .... [+ read more] to Nigeria through Cape Town once it has finished commissioning in the KAHN shipyard.

29 Nov 2010

Angklung Discovery

Salamander Energy plc, the Asia focussed independent oil and gas exploration and production company, announces that the Angklung-1 exploration well in the Bontang PSC, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, has been completed as an oil and gas discovery. Salamander is operator of the Bontang PSC with a 100% interest. The Angklung-1 well was drilled by the Hakuryu-5 semi submersible rig to a total .... [+ read more] depth (“TD”) of approximately 2,850 metres true vertical depth sub-sea (“TVDSS) and encountered 23 - 27 metres of net gas pay in a high quality Lower Pliocene sandstone unit at 1,850 metres TVDSS. Log evaluation indicates that the formation has porosity of up to 30% and permeability of around 50 millidarcies. A drill stem test was conducted across a 10 metre interval of gas-bearing reservoir which flowed at a surface equipment constrained rate of approximately 24 million standard cubic feet per day. Initial analysis suggests that the gas is dry without any indication of CO2 or H2S. In the deeper section, the well encountered a gross 256 metre section of inter-bedded sandstones and shales of Upper Miocene age. Following petrophysical evaluation of a full suite of wire-line logs, this interval is interpreted to contain a net 120 metres of oil-bearing sandstones. A comprehensive sampling and pressure testing programme recovered samples of light oil and gas, though the sandstones were proved to be tight, having low permeability, and are not considered net pay at this location. The well reached TD in a sequence of Upper Miocene carbonates with strong gas shows. Salamander has acquired more than 650 km2 of 3D seismic in the Bontang PSC over the Angklung structure and surrounding prospects. The Angklung trend extends into the neighbouring SE Sangatta block (Salamander 75%, operator) where a 475 km2 3D seismic survey is currently being acquired. The well has been plugged and abandoned as a discovery. The Group will now conduct further technical work to evaluate both the resource potential of the Angklung discovery and the large inventory of prospects within Salamander’s acreage that exhibit similar seismic attributes to the pay section seen in Angklung-1 well. Work will also be undertaken to further understand the Upper Miocene oil play fairway in the area, highlighted by the Angklung-1 well.

15 Nov 2010

Oil discovery in the Mercury-1 exploration well offshore Sierra Leone

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) today announced the Mercury-1 exploration well offshore Sierra Leone encountered approximately 135 net feet of oil pay in two Cretaceous-age fan systems. Mercury is the company's second deepwater test in the Sierra Leone-Liberian Basin and was drilled to a total depth of approximately 15,950 feet in about 5,250 feet of water. "The Mercury well demonstrates .... [+ read more] that the stratigraphic trapping systems we've identified are working, and that the petroleum system is generating high-quality oil," Anadarko Sr. Vice President, Worldwide Exploration Bob Daniels said. "In the primary objective, the Mercury well encountered approximately 114 net feet of light sweet crude oil with a gravity of between 34 and 42 degrees API, with no water contact. An additional 21 net feet of 24-degree gravity crude was encountered in a shallower secondary objective. "These results continue to build momentum in the basin and enhance our confidence in the team's seismic interpretation and geologic modeling," added Daniels. "We are preserving the wellbore for potential re-entry, DST (drillstem testing) or a down-dip sidetrack to further delineate the reservoir's areal extent, quality and deliverability. We also plan to continue working with the government of Sierra Leone and our partnership to accelerate exploration and appraisal activity in the area in 2011." The Mercury discovery is located in offshore block SL-07B-10 approximately 40 miles east-southeast of Anadarko's previously announced Venus discovery. Anadarko holds an interest in more than 4.6 million acres on five deepwater blocks offshore Sierra Leone and Liberia, and has identified more than 17 prospects and leads on 3-D seismic on this acreage. Once operations are complete at the Mercury well, the company has committed to mobilize the drillship to Ghana to accelerate the appraisal program at the Owo and Tweneboa fields, which the company anticipates sanctioning in 2011. Anadarko operates block SL-07B-10 with a 65-percent working interest. Co-owners in the block include Repsol Exploracion Sierra Leone, S.L. (25-percent working interest) and Tullow Sierra Leone B.V. (10-percent working interest).

15 Nov 2010

Delivery Ceremony COSLPioneer

The COSL Project team are very happy to announce that at 15.15 p.m. today, 15th November 2010 CDE took delivery of COSLPioneer. VP Project Terje Olsen and Project Manager Karl Petter Willumsen were present during the signing cermony. The Project Management would like to thank everyone who has been part of the Construction of COSLPioneer for the efforts put into this .... [+ read more] project. This delivery completes another milestone for COSL Drilling Europe, and the Project Team wishes Lage Nordby, Jan Bergsholm and the operational team good luck with the start up of COSLPioneer.

15 Nov 2010

Securing rig for production drilling in the Norwegian Sea

Statoil has signed a letter of intent with Odfjell Drilling for hire of the Deepsea Bergen rig to be used on our licences in the Norwegian Sea. The contract value is around USD 380 million. As operator of several licences Statoil has awarded a contract to Odfjell Drilling for use of the Deepsea Bergen rig for production drilling on the Halten .... [+ read more] Bank. “We are satisfied with the signing of this agreement,” says Ivar Aasheim, senior vice president for the operations north cluster of the Exploration & Production Norway area. “It secures our future capacity in the rig market, thus enabling us to maintain our production targets in the longer term.” The contract period is three years and includes a one-year option following the completion of the drilling programme. The contract states a daily rate of around USD 346,000, based on the current exchange rate. Statoil has an option to further extend the contract period at a reduced rate. The agreement is subject to partner approval. “In our view, the agreement reflects a sustainable price level for this type of rigs,” says Gunn Vik Grønhaug, who is responsible for procuring drilling and well services in Statoil. “This agreement also confirms the good cooperation between Odfjell Drilling and Statoil.” Deepsea Bergen is a semi-submersible drilling rig, which is currently under a three-year contract with Statoil in the same area.

12 Nov 2010

Rachel North spudded

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, notes the announcement by Desire Petroleum plc (the Operator) that the Rachel North 14/15-2 well, in which Rockhopper holds a 7.5% working interest, was spudded at 10:40 hrs GMT on 12 November 2010. A further announcement will be made once drilling is completed. .... [+ read more]

29 Oct 2010

EXPLORATION WELL IN PL400 SPUDDED, OFFSHORE NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of exploration well 3/8-1 on the Barchan prospect has commenced. The well is located in licence PL400 in the Norwegian North Sea. PL400 is located some 12 km east of the Trym Discovery in the Southern North Sea, close to the boundary between the Norwegian and Danish sectors. .... [+ read more] The well will target sandstones of Permian age in a four way dip and fault bounded structural closure. The Barchan prospect is estimated to contain gross unrisked prospective resources of 150 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). The planned total depth is approximately 4,000 metres below mean sea level. The well will be drilled from the jack-up drilling rig Maersk Guardian. Drilling is expected to take approximately 60 days. Lundin Petroleum is the operator of PL400 with 50 percent interest. Partners are Norwegian Energy Company ASA (Noreco) with 30 percent and Petoro AS with 20 percent interest.

28 Oct 2010

Mandarin-1 Spud

Salamander Energy plc, the Asia focussed independent oil and gas exploration and production company, announces the spud of the Marindan-1 exploration well in the Kutai PSC, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Salamander holds a 23.4% interest in the Kutai PSC. The Marindan-1 well will be drilled to a depth of approximately 3,265 metres true vertical depth sub-sea and is targeting gas in .... [+ read more] multiple stacked sequences comprising both sandstone and carbonate reservoirs of late Miocene to early Pliocene age. The well will be drilled by the Trident-1X jack up rig in a water depth of approximately 55 metres. It is expected to take approximately 30 days to complete on a dry hole basis.

23 Oct 2010

Keppel delivers North Sea-compliant dual-capability high-specification jack-up to Rowan

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered the first of three KFELS N-Class jack-up rigs being built for Rowan Companies, Inc. (Rowan) (NYSE: RDC) safely, on time and within budget. Built to the proprietary KFELS N-Class design, this new-generation rig is the largest jack-up to be constructed in Singapore. This rig design is the brainchild of Keppel's R&D arm, Offshore .... [+ read more] Technology Development (OTD), following Keppel's extensive experience in constructing rigs for the North Sea region since 1985. The North Sea region is one of the world's toughest operating environments for offshore exploration and production.

22 Oct 2010

All set for new exploration wells in the Barents Sea

“Having tested our oil spill preparedness plans ahead of the imminent drilling operations in the Barents Sea, we can now confirm that they perform as planned,” says Knut Harald Nygård, Statoil’s new exploration manager for the Barents Sea. The three operators, Statoil, Eni and Lundin, together with NOFO (Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies) and local task forces jointly planned .... [+ read more] and carried out an extensive oil spill response drill on Sørøya in West Finnmark. “We’re very experienced when it comes to exploration in the Barents Sea and are keen to test out our emergency response plans before embarking on a new exploration campaign with Eni and Lundin. It’s important to ensure that the cooperation between the companies, NOFO and local task forces works really well before we commence drilling. We are pleased to have achieved our goals for the drill,” says Nygård. Drill leader Torun Måseide states that all planned drill elements were carried out and that the companies involved are satisfied with the results. “We have verified that we meet all requirements in our emergency plans,” says Måseide. In addition to four NOFO ocean going collection systems, consisting of a total 11 vessels with containment booms and collection devices, the Norwegian Coastal Administration and inter-municipal oil spill protection agency in Mid and North Troms supplied personnel and resources for cleaning up the oil along the coast. The three operator companies will shortly commence four exploration wells in the Barents Sea, the first of which will be drilled by Eni. Statoil will then drill two wells and Lundin one, the first exploration wells drilled in the Barents Sea since 2008. The mobile rig Polar Pioneer will be used on all of them.

22 Oct 2010

Gas discovery Pweza-1 well block 4 offshore Tanzania

Ophir Energy plc ("Ophir") an Africa-focused upstream oil and gas company, is pleased to announce that the Pweza-1 exploration well in the Mafia Basin offshore Tanzania has encountered a thick section of gas-bearing sands. Results from the Pweza-1 well, which has the potential to de-risk other prospects and leads in the basin, are currently being evaluated. The Pweza-1 well is located .... [+ read more] in Block 4 which is operated by one of Ophir's wholly owned subsidiaries on behalf of a joint venture which consists of itself (40%) and BG International ("BG") (60%). The well is located approximately 85km from the coastline in 1,400m of water. The Ophir/BG group joint venture has interests in Blocks 1, 3 and 4 offshore Tanzania which cover more than 27,000sq km of the Mafia Offshore Basin and northern portion of the Ruvuma Basin, in water depths ranging from approximately 100m to greater than 3,000m. The Ophir/BG joint venture now proposes to drill a further two wells as part of this first ever deepwater drilling campaign in Tanzania.

21 Oct 2010

Onyina-1 exploration well finds water bearing reservoirs

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Onyina-1 exploration well in the Deepwater Tano licence offshore Ghana encountered water bearing reservoirs. The Onyina-1 well was drilled to explore a large, high-risk, Campanian prospect between the Tweneboa and Jubilee fields in the northeast of the Deepwater Tano Licence. It intersected 49 metres of good quality sandstone reservoir, on prognosis, however they were .... [+ read more] water bearing at this location. The Sedco-702 dynamically positioned semi-submersible rig drilled Onyina-1 to a total depth of 2,730 metres in water depths of 828 metres. On completion of operations, the rig will move to the Jubilee Unit to assist in the preparations for first oil later in 2010. Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy Ghana (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest). Commenting today, Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, said: "The negative test of the Campanian reservoirs in the Onyina prospect enables further refinement of our exploration and relinquishment strategy offshore Ghana. Good quality Campanian reservoir sands were found as predicted, however the lack of hydrocarbons at this location highlights the high risks of charging and trapping oil in this secondary play. Our main focus remains on the lower risk primary play, the deeper more prospective Turonian reservoirs, where we have had such outstanding success with Jubilee, Tweneboa and Owo."

19 Oct 2010

Securing new rig for production drilling on the Norwegian continental shelf

Statoil has signed a Letter of Intent with Songa Offshore for hire of the Songa Dee rig to drill on the North Sea Gullfaks field. The contract value is around USD 378 million. The rig will carry out production drilling on the Statoil-operated Gullfaks field in the North Sea. It will be used for drilling and completing wells, and will quickly .... [+ read more] contribute to the field production. “The Gullfaks field has considerable remaining resources,” says Torstein Hole, senior vice president for Statoil’s operations west cluster. “Securing important drilling capacity on the field for the next three years, this agreement allows us to implement several measures to improve the Gullfaks oil recovery. The drilling operations will increase the field’s production volumes from 2012, which will strongly boost the recovery rate from the field.” Vidar Birkeland, acting head of procurements in Statoil, is pleased about the company securing necessary future capacity in the rig market. “We find that the agreement reflects a sustainable price level for this type of rig,” says Birkeland. “The agreement further marks the beginning of a co-operation between Songa and Statoil. We have a strategy to increase the diversity, competition and flexibility of this market. For this reason it is important to Statoil to have several rig companies operating in Norway.” Plans call for the rig to start its production assignment for Statoil in August 2011. The contract states a daily rate of USD 345,000. Statoil has an option to extend the contract period from three to four years on the same terms. The agreement is contingent on partner approval.

15 Oct 2010

Dambus-1 Exploration Well, Kutai PSC, Indonesia

Serica and its partners spudded the Dambus-1 offshore exploration well on 4 September 2010 using the jack-up drilling rig Trident IX. The objective of the well was to investigate the potential for gas and oil accumulations in a stacked sequence of Miocene sands. Dambus-1 was drilled as a deviated well to a total depth of 3,225 metres measured depth ("MD") (2,713 .... [+ read more] metres true vertical depth subsea ("TVDSS"). Based on the indicative data obtained while drilling, hydrocarbons were encountered in clean sands in the gross interval 2,070-2,102 metres MD (1,787 - 1,812 metres TVDSS) and there were indications of further hydrocarbon-bearing sands in an interval below 2,760 metres MD (2,340 metres TVDSS). In order to obtain definitive data on the extent of the discoveries the well was plugged back and sidetracked and wireline logs, pressure data and fluid samples were acquired. Sidetrack Dambus-1ST was drilled to a total depth of 2,800 metres MD (2,568 metres TVDSS). Excellent quality gas-bearing Miocene reservoir sands were encountered in the interval 2,025-2,047 metres MD (1,795-1,816 metres TVDSS) of which the net gas-bearing sands amounted to approximately 18 metres. Following an extensive logging and sampling programme in Dambus-1ST, the deeper sands were found to be water bearing. The upper gas-bearing sands alone are not expected to be commercially exploitable and the well is therefore being plugged and abandoned. The Trident IX drilling rig will now move to drill the Marindan exploration well, the second well in the present two-well programme in the Kutai PSC.

13 Oct 2010

Pacific Bora Delivery

On October 13, 2010 the Pacific Bora was delivered to Pacific Drilling by Samsung Heavy Industries. The Bora is a sixth generation ultra deepwater drillship. After the Bora was delivered by Samsung heavy Industries, it moved to the KAHN shipyard until January 2011, where it is currently undergoing scheduled modifications to enhance its completions capabilities. .... [+ read more]

5 Oct 2010

African Petroleum contracts 'Maersk Deliverer' for Liberia drilling

West African focused oil and gas exploration company, African Petroleum Corporation Limited (African Petroleum), is pleased to announce that it has signed a contract with Maersk Drilling for a two well programme, with the option to test both wells, at Blocks 8 and 9, located offshore Liberia, West Africa (Liberian Blocks). The two well programme will be completed using the ultra-deepwater .... [+ read more] semi-submersible, ‘Maersk Deliverer’ drilling rig. The programme is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2011. ‘Maersk Deliverer’ is the third in a series of three state-of-the-art newbuild ultra deepwater development semi-submersibles in Maersk Drilling’s fleet.

24 Sep 2010

LUNDIN PETROLEUM SPUDS THE APOLLO PROSPECT EXPLORATION WELL 16/1-14 ON PL338, OFFSHORE NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB ("Lundin Petroleum") is pleased to announce that drilling of exploration well 16/1-14 in PL338, has commenced. The well will target the Apollo structure, which is situated immediately to the south of the Draupne field in PL001B, and some 5 kms northwest of and down-dip from the Luno field located in PL338. The main objective of the Apollo .... [+ read more] well is to test a possible extension of the Draupne field into PL338. Lundin Petroleum currently estimates unrisked gross prospective resources in the range of 20 to 130 million barrels of oil equivalents (MMboe) for the Apollo prospect in PL338. The planned depth is approximately 2,500 metres below mean sea level and the well will be drilled using the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner. Drilling is expected to take approximately 50 days. Lundin Petroleum is the operator of PL338 with 50 percent interest. Partners are Wintershall Norge ASA with 30 percent and RWE Dea Norge AS with 20 percent interest.

24 Sep 2010

Result of Flow Test - Technical Update

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to report the following update from the recent flow test on well 14/10-2: "Sea Lion 1". The test was carried out over four perforated intervals totalling 77m between 2,403m and 2,566m (below drill-floor). Upon retrieving the perforating guns, a gun misfire was apparent and .... [+ read more] only the top two intervals were found to have been perforated, meaning the lower two intervals did not contribute to the flow. After perforation, a small amount of oil was produced into the tubing to clean the perforations and enable downhole oil sampling. The well was then shut in for approximately 2 hours to determine the initial reservoir pressure. The final recorded pressure was 3,385 psia at gauge depth (2,344.6m below drill-floor) and was still building. The well was then opened to flow through the three and a half inch test string, initially on a 24/64th choke, opened to a 64/64th choke during the flow period and reduced to 44/64th towards the end of the flow period to allow samples to be taken. The well was flowed for approximately 18 hours without incident and for sustained periods of over 2,000 barrels per day ("BOPD") with a maximum rate of 2,304 BOPD. The final flowing wellhead pressure was approximately 120 psia. A wax dissolver chemical was injected at the subsea test valve to mitigate the appearance of wax. Rockhopper believes that the flow rate was inhibited by incomplete perforation, waxing of the tubing string above 800 metres, increased viscosity of the oil as it cooled in the upper part of the test string and a lack of specialist equipment. As such, the Company estimates that the well could have flowed at approximately 4,000 BOPD without these constraints. Rockhopper also believes that, with a more optimal well location and horizontal well completions, significantly higher flow rates could be achieved from future production wells.

21 Sep 2010

Dana begins drilling the Cormoran exploration well, offshore Mauritania

Dana Petroleum plc is pleased to report that the Dana operated Cormoran-1 exploration well has begun drilling offshore Mauritania, West Africa, just 2 kilometres southeast of Dana’s existing Pelican-1 discovery. The conductor has been run and Dana has already drilled the 26 inch hole section down to approximately 2,226 metres. The current operation is preparing to run 20 inch casing, .... [+ read more] before drilling ahead. Cormoran-1 is being drilled by the Maersk Deliverer drilling rig and is located in Block 7 offshore Mauritania. The planned total depth of the Cormoran well is approximately 4,600 metres and the well is being drilled in a water depth of 1,632 metres. Cormoran is the largest prospect in Dana’s 2010 exploration programme and, based on 3D seismic mapping, has a target reserves range of between 400 million barrels and 780 million barrels of oil equivalent. Dana holds the largest working interest in this Block 7 Production Sharing Contract area with 36%. The well is expected to encounter three discrete zones of interest between approximately 2,890 metres and 4,600 metres.

20 Sep 2010

Hakuryu-5 rig on tow to Bontang PSC

Salamander Energy plc, the Asia focussed independent oil and gas exploration and production company, announces that the Hakuryu 5 semi-submersible rig has departed Singapore and is under tow en-route to the Bontang PSC, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. It is expected to take approximately 12 days for the rig to arrive on location. Once on location the rig will be used to .... [+ read more] drill the Angklung-1 exploration prospect. Angklung is forecast to contain mean prospective resources of 125 MMboe and the well will take approximately 39 days to drill on a dry hole basis.

13 Sep 2010

Owo-1 sidetrack confirms major oil discovery

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Owo-1 exploration sidetrack in the Deepwater Tano licence offshore Ghana has significantly extended the column of high quality light oil discovered by the Owo-1 well. Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids confirm that Owo is a major new oil field. The Owo-1 well encountered 53 metres of net oil pay .... [+ read more] and the sidetrack, drilled 0.6 km east of the Owo discovery well, encountered an additional 16 metres of net oil pay in the lower part of the same channel system. Pressure data indicates that this oil pay is in communication with the reservoirs penetrated in the Owo-1 well and confirms at least 69 metres of total net oil pay in a substantial gross oil column of 200 metres. Beneath the Owo oil field, 13 metres of net condensate pay was also discovered, with an additional 6 metres of net gas pay logged in the deepest sand encountered. No water was encountered in any of the hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs in either well. Following completion of logging operations the well will be suspended for future use in appraisal and development. The Sedco-702 dynamically positioned semi-submersible drilled the Owo-1 sidetrack to a final depth of 3,998 metres in water depths of 1,428 metres. On completion of operations, the rig will remain in the Deepwater Tano block to drill the Onyina-1 exploration well which targets a large Campanian prospect between the Tweneboa and Jubilee fields. Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy Ghana (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

6 Sep 2010

Flow Test Update-Sea Lion 14/10-2 discovery well

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, announces that the Ocean Guardian drilling rig is at the location of the Sea Lion 14/10-2 discovery well and that operations to carry out a flow test on the Sea Lion main and lower fans are underway. While testing operations can be more sensitive to .... [+ read more] weather conditions than standard drilling operations, the Company anticipates that operations will be completed in approximately 30 days. A further announcement will be made on completion of operations.

2 Sep 2010

Dambus-1 Exploration Well

Salamander Energy plc, the Asia focussed independent oil and gas exploration and production company, announces that the Trident-1X jack up rig has arrived at the Dambus-1 (“Dambus”) location in the Kutai PSC, East Kalimantan, Indonesia and drilling operations have commenced. Salamander holds a 23.4% interest in the Kutai PSC. The Dambus exploration well will be drilled to a depth of .... [+ read more] approximately 2,700 metres sub sea and is targeting multiple stacked deltaic sandstone reservoirs of Upper Miocene age. The mean gross pre-drill estimate of prospective recoverable resource is c. 130 MMbo and 300 Bcf of gas. The well will be drilled in a water depth of 85 metres and is expected to take approximately 40 days to complete on a dry hole basis. On completion of the Dambus well the rig will move to the Marindan prospect in the south of the Kutai PSC.

1 Sep 2010

Pride International, Inc. Updates Status on Deepwater Drillship Deep Ocean Ascension

Pride International, Inc. (NYSE: PDE) today announced that it has reached agreement with BP Exploration & Production Inc. (BP) to amend the contract for the Deep Ocean Ascension to provide for a special standby dayrate prior to the startup of the previously agreed five-year term. The Ascension, the first of four new drillships in Pride's ultra-deepwater expansion, is currently in .... [+ read more] the Gulf of Mexico undergoing integrated acceptance testing with BP. The special standby dayrate of $360,000 is effective beginning August 23, 2010, and gives consideration to the existing drilling moratorium in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. This special standby dayrate will remain in effect until the earlier of April 1, 2011 or the date the rig begins mobilization to its first drilling site, either within or outside the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The rig will then begin earning the applicable dayrate as already defined in the existing contract for the five-year term, which was unchanged by the amendment. The Company is currently working closely with BP in an effort to find a suitable drilling location in their worldwide portfolio as quickly as possible.

30 Aug 2010

Keppel AmFELS maintains perfect track record with second Rowan rig

Keppel AmFELS L.L.C., the U.S. wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), is on track to deliver the second of four EXL rigs to Rowan Drilling Companies, Inc. (Rowan) on time, within budget and with zero lost-time incidents. The rig, christened Rowan EXL-II last Friday, is scheduled for delivery on 31 August and will depart the Keppel .... [+ read more] AmFELS yard within the next month. It is expected to be deployed to Trinidad for three years under contract with BP Trinidad and Tobago.

7 Aug 2010

Keppel to deliver fourth ENSCO 8500® Series deepwater rig on schedule

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver ENSCO 8503, the fourth of seven ENSCO 8500 Series® semisubmersible drilling rigs being built exclusively for Ensco plc (NYSE: ESV). ENSCO 8503 is scheduled to commence a two-year primary term with Cobalt International Energy, L.P. in the Gulf of Mexico in early 2011. .... [+ read more]

28 Jul 2010

New build contract

Lamprell (ticker: LAM), a leading provider of specialist engineering services to the international oil & gas and renewables industry, is pleased to announce that it has received a US$ 317 million new contract award from National Drilling Company (“NDC”), Abu Dhabi. This contract with NDC is for the construction and delivery of two jackup rigs valued at US$ 158.5 million each .... [+ read more] with additional optional equipment orders valued at US$ 12.6 million per rig. The rigs will be completely outfitted and equipped, LeTourneau designed, self-elevating Mobile Offshore Drilling Platforms of a Super 116E (Enhanced) Class design. The rigs consist of triangular hulls and three 310 foot truss type legs per rig, each leg with an electro-mechanical rack and pinion elevating system, which will allow drilling in depths of up to 200 feet of water with a rated drilling depth of 30,000 feet. Work on the first rig will commence on 1 August 2010 with delivery scheduled for the middle of Q2 2012. As part of the contract, NDC has options for Lamprell to build two further jackup rigs, valued at US$ 158.5 million per rig, exercisable during the 12 month period commencing on 1 August 2010. Each option includes additional optional equipment orders valued at US$ 12.6 million. Lamprell and Riginvest have agreed that the contract they entered into for the construction of a LeTourneau Super 116E jackup drilling rig will terminate upon signature of the contract between NDC and Lamprell. The rig that was being built for Riginvest will now be built for NDC. Riginvest will receive a portion of the contract advance it initially paid to Lamprell as part of the termination agreement. From an accounting perspective, pursuant to International Financial Reporting Standards, the cancellation of the Riginvest contract will create a material one-off accounting gain in the Company’s financial statements for 2010, the amount of which cannot be determined at this stage.

24 Jul 2010

Keppel delivers Seadrill’s 5th KFELS B CLASS jackup rig

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track towards an on-budget and on time delivery of the KFELS B Class jackup rig, West Callisto, to Seadrill Limited (Seadrill) before the end of July 2010. To date, the project has clocked a good safety record of 2.2 million man-hours without incidents. This rig was named at Keppel FELS today by Lady .... [+ read more] Sponsor Mrs Poespawardhani Priyono, spouse Mr R. Priyono, Chairman of BPMIGAS, Indonesia’s upstream oil and gas supervisory agency. Mr Wong Kok Seng, Executive Director of Keppel FELS, said, “Together, Keppel and Seadrill have been setting the global standard in offshore drilling since 1993. Our win-win partnership has yielded a fleet of 14 exceptional rigs worth US$1.5 billion. “The successful construction of West Callisto is another strong testimony of the teamwork between our companies. Keppel FELS looks forward to continue supporting our valued customer Seadrill with growing its market leadership in premium rigs.” West Callisto is expected to commence development drilling operations in Indonesia under a nine-month contract with Premier Oil, in the third quarter of 2010.

23 Jul 2010

Ernest 26/6-1 Exploration Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to announce that the Ernest 26/6-1 Exploration Well was spudded at 05.15hrs BST on 23 July 2010. The Ernest prospect is located on Licence PL024. Rockhopper will drill Ernest as operator with a 100% interest. The well is being drilled to an estimated .... [+ read more] target depth of circa 2,400 metres. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 30 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed. Ernest is being drilled using the fourth rig slot in the overall drilling programme of the Ocean Guardian rig. On completion of the Ernest 26/6-1 Exploration Well, it is currently anticipated that the Ocean Guardian will return to Rockhopper's Sea Lion 14/10-2 Well (100% Rockhopper) to conduct flow testing on the oil discovery.

21 Jul 2010

LUNDIN PETROLEUM HAS SPUDDED AVALDSNES EXPLORATION WELL, OFFSHORE NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of exploration well 16/2-6 on the Avaldsnes prospect has commenced. The well is located in Block 16/2, production licence PL501, in the central North Sea sector of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). The Avaldsnes prospect is located approximately 25 km east of the Lundin Petroleum operated Luno discovery, on .... [+ read more] the opposite side of the Utsira structural high. The target is a Lower Cretaceous/Jurassic age sandstone sequence, analogous to the Luno reservoir, within a combined stratigraphic/four-way dip closure. The gross unrisked prospective resource of the primary Avaldsnes target is estimated by the operator at approximately 130 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). Lundin Petroleum is using the semi submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner to drill the prospect. Drilling is expected to take approximately 38 days, excluding testing. Lundin Norway AS is the operator with 40 percent interest. Partners are Statoil Petroleum AS with 40 percent interest and Maersk Oil Norway AS with 20 percent interest.

1 Jul 2010

Spudding od Tom Hum XANH-1X Exploration Well

Salamander Energy plc, the Asia focussed independent oil and gas exploration and production company, announces the spud of the Tom Hum Xanh-1X (“31-THX-1X”) exploration well in Block 31, in the Vinh Chau Graben system, offshore southern Vietnam. Salamander holds an operated 35% interest in Block 31, which was the subject of a previously announced farm out arrangement between Salamander and Origin .... [+ read more] Energy in December 2009. The 31-THX-1X well will be drilled to a depth of approximately 2,500 metres and is targeting oil in the Eocene-Oligocene clastics as well as pre-Tertiary basement in a horst block structure in the centre of the basin. The mean gross pre-drill estimate of prospective recoverable resource is c. 80 MMbo. The well will be drilled by the PVD-1 jack-up rig in a water depth of 18 metres. It is expected to take approximately 32 days to complete on a dry hole basis.

28 Jun 2010

Contracting the Stena Don drilling rig

Statoil has signed a three-year contract with Stena Drilling for hire of the Stena Don drilling rig. The contract value is USD 437 million over a period of three years. Plans call for the semi-submersible rig to be used for drilling on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The rig was also under contract with Statoil from 2001 to December 2009. .... [+ read more] “We have long experience with Stena Don, and we look forward to continuing the cooperation with this rig,” says Anders Opedal, head of procurements in Statoil. The schedule of work for the rig is being considered by relevant licences on the NCS. The rig will play an important role in Statoil’s efforts to reach its NCS production targets.

15 Jun 2010

'Sevan Driller' heads for drilling location

'Sevan Driller' has left Macae, heading for the drilling location. The advanced deepwater drilling unit is the world's first cylindrical rig and will be operating in the pre-salt area under a six year drilling contract with Petrobras. .... [+ read more]

11 Jun 2010

'Sevan Driller' Accepted by Petrobras

Sevan has been informed that the 'Sevan Driller' has been accepted by Petrobras. The rig will be operating in the pre-salt area offshore Brazil under a fixed six year drilling contract. .... [+ read more]

10 Jun 2010

Statoil completes efficient exploration drilling campaign offshore Newfoundland

Statoil, along with its partners, has finalized a 19-month exploration drilling program offshore Newfoundland. The purpose of the drilling program was to increase the robustness of the Bay du Nord project and to test new areas of the Flemish Pass Basin. Nine wells were drilled safely and efficiently by the Seadrill West Hercules in the Flemish Pass Basin, located approximately 500 .... [+ read more] kilometres east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The results have improved Statoil’s understanding of the frontier Flemish Pass Basin. The drilling program included four exploration wells in close vicinity of the 2013 Bay du Nord discovery, as well as three appraisal wells on the discovery. In addition, two exploration wells were drilled in areas outside the Bay du Nord discovery. The program was conducted in a harsh offshore environment; however, with strong operational and HSE performance, setting several records on drilling speed during the campaign. The drilling program has resulted in two discoveries of oil at the Bay de Verde and Baccalieu prospects in the Bay du Nord area, both of which add to the resource base for a potential development at the Bay du Nord discovery. The appraisal and near-field exploration of the Bay du Nord discovery has reduced key reservoir uncertainties and confirmed that the volumes are within the original volume range of the 300 to 600 million barrels of recoverable oil initially estimated by Statoil in 2013, but potentially towards the lower end of the range. “We are encouraged by the discoveries in the Bay de Verde and Baccalieu wells and the results of the appraisal wells,” said Erling Vågnes, senior vice president, Statoil Exploration, Northern Hemisphere. “Based on the improved understanding of the Flemish Pass Basin petroleum system, we are maturing further prospects that may add volumes to Bay du Nord.” “The Flemish Pass Basin offshore Newfoundland is a frontier area, where only 17 wells have been drilled in the entire basin – in an area that is 30,000 km2,”said Vågnes. “This drilling campaign has been critical both to maturing the Bay du Nord discovery as well as evolving our knowledge of the greater basin and Newfoundland offshore – which remains a core exploration area for Statoil.” The drilling program began in November 2014 and was extended by one month to incorporate the drilling of Baccalieu, a well on a licence awarded by the C-NLOPB in the 2015 land sale, which Statoil was able to progress from access to well-completion in four months. Statoil’s assessment of the commercial potential of the Bay du Nord discovery is ongoing. “The recent drilling program has been critical to Statoil’s continued assessment of Bay du Nord, and work is underway to evaluate the results related to proceeding with a potential Statoil-operated development in the Flemish Pass Basin,” said Paul Fulton, president, Statoil Canada.

9 Jun 2010

Mahogany-5 successfully appraises southeast Jubilee

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Mahogany-5 appraisal well has continued the successful appraisal of the area immediately to the southeast of the Jubilee Field offshore Ghana. The results of drilling, wireline logs and reservoir fluid samples show that the well penetrated a total net oil pay of 23 metres in sandstone reservoirs over a gross interval of 51 metres. .... [+ read more] Reservoir fluid samples recovered 28-32 degree API oil and pressure data have confirmed reservoir communication with the previously drilled Mahogany-4 well. Mahogany-5 completes the appraisal of the southeast Jubilee area and follows successes at the Mahogany-3, Mahogany-4 and Mahogany Deep-2 wells. Geoscience and engineering studies are continuing to refine the potential resource range and to advance development planning activities for this area. The well was drilled by the Atwood Hunter rig to a total depth of 3,988 metres in a water depth of 1,149 metres. The well is located approximately 62km offshore and about 7km southeast of the Mahogany-1 well, the Jubilee discovery well. The rig will now leave Ghana to work for another operator and will return in the fourth quarter of 2010 on a planned nine-month drilling programme in the West Cape Three Points licence. Tullow has a 22.896% interest in the West Cape Three Points licence which is operated by Kosmos Energy.

1 Jun 2010

Toroa Well Spudded

FOGL is pleased to announce that the Toroa F61/5-1 exploration well spudded on Monday 31st May 2010. The Toroa prospect is located in Licence PL15, in which FOGL has a 49% interest. The well is being drilled to an estimated target depth of circa 2,700 metres. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 35 days and a further announcement .... [+ read more] will be made once drilling is completed.

31 May 2010

LUNDIN PETROLEUM EXPLORATION WELL TO TARGET THE APOLLO PROSPECT IN PL338

Lundin Petroleum AB ("Lundin Petroleum") will drill a new exploration well 16/1-14 in PL338. The well will target the Apollo structure, which is situated immediately to the south of the Draupne field in PL001B, and some 5 kms northwest of and down-dip from the Luno field located in PL338. The main objective of the Apollo well is to test what .... [+ read more] is believed to be a possible extension of the Draupne field into PL338. This discovery, which was recently successfully appraised by the Draupne field partners, is in Upper Jurassic sands at a depth of some 2,400m below sea level. Lundin Petroleum currently estimates unrisked gross prospective resources in the range of 20 to 130 MMboe for the Apollo prospect in PL338. The range of the resources quoted is dependent on the geological model used which is very sensitive to sand thickness variations towards the south into license PL338. The well will be drilled in the third quarter 2010 with the rig Transocean Winner. Lundin Petroleum is the operator of PL338 with a 50 percent interest. Partners are Wintershall Norge ASA with 30 percent and RWE DEA Norge AS with 20 percent interest. Ashley Heppenstall President & CEO commented: "The Apollo well will test an extension of a proven and tested hydrocarbon accumulation with upside potential based upon our geological model. The prospect is close to the Luno discovery and further exploration success in the area will clearly be beneficial in respect of the development of the Greater Luno Area"

21 May 2010

'Sevan Driller' departs from Rio shipyard

The 'Sevan Driller' departed Rio yesterday and is currently en route to Macae where formal acceptance will take place. Total transit time to Macae is approximately 24 hours. Following formal acceptance, the unit will relocate to its first drilling location in the Campos basin. .... [+ read more]

18 May 2010

Third Deepwater Semi-submersible named

On Sunday 16 May Maersk Drilling named the latest addition to the fleet, a Deepwater Development Semi-submersible constructed at Keppel FELS in Singapore. Mrs. Merete Våge, wife of Steinar Våge, President of ConocoPhillips Norway, honoured Maersk Drilling and the yard by naming the newbuilding MÆRSK DELIVERER at a ceremony offshore Singapore. “These rigs are probably the most outstanding and .... [+ read more] complex deepwater rigs ever built. A number of innovative features have been implemented in the design, which will increase the safety of our crew and make the rigs considerably more efficient”, says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling. “We are pleased that our third deepwater semi-submersible in this series is going to start up operations in West Africa, a prosperous deepwater area with much activity. The new rig is the third and final unit in a series of three highly advanced Ultra Deepwater Development Semi-submersibles. With its large capacities and highly efficient drilling equipment the new rig is capable of drilling 10,000 m (30,000 ft) into the subsoil measured from the seabed. This makes the rig particularly well suited to drill deep and technically complicated wells as seen among others offshore West Africa, Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Asia. The rig is able to operate in water depths up to 3,000 m (10,000 ft) and can maintain its station either in dynamic positioning (DP) mode or with a pre-laid mooring system. The initial programme for MÆRSK DELIVERER is for Dana Petroleum for drilling offshore Mauretania, West Africa. The contract has a duration of 90 days and commences upon final completion of the deepwater tests and mobilisation to Mauretania.

12 May 2010

Pacific Drilling awarded five year contract for 'Pacific Santa Ana'

Pacific Drilling Limited is pleased to announce the signing of a contract with Chevron USA Inc. for the ‘Pacific Santa Ana’ per the previously released letter of intent. The contract represents a revenue stream of approximately USD895Million over the five year initial term which commences in late 2011. ‘Pacific Santa Ana’, under construction in South Korea, represents the height of current .... [+ read more] drilling technology, with capabilities to operate in up to 12,000ft water depth and drill to over 35,000ft well depth.

12 May 2010

Pacific Santa Ana Awarded 5-year Contract with Chevron

Pacific Drilling Limited is pleased to announce the signing of a contract with Chevron USA Inc. for the Pacific Santa Ana per the previously released letter of intent. The contract represents a revenue stream of approximately $895Million over the five year initial term which commences in late 2011. Pacific Santa Ana, under construction in South Korea, represents the height of .... [+ read more] current drilling technology, with capabilities to operate in up to 12,000ft water depth and drill to over 35,000ft well depth. Pacific Drilling Limited is a privately owned, ultra-deepwater drilling contractor, which has an interest in six Samsung design ultra-deepwater drillships. Four drillships Pacific Bora, Pacific Scirocco, Pacific Mistral and Pacific Santa Ana are expected to be delivered between September 2010 and July 2011 and will be wholly owned and operated by Pacific Drilling. Two vessels are currently operating in India and are held and operated by a 50% JV.

6 May 2010

Sea Lion - Oil Discovery

Rockhopper Exploration, the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to announce that well 14/10-2 on the Sea Lion prospect has reached a depth of 2,744 metres. Initial data collected indicate that this well is an oil discovery, which would be the first in the North Falkland Basin. The Company has run a suite of wireline .... [+ read more] logs and logging data collected thus far indicate that the well has encountered a 150 metre gross interval of sand and shales. The data show that the well has 53 metres of net pay distributed in multiple pay zones, the thickest of which has a net pay of 25 metres. These pay zones have an average porosity of 19%. Rockhopper now intends to collect additional logging information prior to making a decision whether to plug and abandon the well, or to suspend the well for future testing. The Company is also considering whether to drill an appraisal well on Sea Lion later during the current drilling campaign. Further information will be distributed in due course. It remains the intention of the Company to drill the Ernest prospect in the fourth slot of the overall Falklands Drilling programme. Samuel Moody, Managing Director, commented: "We are extremely excited by the results of this well. While we are presently acquiring additional data, current indications are that we have made the first oil discovery in the North Falkland Basin. We will now focus on analysing in more detail the data gathered from the well, in addition to continuing preparations for the drilling of our Ernest prospect later in the year."

4 May 2010

Keppel AmFELS sets perfect track record with first Rowan rig

Keppel AmFELS Inc., the US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), has delivered the first of four EXL rigs to Rowan Drilling Company, Inc. (Rowan) safely, on time and within budget. The rig, christened Rowan EXL I at the yard last Saturday, is expected to be deployed for work immediately after delivery to serve a 10-month .... [+ read more] contract with McMoRan Exploration Company in the US Gulf of Mexico.

20 Apr 2010

Dahoma-1 exploration well results

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Dahoma-1 exploration well in the West Cape Three Points licence encountered water bearing reservoirs. The Dahoma-1 exploration well was drilled 11 kilometres south of Mahogany-3 to explore a down-dip satellite prospect within the southeast Jubilee area, outside of the main Jubilee Unit Area. It intersected 30 metres of good quality sandstone reservoir below a .... [+ read more] possible oil-water contact and some indications of oil migration point to good potential for oil trapped up-dip. The Atwood Hunter rig drilled Dahoma-1 to a total depth of 4,390 metres in water depths of 1,564 metres and will now move to drill Mahogany-5 to appraise the up-dip oil accumulations eastwards of Mahogany-3. A comprehensive drilling programme is planned for the remainder of 2010 and into 2011 targeting a combination of lower-risk and high-impact exploration and appraisal targets. The next high-impact wildcat is Owo-1, in the Deep Water Tano licence, which will be drilled in June with the Sedco-702 rig targeting the upside potential in the greater Tweneboa fan system. Tullow has a 22.896% interest in the West Cape Three Points licence and its partners are Kosmos Energy (Operator) and a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, (30.875% each), the E.O. Group (3.5%), Sabre Oil & Gas (1.854%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest). Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

16 Apr 2010

Sea Lion 14/10-B Exploration Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to announce that the Sea Lion 14/10-B Exploration well was spudded at 0050hrs BST on 16 April 2010. The Sea Lion prospect is located on Licence PL032 which is 100% owned and operated by Rockhopper. The well is being drilled to .... [+ read more] an estimated target depth of circa 2,700 metres. Drilling operations are expected to take approximately 34 days and a further announcement will be made once drilling is completed. Sea Lion is being drilled using the second rig slot in the overall drilling programme. The Company currently intends to drill its Ernest prospect (100% Rockhopper) using the fourth slot.

15 Apr 2010

Third Deepwater Semi-submersible delivered

On 15 April Maersk Drilling took delivery of the third unit in a series of three identical ultra deepwater development semi-submersible drilling rigs constructed at Keppel FELS in Singapore. "The demand for modern drillings rigs has increased over the past years concurrently with the growing technical challenges we are faced with in the drilling industry. The search for new finds .... [+ read more] is moving to deeper waters and areas with complex soil conditions and more advanced drilling rigs are needed to meet those challenges. Our ultra deepwater semi-submersibles are well equipped to meet this demand”, says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling. “Although the activity in the deepwater market was not unaffected by the economic slowdown in 2008 and 2009, the favourable long term oil price outlook will be supportive for exploration and development drilling in the deepwater segment, and we expect to see high demand for deepwater rigs going forward." With its large capacities and highly efficient drilling equipment the new rig is capable of drilling 10,000 m (30,000 ft) into the subsoil measured from the seabed. This makes the rig particularly well suited to drill deep and technically complicated wells as seen among others offshore West Africa, Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Asia. The rig is able to operate in water depths up to 3,000 m (10,000 ft) and can maintain its station either in dynamic positioning (DP) mode or with a pre-laid mooring system. As tradition bids the name of the rig will be revealed at a ceremony at the yard on Sunday 16 May 2010.

7 Apr 2010

Oil and gas discovery just north of Norne

Statoil has found oil and gas in the Fossekall prospect just north of the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea. The proved recoverable resources are provisionally estimated at between 37 and 63 million barrels of oil. The volume of associated and free gas is estimated at between 1-3 billion standard cubic metres of gas. ”I am pleased that we .... [+ read more] have made yet another discovery in the area north of the Norne field,” says Geir Richardsen, Statoil’s head of exploration for acreage close to the infrastructure in the Norwegian Sea. Last year Statoil discovered oil on the Dompap prospect, which also lies north of the Norne field. “These discoveries demonstrate that also the deeper, western parts of the Norne area remain prospectable. This may well have a bearing on our field longevity work,” says Richardsen. Together with its partners the company will consider developing the discovery through a tie-in to Norne, where the storage and production ship Norne receives production from seabed templates. Norne is also linked to the gas infrastructure on the continent by means of the pipeline systems Norne gas export and Åsgard transport via Kårstø in Rogaland. The partners on the PL128 licence are: Statoil (operator, 63.95%), Petoro AS (24.55%) and ENI Norge AS (11.5%).

6 Apr 2010

Extending Seadrill rig contract

Statoil has offered Seadrill a new five-year contract for the use of the West Venture rig on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The contract is worth about USD 712 million. “This contract will be important in ensuring that we are able to reach our production targets,” says Geir Slora, Statoil’s senior vice president for drilling and wells. Plans call for .... [+ read more] the contract to take effect from 1 August 2010, one year before the present contract for Statoil’s use of this rig expires. Under the terms of the new contract, the rig will be used by Statoil until August 2015. Statoil has the option up until January 2011 to extend the contract by a further one or two years at the same rig price. Rig capacity needed Statoil aims to maintain its present production level on the NCS for the next 10 years. Enhanced recovery from existing fields, quick and efficient development of new fields and an active exploration programme are the key measures for achieving this goal. To effectuate these measures, it is crucial that rig capacity is available. The new contract means that Statoil will not exercise the one-year extension option in the existing contract. “We are well pleased with the terms of the agreement and we see that the prices in the rig market are now at a more normal level,” says Anders Opedal, Statoil’s senior vice president for procurement. West Venture is a semi-submersible fifth-generation rig. It has been in operation for Statoil on the Troll field in the North Sea since it was built in 2000.

6 Apr 2010

Liz Well - Gas Discovery

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, notes the announcement by Desire Petroleum PLC (AIM: DES) regarding the Liz 14/19-1 well, in which Rockhopper has a 7.5% working interest: The Liz well 14/19-1, drilled by Desire Petroleum plc, in the North Falkland Basin, has reached a total depth of 3,667 metres. .... [+ read more] Final logging has been completed and the well is now being plugged and abandoned as a gas discovery. The initial log interpretation indicates that 17 metres of net hydrocarbon pay were encountered between 2961 and 3031 metres within a zone of over-pressured, predominantly sandstone, reservoir. A hydrocarbon sample and formation pressures were recovered from this interval. The initial analysis suggests that the hydrocarbon type is wet gas, but its precise characteristics will be confirmed through further analysis. There is no indication from log data or pressure data of a water-leg in this interval. Much work is now required to evaluate the reservoir quality, to determine the trapping mechanism and to assess the potential of this discovery. Dry gas was also recovered from a deeper interval below 3,400 metres indicating that gas pay is present in generally poor quality reservoir but there is considerable uncertainty on the rock type and more work will be required to assess its reservoir potential. This gas is a separate accumulation from that above, in a different pressure regime. Again further work is required to assess the significance of this interval. The Liz fan was encountered between 2,540 and 2,568 metres. Good oil shows were recorded while drilling but logging and sampling confirmed that this reservoir interval was tight. It is believed the Beth fan was also penetrated between 2,654 and 2,672 metres also with oil shows in tight reservoir. In both fans, work will now try to determine whether better quality reservoir may be developed updip. Weak oil shows were also noted in conglomeratic zones between 2,706 and 2,932 metres. The well was not suspended for later testing as the well was not designed to test over pressured gas. Additionally, further technical work is required in order to understand better the reservoirs to ensure any test is designed optimally. Due to increasing overpressure concerns the well did not reach the deepest play type in the pre-rift. Subsurface support is provided to Desire Petroleum by Senergy (GB) Ltd and the results reported today are based on the work of the Senergy operations team. Once Liz has been plugged and abandoned the Ocean Guardian drilling rig will be released to Rockhopper when it will relocate to drill the Sea Lion 14/10-B Exploration well (100% Rockhopper) on the western margin of the North Falkland Basin.

29 Mar 2010

'Sevan Driller' arrives in Brazil

‘Sevan Driller’ arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday March 27th, 2010. The UDW drilling unit will undergo custom clearance and acceptance testing by Petrobras prior to commencement of operation under its six year contract. .... [+ read more]

17 Mar 2010

New rig contracts signed

Statoil has awarded a contract to Dolphin AS and a letter of intent to Seadrill for two rigs which will operate on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The Bideford Dolphin rig has won a three-year contract with start-up from 27 January 2011. The contract is worth about USD 421 million. Statoil has an option to extend the contract from three to .... [+ read more] four years by 1 November 2010. The value of the contract will then increase to about USD 553 million. Dolphin AS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fred Olsen Energy ASA. Seadrill’s West Epsilon rig has been awarded a letter of intent for a four-year contract to take effect on 29 December 2010. This contract is worth about USD 394 million. The agreement is conditional on partner approval. Statoil can extend the contract period to five or six years before 1 October 2010. There will also be an option to extend the contract for an additional two years. Both rigs are working for Statoil at present. “We have great expectations that these rigs will continue their improvement efforts in health, safety and the environment and in drilling operations,” says Geir Slora, senior vice president for drilling and wells in Exploration & Production Norway. Before the global economic problems took full effect Statoil found that the rig rates had increased too much, and they did not decrease correspondingly when the market circumstances changed. Anders Opedal, senior vice president for procurement in Projects & Procurement, says that the rig rates are now at a more sustainable level. “We see that the cost level for rig charter is better adapted to the current market situation and we look forward to continuing cooperation with the two rigs,” says Opedal. “They will play an important part in helping us reach out production targets for the NCS in the next few years.”

17 Mar 2010

New rig contracts signe

Statoil has awarded a contract to Dolphin AS and a letter of intent to Seadrill for two rigs which will operate on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The Bideford Dolphin rig has won a three-year contract with start-up from 27 January 2011. The contract is worth about USD 421 million. Statoil has an option to extend the contract from three to .... [+ read more] four years by 1 November 2010. The value of the contract will then increase to about USD 553 million. Dolphin AS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fred Olsen Energy ASA. Seadrill’s West Epsilon rig has been awarded a letter of intent for a four-year contract to take effect on 29 December 2010. This contract is worth about USD 394 million. The agreement is conditional on partner approval. Statoil can extend the contract period to five or six years before 1 October 2010. There will also be an option to extend the contract for an additional two years. Both rigs are working for Statoil at present. “We have great expectations that these rigs will continue their improvement efforts in health, safety and the environment and in drilling operations,” says Geir Slora, senior vice president for drilling and wells in Exploration & Production Norway. Before the global economic problems took full effect Statoil found that the rig rates had increased too much, and they did not decrease correspondingly when the market circumstances changed. Anders Opedal, senior vice president for procurement in Projects & Procurement, says that the rig rates are now at a more sustainable level. “We see that the cost level for rig charter is better adapted to the current market situation and we look forward to continuing cooperation with the two rigs,” says Opedal. “They will play an important part in helping us reach out production targets for the NCS in the next few years.”

15 Mar 2010

Pacific Drilling receives LOI from Chevron for 'Pacific Santa Ana'

Pacific Drilling today announced it has entered into a Letter of Intent with Chevron USA, Inc. for the ultra-deepwater drillship ‘Pacific Santa Ana’ to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. The ‘Pacific Santa Ana’ drillship will provide Chevron and Pacific Drilling the opportunity to develop and deploy Dual Gradient Drilling technology during its activities in the deep waters of the Gulf .... [+ read more] of Mexico. ‘Pacific Santa Ana’, under construction in South Korea, represents the height of current drilling technology, with capabilities to operate in up to 12,000 feet water depth and drill to over 35,000 feet well depth.

15 Mar 2010

Pacific Drilling Announces Letter of Intent with Chevron

Pacific Drilling today announced it has entered into a Letter of Intent with Chevron USA, Inc. for the ultra-deepwater drillship “Pacific Santa Ana” to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. The “Pacific Santa Ana” drillship will provide Chevron and Pacific Drilling the opportunity to develop and deploy Dual Gradient Drilling technology during its activities in the deep waters of .... [+ read more] the Gulf of Mexico. Pacific Santa Ana, under construction in South Korea, represents the height of current drilling technology, with capabilities to operate in up to 12,000 feet water depth and drill to over 35,000 feet well depth. Pacific Drilling Limited is a privately owned, ultra-deepwater drillship operator, which has an interest in six ultra-deepwater drillships. The first two vessels, which have been delivered and are under contract, are held in a 50% JV. The remaining four are expected to be delivered between September 2010 and July 2011 and will be wholly owned and operated.

11 Mar 2010

Discoverer Inspiration Begins Five-Year Contract With Chevron

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG) today announced that the newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship Discoverer Inspiration has commenced operations for Chevron U.S.A. Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico under a five-year drilling contract. The dynamically positioned double-hulled Discoverer Inspiration includes the most advanced drilling capabilities in the offshore drilling industry. The vessel is an enhanced version .... [+ read more] of Transocean's three predecessor Enterprise-class drillships, which have set deepwater drilling records in recent years, including the world water-depth drilling record of 10,011 feet set by the Discoverer Deep Seas while working for Chevron in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

8 Mar 2010

Transocean Ltd. Announces Ultra-Deepwater Drillship Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2 Begins Five-Year Contract in India

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG) today announced that the newbuild ultra-deepwater drillship Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2, which is owned by a joint venture with Pacific Drilling Limited, has commenced operations for Reliance Industries in India under a five-year drilling contract. The dynamically positioned Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2, one of 24 Ultra-Deepwater Floaters in the Transocean fleet, includes the most advanced drilling capabilities in the offshore .... [+ read more] drilling industry. The vessel features National Oilwell Varco drilling packages, significant off-line tubular-handling and stand-building capabilities, advanced mud system designs, systems for building, storing and running several subsea trees and efficient riser and BOP (blowout preventer) handling systems. The drillship has a variable deckload of approximately 20,000 metric tons and is equipped to work in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and outfitted to construct wells up to 35,000 feet deep. In addition to the Dhirubhai Deepwater KG2 and five newbuild units placed into service last year, Transocean has four newbuild Ultra-Deepwater Floaters in various stages of construction or preparation for initial contracts which are scheduled to commence operations in 2010 and 2011. Those four units are the Discoverer Inspiration, the Discoverer India, the Discoverer Luanda (the latter owned by a joint venture company with Angco Cayman Limited) and the Deepwater Champion.

23 Feb 2010

Minor oil discovery in the Tampen area

Statoil has proven the existence of oil in a well in the Tampen area in the north-eastern area of the Snorre field in the North Sea. The purpose of the Statoil-operated well was to prove petroleum in the Upper Triassic reservoir rocks that belong to the lower parts of the Lunde formation. The find has been named Lower Lunde, and .... [+ read more] its size has been estimated to be between 6 and 19 million barrels of oil equivalents. The well formations are of good reservoir quality. The well was not formation tested, though samples were taken and data collected. “Together with the other discoveries on Tampen in 2009 – such as Vigdis Nordøst, Pan/Pandora and Titan – the Lower Lunde find will help maintain production from the major fields in the area during coming years,” says Nicholas Ashton, who is head of infrastructure-led exploration in the Tampen area. The Snorre Unit licensees will consider tying in production from the find to Snorre. Snorre Unit, formed in 1988 around the Snorre field, covers parts of production licences PL057 and PL089. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. Well 34/4-2 A was drilled by the Ocean Vanguard rig, which will now proceed to production licence PL128 in the Norwegian Sea to drill the Fossekall prospect et on exploration well 6608/10-14 S, where Statoil is operator.

22 Feb 2010

Liz 14/19-A Exploration Well Spud

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, notes the announcement by Desire Petroleum PLC (AIM: DES) that the Liz 14/19-A Exploration well, in which Rockhopper has a 7.5% working interest, was spudded on 22 February 2010. .... [+ read more]

15 Feb 2010

Rig Contract Agreement Secured

Further to our press release dated 26 November 2009 FOGL is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Desire Petroleum plc to contract the Ocean Guardian rig to drill the first ever exploration well in the East Falklands Basin on the Toroa prospect, which it expects will be within the first half of 2010. .... [+ read more]

10 Feb 2010

Small oil discovery in the Tampen area

A limited oil column was proven during drilling of an exploration well on the Omega Nord prospect six kilometres north-east of the Snorre field in the North Sea. However, the reservoir qualities of the sand and shale rocks were below expectations and the find is probably not commercially viable. The purpose of the exploration well was to confirm the presence .... [+ read more] of petroleum in upper Triassic reservoir rocks in the Lunde formation. We have achieved good results in infrastructure-led exploration the last few years, but this well did not produce the results we had hoped for, says Tom Dreyer, head of infrastructure-led exploration in the North Sea. Drilling of the exploration well is now concluded. No formation test was performed in the well, but extensive data gathering and sampling were made. This is the 12th exploration well in production licence 057, which was awarded in the fourth licensing round in 1979. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,940 metres below sea level and was completed in the lower part of the Lunde formation. Water depth in the area is 385 metres. Exploration well 34/4-12 S was drilled by Ocean Vanguard, which will now drill exploration well 34/4-12 A in Snorre Unit from the same rig position. The licensees in PL 057 are: Statoil (operator) (31.0%), Petoro AS (30.0%), RWE Dea Norge AS (24.5%), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (9.6%) and Hess Norge AS (4.9%).

4 Feb 2010

EXPLORATION WELL IN PL359 SPUDDED, OFFSHORE NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of exploration well 16/4-5 on the Luno High prospect in the Greater Luno Area has commenced. The well in PL359 is located 9 km south of the Luno field on the southern Utsira High in the North Sea. Well 16/4-5 in PL359 will target sandstones of Jurassic and .... [+ read more] Triassic age in a combined stratigraphic-/structural trap. The Luno High prospect is estimated to contain gross unrisked prospective resources of 103 MMboe. The well will also test potential basement prospectivity similar to that encountered in well 16/1-12 (Luno South). The planned total depth is approximately 2,275 meters below mean sea level. The well will be drilled from the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner. Drilling is expected to take approximately 50 days. Lundin Petroleum is the operator and has a 40 percent working interest in the license. Partners are Statoil Petroleum AS with 30 percent and Premier Oil Norge AS with 30 percent.

2 Feb 2010

Drilling Programme Update

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to announce that it has been formally assigned two slots with the Ocean Guardian drilling rig ("Ocean Guardian"), to drill Sea Lion and Ernest, during its forthcoming drilling campaign in the Falklands. This assignment is pursuant to a rig contract between Desire Petroleum PLC .... [+ read more] ("Desire") and Diamond Offshore Drilling (UK) Limited ("Diamond") and an assignment document between Desire, Diamond and Rockhopper dated 12th November 2009. The Ocean Guardian is due to arrive in the Falklands in February 2010. The first well to be drilled by the rig, due to spud in mid February 2010, will be Liz (Rockhopper: 7.5 per cent interest), located on the western margin of the North Falkland Basin and operated by Desire (92.5 per cent interest). The second well to be drilled by the Ocean Guardian upon its release from Liz will be Sea Lion (Rockhopper: 100 per cent owned and operated). The prospect is located on the eastern basin margin of the North Falkland Basin and is in close proximity to the Shell well 14/10-1, which recovered live oil. Rockhopper will then be assigned either the third or fourth slot to drill the Ernest well. Ernest is located in licence PL024 and has a positive CSEM (Controlled Source Electromagnetic Anomaly). The Ocean Guardian drilling rig departed the Cromarty Firth in Scotland on Thursday 26 November en route to Liz, in the North Falkland Basin. Further information regarding the upcoming drilling campaign is contained in Rockhopper's announcement about the recent share placing dated 26 October 2009.

2 Feb 2010

Keppel AmFELS delivers jackup Tuxpan to Perforadora Central on time

Keppel AmFELS Inc., the US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), has delivered its first rig in 2010 to Mexico’s Perforadora Central SA de CV, safely, on time and within budget. Mr Patricio Alvarez Morphy, President of Perforadora Central, said, “Tuxpan is built to the highest standards of safety and quality under the expert project management .... [+ read more] and construction capabilities of Keppel AmFELS. We are confident that this fine rig will achieve a strong operational record when she begins work.” Tuxpan is the second jackup rig that Keppel AmFELS has built for Perforadora Central. Built to the LeTourneau Super 116E design and with leg lengths of 511ft, Tuxpan can drill wells up to 30,000ft in water depths of 375ft.

21 Jan 2010

Tweneboa-2 discovers significant oil and gas-condensate field

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Tweneboa-2 exploratory appraisal well, being drilled some 6 km southeast of the Tweneboa-1 discovery, has intersected a significant combined hydrocarbon column. Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids establish that Tweneboa is a major oil and gas-condensate field. The well has encountered a gross reservoir interval of 153 metres containing 32 .... [+ read more] metres of net hydrocarbon pay in stacked reservoir sandstones, comprising a 17 metre oil bearing zone below a 15 metre gas-condensate bearing zone. A combined hydrocarbon column of at least 350 metres has been established between the lowest known oil in Tweneboa-2 and the top of the gas-condensate at Tweneboa-1, demonstrating this is a highly prospective and extensive turbidite fan system that will be evaluated with additional drilling. Following completion of logging operations the well will be deepened to test further exploration potential beneath the Tweneboa field. The well will then be suspended for future use in appraisal and development. The Atwood Hunter semi-submersible drilled Tweneboa-2 in the Deepwater Tano block to an interim depth of 3,860 metres in water depths of 1,321 metres. On completion of operations on Tweneboa-2, the rig will move to drill an exploration well in the West Cape Three Points block east of the Jubilee field. Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

19 Jan 2010

Keppel FELS delivers first rig of 2010 on time and within budget

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered ENSCO 8502, the third of seven ENSCO 8500 Series® semisubmersible (semi) drilling rigs it has been contracted to build exclusively for Ensco International (NYSE:ESV). Delivered seven days ahead of schedule, ENSCO 8502 is on track to commence operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico in the second quarter of 2010, under a two-year .... [+ read more] contract with Nexen Petroleum U.S.A. Inc. with term extension options. The early completion was a culmination of progressive productivity gains achieved by Keppel FELS on the construction of the Series. Construction lead time for ENSCO 8502 was reduced by 1.1 million manhours, as compared to the first rig in the Series. This represents a 15% boost in efficiency.

18 Jan 2010

EXPLORATION WELL IN PL476 SPUDDED, OFFSHORE NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well 6507/11-10 on the Frusalen prospect has commenced. The well is located in licence PL476 in the Norwegian North Sea. PL476 is located some 10 km northeast of the Midgard part of the Åsgard Field. Well 6507/11-10 will target sandstones of Middle Jurassic age in a .... [+ read more] structural trap. The Frusalen prospect is estimated to contain gross unrisked prospective resources of 45 millions of oil equivalents (MMboe). The planned total depth is approximately 2,300 meters below mean sea level. The well will be drilled from the semi-submersible drilling rig Songa Delta. Drilling is expected to take approximately 35 days. Lundin Petroleum has a 30 percent working interest in the licence which is operated by Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA (Det Norske).

23 Dec 2009

Mahogany Deep-2 appraisal well confirms southerly extent of Jubilee field

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Mahogany Deep-2 appraisal well offshore Ghana confirmed the down-dip extent of the main Jubilee reservoirs in the West Cape Three Points Block and intersected two new light oil accumulations. Good quality reservoirs were encountered in the Mahogany Deep section but were water bearing at this location. Mahogany Deep-2, drilled 3 km from Mahogany-3, is .... [+ read more] the furthest down-dip Jubilee well in the West Cape Three Points licence. Results of drilling, wireline logging and samples of reservoir fluid indicate that the well has encountered good quality hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir sandstones in three zones. An interval of 12 metres net pay has proved an extension of the main Jubilee reservoirs. In addition, a new shallower accumulation, with 2 metres net pay, was encountered and supports exploration prospectivity in undrilled areas to the south and east. In total, the well intersected 53 metres of net reservoir sandstones, 20 metres of which were in the Mahogany Deep section. These were found to be water bearing at this location but are not connected to the Mahogany Deep accumulation at Mahogany-3. Further extensions to the Mahogany Deep accumulation may exist to the south and east of Mahogany-3. A new reservoir was also encountered in a deeper stratigraphic level beneath the Mahogany Deep section and an oil sample was successfully recovered from a 1 metre zone which has not been encountered in any other wells in the West Cape Three Points licence to date. The new accumulations discovered by the well will now be evaluated using the recently reprocessed high resolution 3D seismic data and may be the target of future drilling. Further potential extensions of the Jubilee field and associated prospectivity will be drilled early in 2010. The Aban Abraham dynamically positioned drill-ship drilled Mahogany Deep-2 to the current depth of 4,326 metres in water depths of 1,354 metres. Tullow has a 22.896% interest in the West Cape Three Points licence and its partners are Kosmos Energy (Operator) and a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, (30.875% each), the E.O. Group (3.5%), Sabre Oil & Gas (1.854%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

14 Dec 2009

Drilling Programme Update

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to announce that it has submitted the Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") Addendum, which is required for the planned drilling programme anticipated to commence in Q1 2010, to the Falkland Island Government for its approval. The update includes details of the Ocean Guardian drilling rig which .... [+ read more] will be used by Rockhopper and its partners during 2010. It is anticipated that the updated EIS will receive formal approval shortly. A copy of the EIS Addendum will be posted on the Rockhopper website in due course.

12 Dec 2009

Keppel FELS to deliver 6th proprietary tender drilling rig to Seadrill

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver West Vencedor, the sixth of seven KFELS semisubmersible drilling tenders (SSDT) to Seadrill Limited (Seadrill) before the end of 2009. The completion of this project on time and within budget, will top out a record year of 13 rig deliveries for Keppel FELS. West Vencedor is built to Keppel’s proven .... [+ read more] KFELS SSDT 3600E design which was conferred the ASEAN outstanding engineering achievement award in December 2009 for its eco-friendly features and sustainable operations. The vessel was named at Keppel FELS by Lady Sponsor, Mrs Maria Luisa Breisacher-Moshiri, spouse of Mr Alireza Moshiri, President, Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company. West Vencedor is expected to commence development drilling operations offshore Angola under a five-year contract with Cabinda Gulf Oil Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, in the first quarter of 2010.

8 Dec 2009

Successful appraisal well drilled on the Odum field

Kosmos Energy announces today that the Odum-2 appraisal well confirmed the company's Odum oil discovery made in early 2008 offshore the Republic of Ghana on the West Cape Three Points Block. The results of drilling, wireline logs and reservoir fluid samples show the Odum-2 well penetrated net hydrocarbon-bearing pay of 20 meters (66 feet) in high-quality stacked sandstone reservoirs over a .... [+ read more] gross interval of 182 meters (597 feet). The well is about 4 kilometers (km) northeast of the Odum-1 well, which is approximately 18 km east of Kosmos' Mahogany-1 exploration well and the Jubilee oil field. Kosmos is operator of the West Cape Three Points Block. The Odum-2 well encountered 20 meters (66 feet) of net oil pay in two intervals that appear to be in static pressure communication with the Odum-1 well. The Odum-2 well encountered an oil-water contact 58 meters (190 feet) below the lowest-known oil in the Odum-1 well, extending the known oil column beyond the deepest oil seen in the Odum-1. Reservoir fluid samples recovered indicate an oil gravity of approximately 18-19 degrees API. The Odum-2 well was drilled by the "Atwood Hunter" semi-submersible rig to a total depth of 2,506 meters (8,222 feet) in a water depth of 816 meters (2,677 feet). "We are pleased that we have successfully confirmed the second of our four oil and gas discoveries to date offshore Ghana," said Brian F. Maxted, Kosmos Chief Operating Officer. "The Odum-2 well validates the upside potential of the Campanian play on the West Cape Three Points Block, which has been determined to be separate from the Jubilee Field play. We will continue to evaluate the well's results." Kosmos has drilled nine consecutive successful exploration and appraisal wells offshore Ghana for a 100 percent success rate in the region. Following the drilling of the Odum-2 well, the "Atwood Hunter" will be moved to the adjacent Deepwater Tano Block where it will drill the Tweneboa-2 appraisal well that will evaluate the most recent oil find made by Kosmos and its block partners in the area. Kosmos and its block partners are currently drilling the Mahogany Deep-2 appraisal well using the "Aban Abraham" drillship.

5 Dec 2009

Keppel to deliver third ENSCO 8500 Series® ultra deepwater semisubmersible on time and within budget

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver ENSCO 8502, the third of seven ENSCO 8500 Series® semisubmersible drilling rigs it has been contracted to build exclusively for Ensco International Incorporated (NYSE: ESV). Today, the rig was named at Keppel FELS by Lady Sponsor, Mrs Cambria Reinsborough, wife of Mr Brian Reinsborough, President of Nexen Petroleum USA .... [+ read more] Inc, in the presence of Guest of Honour, Mr Heng Chee How, Singapore’s Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office. Following her scheduled delivery, mobilisation and final outfitting, ENSCO 8502 will commence operations in the US Gulf of Mexico under a two-year contract with Nexen Petroleum U.S.A. Inc. during the second quarter of 2010.

27 Nov 2009

Rig Update

Rockhopper Exploration plc (AIM: RKH), the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, is pleased to announce that the Ocean Guardian drilling rig departed from the Cromarty Firth in Scotland at 2.00pm on Thursday 26 November en route to Falkland Island waters. The journey is anticipated to take around two months with the rig expected to .... [+ read more] arrive in the Falklands ready to commence drilling around early February 2010.

23 Nov 2009

Successful Test of the Viodo 4 Well on Marine XI

The Viodo Marine 4 vertical appraisal well ("VIM-4") located in the Marine XI Block offshore the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) has tested at a combined maximum flow rate of approximately 2,600 barrels of oil per day ("BOPD") and 7.0 million standard cubic feet of gas per day ("MMSCFD") following two drill stem tests ("DSTs"). In the first drill stem .... [+ read more] test from the deeper Carbonate section between 2,240 to 2,273 metres, the well flowed at initial post-acid rates of approximately 2,600 BOPD and 2.5 million MMSCFD on a 3/4 inch choke. Flow rates stabilized at approximately 1,100 BOPD on a 1/2 inch choke after an approximate seven hour flow period. A test of the upper Carbonate section, between 2,205 and 2,230 metres, flowed at post-acid rates of approximately 4.5 MMSCFD. The objectives of the well are to further delineate the field, gather data that would allow the 3D seismic to be used to map the distribution of reservoir quality limestone and to test the effectiveness of a completion strategy that could be applied to high angle development wells. The results of the well and the reprocessed seismic will now be incorporated into a 3D model that will be used as a tool to assess the commerciality of the accumulation. As planned the well will be plugged and abandoned and the jack-up drilling rig Pride Cabinda will be released.

23 Nov 2009

Keppel to upgrade and repair 2 Noble drillships for US$304 million in Brazil

Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), through its subsidiary, Keppel FELS Brasil, has secured contracts from Noble Corporation (Noble) to upgrade and repair two of Noble's Brazil-based drillships for US$304 million (S$421.6 million). The scope of work covers the fabrication, repair and replacement of components, including the stern section, accommodation blocks, sponsons and heliport. Work on the .... [+ read more] drillships, Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Roger Eason, will be done sequentially at Keppel’s BrasFELS yard in Angra dos Reis, beginning with the arrival of the first drillship by early 2011. The two deliveries are scheduled between the last quarter of 2011 and the first half of 2012 respectively. Meanwhile, both parties are in advanced talks on the upgrading of a third Brazil-based drillship operated and majority-owned by Noble.

23 Nov 2009

Keppel to upgrade and repair 2 Noble drillships for US$304 million in Brazil

Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), through its subsidiary, Keppel FELS Brasil, has secured contracts from Noble Corporation (Noble) to upgrade and repair two of Noble's Brazil-based drillships for US$304 million (S$421.6 million). The scope of work covers the fabrication, repair and replacement of components, including the stern section, accommodation blocks, sponsons and heliport. Work on the .... [+ read more] drillships, Noble Leo Segerius and Noble Roger Eason, will be done sequentially at Keppel’s BrasFELS yard in Angra dos Reis, beginning with the arrival of the first drillship by early 2011. The two deliveries are scheduled between the last quarter of 2011 and the first half of 2012 respectively. Meanwhile, both parties are in advanced talks on the upgrading of a third Brazil-based drillship operated and majority-owned by Noble.

23 Nov 2009

'Sevan Driller' completes sea trials and begins mobilisation to Brazil

The ‘Sevan Driller’ completed the sea trials off the coast of China on November 23rd, 2009, and has started its voyage to Brazil for commencement of a six-year contract with Petrobras S.A. The rig has undertaken an extensive commissioning and sea trial program, including speed trials confirming the design speed above 9 knots. ‘Sevan Driller’ was constructed in less than 30 .... [+ read more] months at COSCOs Nantong and Qidong shipyards in China. The self-propelled rig has an expected transit time to Brasil of 75-80 days including bunkering in Singapore and a crew change in Cape Town, South Africa. Upon arrival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the rig will undergo importation procedures and acceptance testing by Petrobras. ‘Sevan Driller’ will be operating in the pre-salt area with its first location in the Campos basin in a water depth of 1,800 m. The ultra-deepwater drilling rig will be capable of drilling in water depths down to 3,000 m and has a variable deck load capacity of more than 15,000 tons. The ‘Sevan Driller’ is the world’s first cylindrical drilling unit and is based on the same design principles as Sevan’s three FPSOs currently in operation in Brazil and the North Sea.

16 Nov 2009

Keppel earns S$640,000 bonus for delivering PV Drilling III jackup early

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has been awarded a bonus of S$640,000 (US$460,000) for delivering the KFELS B Class jackup rig, PV Drilling III, early to PetroVietnam Drilling & Well Services Corp (PV Drilling). Completed 1.5 months ahead of schedule, without incidents, PV Drilling III has departed Keppel FELS for Vietnam to begin a five-year contract with Vietsovpetro in the .... [+ read more] Bach Ho field, offshore Vietnam.

16 Nov 2009

Interesting North Sea find

Gas and condensate have been discovered by Statoil in the Beta West prospect, 1.5 kilometres from the main Sleipner West reservoir. Resources in the find, which lies four kilometres west of Sleipner B, are currently estimated at 37-63 million recoverable barrels of oil equivalent (six to 10 million standard cubic metres oe). “This discovery strengthens our prospects for finding .... [+ read more] more resources in the immediate vicinity of Sleipner West,” says Tom Dreyer, head of infrastructure-led exploration in the North Sea. Edvin B Ytredal, Statoil’s operations vice president for the Sleipner area, is very satisfied both with the discovery and with the opportunities it represents for Sleipner West. “Production from this field is coming of plateau, but the newly discovered resources mean that its future prospects are substantially brighter,” he says. Located in 108 metres of water, the well was drilled from the West Epsilon rig to a vertical depth of 3,760 metres beneath sea level. Hydrocarbons were encountered in a sandstone unit belonging to the Hugin formation.

11 Nov 2009

Lower rig hire rates

The contracts have been signed with Diamond Offshore for the hire of Ocean Vanguard and with Saipem for the hire of the rig Scarabeo 5. “In December last year we announced that we expected the market to revert to the lower 2006 level and now it has responded to our expectations. We are pleased to have gained more reasonably .... [+ read more] priced rig capacity so that we can further develop the shelf,” says Anders Opedal, Statoil’s senior vice president for Procurement. The Ocean Vanguard deal is valued at USD 382 million. It has duration of three years with a one-year option. The deal for Scarabeo 5 is valued at USD 437 million and also has a three-year duration and one-year option. These rates set a new price level for rigs in the exploration and completion segment. “The two rigs are well known for their contributions to our operations on the shelf. The flexibility provided by these rigs in terms of conventional drilling, completion, high pressure, high temperatures and deep water are in line with our plans for exploration and production in the future,” says Øystein Michelsen, Statoil’s executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway.

11 Nov 2009

Lower rig hire rates

The contracts have been signed with Diamond Offshore for the hire of Ocean Vanguard and with Saipem for the hire of the rig Scarabeo 5. “In December last year we announced that we expected the market to revert to the lower 2006 level and now it has responded to our expectations. We are pleased to have gained more reasonably .... [+ read more] priced rig capacity so that we can further develop the shelf,” says Anders Opedal, Statoil’s senior vice president for Procurement. The Ocean Vanguard deal is valued at USD 382 million. It has duration of three years with a one-year option. The deal for Scarabeo 5 is valued at USD 437 million and also has a three-year duration and one-year option. These rates set a new price level for rigs in the exploration and completion segment. “The two rigs are well known for their contributions to our operations on the shelf. The flexibility provided by these rigs in terms of conventional drilling, completion, high pressure, high temperatures and deep water are in line with our plans for exploration and production in the future,” says Øystein Michelsen, Statoil’s executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway.

26 Oct 2009

Venezuelan exploration campaign completed

StatoilHydro in Venezuela has completed the third and last well of the minimum exploration programme of Block 4, Plataforma Deltana, eastern Venezuela. The campaign initiated in December 2004 found gas-bearing sands in the Cocuina and Ballena areas. The Orca well was not successful. StatoilHydro and Total, based on thorough evaluations of the results of this exploration campaign have proposed to .... [+ read more] the Venezuelan ministry of energy and petroleum to retain acreage around Cocuina in order to assess commerciality. Plataforma Deltana Block 4 is a licence awarded to Statoil by the Venezuelan government in 2003. StatoilHydro, with a 51% interest, is the operator of the licence in which Total has the remaining 49%. Statoil has been present in Venezuela since 1995, and participates in Sincor, the most successful project in the Orinoco Belt that produces, upgrades, and commercialises extra heavy crude oil.

21 Sep 2009

Spudding Of Viodo Appraisal Well On Marine XI

SOCO announces that the Viodo 4 appraisal well spudded on 17th September 2009 in the Marine XI Block, located in the Congo Basin, offshore the Republic of Congo. This well is an appraisal of the 1986 Viodo oil discovery and is targeting an extension of the core area of the field drilled by the VIM-1 discovery well. The Viodo .... [+ read more] discovery lies in some 65m of water and contains oil in the Toca formation, a lacustrine carbonate developed below the regional salt horizon. Three of the four existing wells, drilled in the period 1986 to 1990, successfully tested oil, but also showed the accumulation to be geologically complex. The VIM-4 appraisal well is designed to add to the technical understanding of the discovery via a comprehensive data collection and well testing programme. The spudding of the Viodo well is the second well in the most active drilling programme in the Company's history, which includes a 12 month drilling campaign in the Cuu Long Basin, offshore Vietnam, one exploration well on the Marine XIV Block, offshore Republic of Congo, a further exploration well on Marine XI, and two exploration wells on the Nganzi Block, located onshore the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa).

16 Sep 2009

Oil discovery in the Venus-B1 exploration well offshore Sierra Leone

Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) today announced a deepwater discovery at the Venus exploration well in block SL 6/07 offshore Sierra Leone. The Venus B-1 well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 18,500 feet in about 5,900 feet of water and encountered more than 45 net feet of hydrocarbon pay. Venus is the first deepwater test in the Sierra .... [+ read more] Leone-Liberian Basin. "The Venus discovery confirms the existence of an active petroleum system in the basin and enhances the prospectivity of our vast West Africa acreage position," said Bob Daniels, Anadarko Sr. Vice President, Worldwide Exploration. "With Jubilee on the east and Venus on the west, we have established bookends spanning approximately 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) across two of the most exciting and highly prospective basins in the world. Anadarko and our partners are evaluating the initial results of the well and the forward plan for the prospect, and anticipate additional drilling in the area. We are optimistic that the continued success of our West African Cretaceous program will create substantial value for our stakeholders as well as the people of West Africa through continued investment and increased activity. Anadarko plans to drill two to five wells in the trend next year." The Venus prospect is one of Anadarko's more than 30 identified prospects and leads on its West Africa acreage position, which includes interests in almost 8 million acres across 10 blocks offshore Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. Anadarko operates seven of the blocks and the majority of the identified prospects with an average working interest of approximately 40 percent. The company plans to continue its West Africa drilling operations in the Cretaceous Trend by drilling the South Grand Lahou exploration well in block CI 105 offshore Cote d'Ivoire once activities are completed at the Venus discovery well. Anadarko operates the Venus well with a 40-percent working interest. Co-owners in the discovery include Woodside (25-percent working interest), Repsol (25-percent working interest) and Tullow (10-percent working interest).

8 Sep 2009

Liyeke Marine 1 Well on Marine XI

The Liyeke Marine 1 well, spudded on 22 August 2009 in the Marine XI Block, located in the Congo Basin, offshore the Republic of Congo, was plugged and abandoned after reaching a total depth of 1,140 metres. The objective horizon in the Sendji formation was encountered in accord with the prognosis though the reservoir was water saturated. A 62 metre heavy .... [+ read more] oil column was encountered in the overlying sediments, but the log and sample data indicated that the oil would not flow. As the salt section to the south and west of the Liyeke well is thinner and discontinuous, the result of this well has no bearing on the post-salt prospects in this area. More importantly it has no impact on the pre-salt prospects where the source rocks are adjacent to the prospective reservoirs. The jack-up drilling rig Pride Cabinda is now being prepared to be moved to the second well, an appraisal of the existing pre-salt Viodo oil field at a location approximately one kilometre from the field's discovery well.

7 Sep 2009

Oil and gas discovery in the Norwegian Se

An oil and gas discovery has been made by StatoilHydro in the Nona prospect ten kilometres south east of the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea. Based on preliminary calculations the size of the find is between 13-31 million barrels of oil and 1-2 billion standard cubic metres of gas. “The Nona discovery further confirms the good results achieved by infrastructure-led .... [+ read more] exploration on the Halten Bank,” says Sivert Jørgenvåg, StatoilHydro’s head of infrastructure-led exploration on the Halten Bank. In his view it is still possible to make new finds in the area. “Thorough mapping and evaluation of the area have been the key success factors and also form the basis for further exploration activities,” says Jørgenvåg. The well was not formation tested, but extensive data gathering and sampling have been carried out. A development of the discovery involving production via the existing infrastructure will be considered.

24 Aug 2009

Keppel delivers second Maersk DSS 21 semisubmersible

Keppel FELS Ltd (Keppel FELS) delivered the second of three DSS 21 deepwater rigs to Maersk Drilling on 22 August 2009. Maersk Discoverer has been contracted by Woodside Energy for drilling operations in Australia for three years. She was named by Lady Sponsor, Mrs Julie Fitzpatrick, spouse of Mr Ken Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President, Woodside Energy. Mr Claus V. .... [+ read more] Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling, said, “Maersk Discoverer, our second DSS 21 rig, is another outstanding example of the winning collaboration between Maersk Drilling and Keppel FELS. “Optimised for field development work, the new generation DSS 21 series is derived from the experiences gained from our highly successful DSS 20 Maersk Explorer semisubmersible built in 2003. These deepwater units are among the most technically advanced in the world, and we are confident that they will position Maersk Drilling as the foremost provider of robust offshore solutions in the industry.”

24 Aug 2009

Spudding of First Well on Marine XI

SOCO announces that the Liyeke Marine 1 well has spudded on 22nd August 2009 in the Marine XI Block, located in the Congo Basin, offshore the Republic of Congo. The Liyeke Marine well is the first in a two well drilling programme on Marine XI and is targeting a Sendji sandstone prospect, previously called S1, above the salt layer. The .... [+ read more] well will be drilled by using the jack-up drilling rig Pride Cabinda and is expected to take 25 to 35 days, with a planned depth of approximately 1,130 metres below mean sea level. The follow-up well will appraise the existing pre-salt Viodo oil field at a location approximately one kilometre from the field’s discovery well. The spudding of the Liyeke Marine well launches the most active drilling programme in the Company’s history, which includes a 12 month drilling campaign in the Cuu Long Basin, offshore Vietnam, one exploration well on the Marine XIV Block, offshore Republic of Congo, a further exploration well on Marine XI, and two exploration wells on the Nganzi Block, located onshore the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa).

11 Aug 2009

Drilling in Tornerose

Statoil has started drilling an appraisal well in the Tornerose prospect in the Barents Sea. The Polar Pioneer rig commenced drilling on Thursday 10 August. The well is being drilled to assess the extent of the petroleum reserves in the prospect. "This appraisal well is important," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for exploration in Statoil’s Exploration & Production Norway .... [+ read more] business area. "It will enable us to prove gas which can strengthen the basis for a possible expansion of the Hammerfest LNG plant on Melkøya." Tornerose lies about 55 kilometres east of Snøhvit and 125 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest. Water depth in the area is just over 400 metres. The drilling operations are expected to take about 40 days. Statoil is operator of Tornerose with a 33.53% holding. The other licensees are Petoro (30%), Total E&P Norge (18.40%), Gaz de France Norge (12%), Amerada Hess Norge (3.26%) and RWE Dea Norge (2.81%).

27 Jul 2009

Gulf Copper Wins Fifth ENSCO Rig Order

Gulf Copper has been awarded a contract for the modification of ENSCO 83, a jackup rig owned by a subsidiary of Ensco International (NYSE:ESV). The fifth Ensco rig to enter Gulf Copper’s Galveston shipyard since Hurricane Ike, the ENSCO 83 is undergoing upgrades and refurbishment before it mobilizes from the U.S. Gulf of Mexico to work for .... [+ read more] PEMEX in Mexico. “Ensco International has played a major role in the post-Ike restoration of the Galveston economy,” stated Steve Hale, President of Gulf Copper. “The Ensco projects have enabled us to create and maintain jobs for local residents while generating significant revenue for the Port of Galveston.” Unlike much of Galveston, the Gulf Copper facility did not sustain major damage from Hurricane Ike. “Along with the Port of Galveston, we were able to resume operations about a week after Ike made landfall,” explained Leonard Hale, Vice President of Gulf Copper. “However, silt at the entrance of the Galveston Ship Channel prevented us from accepting new work for several weeks. The Port of Galveston and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were instrumental in opening the entrance to the channel quickly, while we dredged our drydock and deepwater slips to allow rigs in and out.” Ensco was among the first major customers to enter the Port of Galveston after Hurricane Ike. Gulf Copper Drydock and Rig Repair has performed repairs, upgrades or enhancements on a total of six Ensco rigs since September 2007. “Ensco is pleased to award Gulf Copper the upgrade and refurishment work on ENSCO 83. Gulf Copper’s proven ability is why we have returned to the Port of Galveston for these important upgrades to our rig fleet,” commented Ensco Senior Vice President, Carey Lowe.

17 Jul 2009

New gas find in the Norwegian Sea

Gas has been proven by StatoilHydro in exploration well 6507/3-7 Idun North in the Norwegian Sea. Currently being completed, the well is located two kilometres northwest of the Idun find and 12 kilometres north of the Skarv find. The well was not formation tested, but extensive data gathering has been carried out. “StatoilHydro and its partners in the production .... [+ read more] licence will consider tying the gas find back to the production vessel for Skarv and Idun when it is in place,” says Nygård. This is the first exploration well in the carved out production licence 159D. The licensees are the operator StatoilHydro with a 60% interest and E.ON Ruhrgas with 40%. In the original production licence 159 six exploration wells have already been drilled. Well 6507/3-7 was drilled at a water depth of 377 metres by the Ocean Vanguard rig. Drilled to a vertical depth of 3,833 metres below sea level, the well was concluded in the Åre formation of the lower Jurassic age. The well is being permanently plugged and abandoned.

3 Jul 2009

Seadrill dispose of the jack-up rig West Ceres

Seadrill has today exercised its right to repurchase the jack-up drilling rig West Ceres from a subsidiary of Ship Finance International Ltd, for the pre-agreed price of US$135.5 million. Furthermore, Seadrill has subsequently entered into a memorandum of agreement to sell the jack-up rig to a reputable Middle East drilling company for a consideration of US$175 million plus an .... [+ read more] additional US$ 3 million for inventory related to West Ceres. Seadrill is expected to record a gain on sale of approximately US$20 million in the third quarter 2009. Closing of the agreement and transfer of ownership of the unit is scheduled to early July 2009. West Ceres is presently unemployed and is located offshore Ghana in West Africa.

30 Jun 2009

No Contract Visibility through 30th June 2009

ATWOOD OCEANICS, INC., (Houston-based International Drilling Contractor – NYSE ATW), announced today that they continue to pursue contract opportunities for the ATWOOD SOUTHERN CROSS in all worldwide markets in which it technically can work; however, we do not presently expect to receive any contract commitments for the rig through June 30, 2009. Currently, we plan to keep the rig prepared .... [+ read more] to immediately commence working once a contract opportunity has been identified.

9 Jun 2009

New ENSCO 8500 Ultra-Deepwater Semisubmersible Drilling Rig Starts Operations Under Contract with Anadarko and Eni

Ensco International Incorporated (NYSE: ESV) announced today that the ENSCO 8500, the first of seven new ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs in the ENSCO 8500 Series®, has commenced operations in the Gulf of Mexico under a four-year contract with Anadarko and Eni. Chairman, President and CEO Dan Rabun commented, “Over the past several years, we strategically have committed more than $3 .... [+ read more] billion to the expansion of our ultra-deepwater fleet to better serve the needs of our customers. Today, we achieved a milestone in the implementation phase of the ENSCO 8500 Series® deepwater initiative with the commencement of operations by ENSCO 8500 under a long-term drilling contract signed in September 2005.” Mr. Rabun added, “Our ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs complement our premium jackup fleet and will become a progressively larger segment of Ensco’s total rig fleet around the world.”

8 Jun 2009

Keppel FELS delivers 2nd 8500 Series® semi to Ensco

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered ENSCO 8501, the second of seven ENSCO 8500 Series® ultra-deepwater semisubmersibles (semis) being built for a subsidiary of longtime customer, Ensco International Incorporated (NYSE:ESV) (Ensco). ENSCO 8501 is contracted for operations in the Gulf of Mexico over a period of 3 1/2 years. Keppel FELS delivered the first deepwater rig of this .... [+ read more] Series, ENSCO 8500, in September 2008.

28 May 2009

Gas discovery at Harepus

Gas has been discovered by StatoilHydro in the Harepus prospect in the Norwegian Sea. Located in Middle Jurassic rocks, the Harepus discovery lies seven kilometres south of the Mikkel field. No formation testing has been done, but extensive data and cores have been collected. “Preliminary calculations indicate 0.5 to one billion standard cubic metres of recoverable gas,” says Sivert Jørgenvåg, .... [+ read more] head of infrastructure-led exploration on the Halten Bank. “A tie-back to Åsgard together with the Gamma discovery made in the same licence in 2008 will be considered.” The discovery well was drilled in 247 metres of water to a total depth of 3,162 metres beneath the sea surface and terminated in Early Jurassic rocks. It will now be permanently plugged before Ocean Vanguard leaves the location to drill an exploration well for StatoilHydro on production licence 159D in the Norwegian Sea.

28 May 2009

Gas discovery at Corvus

Gas has been discovered by StatoilHydro in the Corvus prospect in the Oseberg area of the North Sea. The Corvus exploration well was drilled about 7.5 kilometres north-west of Oseberg C, and proved small quantities of gas in the Upper Jurassic Draupne formation. “Reservoir thickness remains unclarified because the well, for technical reasons, could not be drilled deeper,” explains Tom .... [+ read more] Dreyer, head of infrastructure-led exploration in the North Sea. “This means that a possible appraisal well will be needed before the size of the discovery can be evaluated.” The well was drilled from Transocean Winner in 113 metres of water to a vertical depth of 3,991 metres and will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. After this work is completed, the rig is due to drill an appraisal well on the Peon gas discovery in production licence 318.

23 May 2009

Keppel delivers a jackup early to China Oilfield Services

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered a new jackup rig to China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) ahead of schedule and with a clean safety record of 2.5 million manhours without lost-time incident. COSLSTRIKE is the third of three KFELS B Class jackup rigs commissioned by Awilco Offshore ASA .... [+ read more] (Awilco) prior to the acquisition of Awilco by COSL. The first two rigs were also delivered ahead of schedule in December 2006 and January 2008 respectively.

13 May 2009

New North Sea discovery

More oil and gas have been discovered by StatoilHydro with an exploration well drilled about 35 kilometres east of Gudrun in the North Sea and roughly 30 kilometres south of Grane. Gas and oil with associated condensate were found in rocks interpreted to be Jurassic or Triassic/Permian. An exploration well proved gas and oil about 6.5 kilometres further north .... [+ read more] in the autumn of 2007, and the latest discovery probably forms part of the same hydrocarbon system. Preliminary estimates put total recoverable gas resources in these two finds at three to 10 billion standard cubic metres (scm). More detailed studies of collected well data will be needed to evaluate the resources and determine further activity around the discovery. “This represents a new and exciting play,” comments Noralf Steinsland, StatoilHydro’s licence manager for the North Sea. “It increases opportunities for further discoveries in a mature area where we have strengthened our position through new licences and farm-ins.” The discovery well was drilled from the West Epsilon rig to a vertical depth of 2,324 metres beneath the sea surface, in waters 109 metres deep. It will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. In addition to StatoilHydro, with a 40% holding, the partners in production licence 265 are Petoro with 30%, Det Norske Oljeselskap with 20% and Talisman Energy Norway with 10%.

13 May 2009

Encouraging gas discovery in Ragnarrock Graben

Det norske oljeselskap (DETNOR) has made an encouraging gas discovery in exploration well 16/2-5 in PL 265 on the Ragnarrock Graben prospect. Preliminary analyses indicate that the gas discovery in Graben could be connected to the previous gas discovery made in basement in well 16/2-4. If this is correct, the chances are good that the necessary volumes for a viable .... [+ read more] development are present. A full scale production test was carried out in the gas zone with maximum production of 120 000 scm per day, or 750 boepd, plus some condensate. The reservoir is however complex and consist of conglomerate from the pre Cretaceous. The production could thus vary considerably in different parts of the reservoir. An additional well is planned drilled in PL 265 and may offer additional information about the gas potential and flow rates in the basement. The information gathered so far indicates that there are considerable amounts of gas present in the license (Basement north and Graben). However, the reservoirs are challenging and more geological and technical work is necessary in order to mature an economical viable development. Det norske see the results from the well as positive for further development of the resources in PL 265. The gas discovery in 16/2-5 increases the probability that gas is present also in the southern part of basement (Basement south). This is the fourth exploration well in Production License 265. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,324 meters below sea level and into the basement. The water depth is 109 meter. Well 16/2-5 was drilled with the drilling facility West Epsilon, which will now sail to the Sleipner Field in PL 025 in the North Sea.

7 May 2009

Signal Delivers Two Rigs On Schedule for Diamond Offshore

Signal International, L.L.P. announced the recent completion and return to service of two Diamond Offshore rigs, the Ocean Titan and the Ocean America. The LeTourneau Class 64 jackup, Ocean Titan, entered Signal’s East Pascagoula, Mississippi yard for modifications and repairs on 06 March 2009 and departed on 14 April 2009. Meanwhile, another Diamond rig, the eight-column semisubmersible Ocean America, was .... [+ read more] delivered 07 May 2009, two days ahead of schedule from Signal’s Dry Dock at Port Arthur, Texas undergoing periodic inspection procedures and customer-planned modifications. “Simultaneous performance of these two projects, one at dockside in Mississippi and the other on dry dock in Texas, demonstrates the wide geographic span of Signal’s GoM service capability, said Dick Marler, President and CEO of Signal. In the past we have also served Diamond and other drilling contractors with on-location work, which enables the rig owner to accomplish significant rig servicing work while experiencing little or no operational downtime”. In addition to ensuring compliance with ABS Special survey requirements for both rigs, upgrades and modifications to the Ocean Titan included installation of an extension to the BOP control system house, fabrication of two new life boat platforms and replacement of 500 feet of leg jet piping and hangers. Repairs and modifications to the Ocean America included tank cleaning; contain, blast and paint columns, deck box, tubular supports and derrick; removal and reinstallation of anchor chain for inspection; sacrificial anode installation and replacement of the drilling mud treatment system.

30 Apr 2009

Commencement of Operations

ATWOOD OCEANICS, INC., (NYSE – ATW) a Houston-based International Drilling Contractor, announced that on April 21, 2009, the new-build ultra premium jack-up, ATWOOD AURORA (owned by our wholly-owned subsidiary, Atwood Oceanics Pacific Limited) commenced operations under its two-year contract with RWE Dea Nile GmbH (“RWE Dea”) offshore Egypt. Delays due to weather conditions negatively impacted the final commissioning process and .... [+ read more] the final rig placement. A longer than expected period for completing the commissioning of certain equipment to commence operations resulted in an adjustment in the dayrate to $133,000 which commenced on April 21, 2009. Certain net mobilization costs estimated to be approximately $1 million will be paid to RWE Dea. The contract includes a cost escalation clause and provides an option to add one additional year at a dayrate of US$178,000.

30 Apr 2009

Gas condensate find at Veslefrikk

A small gas condensate discovery has been made by StatoilHydro in the Canon prospect, about 11 kilometres west of the Veslefrikk field in the North Sea. The purpose of the exploration well was to prove petroleum in a fault block between the Huldra and Oseberg fields. The well tested two reservoir levels – an upper one belonging to the Brent group .... [+ read more] and a deeper level in the Statfjord group. "The exploration well struck gas condensate in the Brent group but the reservoir was thinner than expected and the find is probably not commercial," says Tom Dreyer, StatoilHydro's vice president for infrastructure exploration in the North Sea. Deeper in the structure, the well struck sandstone belonging to the Statfjord group. Data gathered from this interval showed that the reservoir consisted of tight sand and was probably full of water. Drilled by the West Alpha semi-submersible, the well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. The rig's charter with StatoilHydro will terminate once the well is completed. This is the second well to be tested in the Canon structure. An exploration well drilled in 2000 provided inconclusive results about the economic potential of the structure. The licensees in production licence 052 are: operator StatoilHydro (18%), Petoro (37.0%), RWE Dea Norge (13.5%), Revus Energy (4.5%) and Talisman Resources Norge (27.0%).

15 Apr 2009

Drilling on the Eitri prospect started

Det norske commenced drilling on the Eitri Prospect in PL027D on Friday 10 April utilising semi submersible drilling rig Bredford Dolphin. Det norske is drilling the well on behalf of license operator ExxonMobil. The Eitri-prospect is located in the vicinity of the Jotun Field, and the existing Jotun wellhead platform and Jotun FPSO. The well will also penetrate the Phi prospect, .... [+ read more] which is situated below Eitri. A potential discovery could be developed in a cost effective manner due to the proximity to existing infrastructure.

8 Apr 2009

Discovery offshore Newfoundland

StatoilHydro Canada has made a discovery in the Flemish Pass Basin, offshore Newfoundland. Hydrocarbons were encountered while drilling the deepwater Mizzen prospect (EL 1049), located approximately 500 kilometres east-northeast of St John’s, Newfoundland. Further analysis of the well results will be undertaken to determine the potential, and an application for a Significant Discovery License (SDL) will be filed over the .... [+ read more] coming months. “The drilling operation, conducted at a water depth of 1,100 metres and during the heart of the North Atlantic winter storm season, was very challenging,” says Erik Abrahamsen, StatoilHydro Canada’s vice president of East Coast Operations. “We are very pleased with the way that the rig, its crew and the local supply community successfully met the challenges.” StatoilHydro is the operator of Mizzen with a 65% working interest. Husky Energy Inc. participated in the drilling of the well for a 35% interest. StatoilHydro currently owns interests in several exploration, development and production licences offshore Newfoundland. The group is also a partner in the Hibernia and Terra Nova fields as well as a partner in developing the Hebron field.

27 Mar 2009

Closer look at Peon

An appraisal well has been completed by StatoilHydro on the shallow Peon gas discovery in the North Sea, which was made in 2005. Part of the Naust formation, this shallow deposit contains estimated recoverable resources of 15-30 billion standard cubic metres. The main goal of the appraisal well was to test the productivity of the discovery and to qualify the well .... [+ read more] concept for a possible development. “We’re the first company to look at opportunities for commercial utilisation of shallow gas,” explains Finn Langgård, project manager for Peon. “In connection with this discovery, we’re developing new technology which will allow us to utilise gas resources of this kind. “We’ve taken an important step forward with the present well in qualifying the solutions which will make it possible to recover Peon gas.” The well was drilled from the Transocean Winner semi-submersible rig to a vertical depth of 640 metres in 372 metres of water. It will now be plugged and abandoned. The licensees in production licence 318 are StatoilHydro, the operator with 60%, Petoro with 20% and Idemitsu Petroleum Norge with 20%.

25 Mar 2009

Oil discovery close to the Vigdis field

StatoilHydro has struck oil during the drilling of an exploration well and a sidetrack north of the Vigdis East field in the North Sea. The proven recoverable resources are estimated at about 25 million barrels of oil. The well confirmed the existence of a 280-metre oil column in rocks with good reservoir properties. "Our exploration activities close to fields on stream .... [+ read more] are successful and the discovery again confirms that there is still a great potential in this part of the North Sea," says Tom Dreyer, StatoilHydro's vice president, infrastructure-led exploration, North Sea. The exploration well was drilled into the Vigdis North-East prospect, located 3 kilometres south of the Snorre field. The purpose of the well was to confirm the existence of hydrocarbons in Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks belonging to the Statfjord group. The purpose of the side-track was to get a better overview of the resource potential. The discovery will be developed towards the Tordis or Vigdis fields. "Such discoveries close to established infrastructure help extend the life of the installations and capture the potential offshore", says Kari Flesjå, team leader for infrastructure-led exploration in the North Sea. Drilled in 292 metres of water the well will be permanently plugged and abandoned. Extensive data acquisition and sampling took place during the drilling operation. Partners in exploration licence 089: StatoilHydro (operator) (41.5 percent), Petoro AS (30.0), ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS (10.5), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS (9.6), Total E&P Norge AS (5.6) and RWE Dea Norge AS (2.8).

10 Mar 2009

Nexen Announces Results of Hobby Test in the North Sea

Nexen announces that it has made a discovery in the UK North Sea at Hobby located on Block 20/1N, approximately 1.5 kilometres west of the operated Golden Eagle discovery. The well encountered a significant oil column which was drill-stem tested and flowed at an average restricted rate of 5,500 bopd through a 56/64 inch choke. Early analysis .... [+ read more] indicates high quality crude oil in good quality reservoir sands. We are planning to drill multiple sidetracks to determine the extent of this discovery. Hobby is part of the growing Golden Eagle area, which includes other exciting discoveries at Golden Eagle and Pink. We have a 34% interest in both Hobby and Golden Eagle, 46% interest in Pink and operate all three. We have identified additional drilling opportunities in the area and have plans for further offset exploratory and appraisal drilling this year.

9 Mar 2009

New discovery near existing infrastructure

Oil and gas have been encountered by StatoilHydro in the Katla prospect, which lies 11 kilometres south-west of the Oseberg South platform operated by the group in the Norwegian North Sea. Proven recoverable volumes are 50-80 million barrels of oil equivalent, with the bulk of the resources occupying the Tarbert formation in the upper Brent group. Oil and gas were .... [+ read more] found in this structure, while gas was also proven in Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks belonging to the Heather formation. “We’ve had great success with exploration close to producing fields over the past year,” says Tove Stuhr Sjøblom, head of exploration for the Norwegian continental shelf. “This is another discovery which confirms that it’s still possible to find relatively large volumes of oil and gas in established areas such as Oseberg.” The find will probably be developed and produced through a tie-in to one of the existing subsea installations in this part of the North Sea. “Given that it lies close to an existing field and can quickly be brought on stream, this is a very interesting volume,” says Tom Dreyer, head of North Sea infrastructure-led exploration. “The discovery is a good deal larger than we usually find in wells close to existing fields.” Although the discovery has not been tested, extensive data gathering and coring have been carried out. “Discoveries like this are important for maximising the recovery of resources from the NCS, because they help to extend the production life of installations,” says Ms Sjøblom. Apart from StatoilHydro as operator with 49.3%, licensees in production licence 104 are ConocoPhillips with 2.4%, ExxonMobil with 4.7%, Petoro with 33.6% and Total with 10%.

9 Mar 2009

Significant discovery at Tweneboa-1 exploration well offshore Ghana

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Tweneboa-1 exploration well, drilled in the Deepwater Tano licence offshore Ghana, has discovered a significant highly-pressured light hydrocarbon accumulation. The well encountered 21 metres of net pay and was drilled to a depth of 3,593 metres and is currently being deepened to further assess the discovery and the up-dip limit of a potential deeper .... [+ read more] fan system. The well was optimally located to penetrate multiple targets, including the edge of an undrilled major Turonian fan system. Further drilling will now be required to test core areas within this potentially giant stratigraphic trap where thicker Turonian reservoir sections are mapped. The upside area of approximately 200 square kilometres includes two de-risked prospective parts, Owo and Ntomme. The Tweneboa-1 well was drilled by the Eirik Raude deepwater rig in a water depth of 1,148 metres some 25 kilometres west of the Jubilee Field. Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence and is partnered by Kosmos Energy (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest).

24 Feb 2009

Well spudding on Ragnarrock

Drilling operations at the Ragnarrock field in Production License 265 started February 22nd 2009. The well 16/2-5 is in proximity to the recent discoveries at the Ragnarrock field in the wells 16/2-3 and -4. The drilling operation is carried out wih the jack-up West Epsilon. StatoilHydro is operator and Det norske holds a 20 percent interest in the license. The result .... [+ read more] of the drilling will be anounced by NPD.

10 Feb 2009

Drilling started at Freke

Det norske spudded the Northe Sea Freke prospect in PL 029B on February 6 2009. Det norske is drilling well 15/6-10 on behalf of ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil is the license operator with an ownership interest of 50 percent. StatoilHydro holds 50 percent, while Det norske will take a 20 percent interest from ExxonMobil when drilling operations are completed. The Slepner B platform .... [+ read more] on the Sleipner Field and Petrojarl 1 on the Glitne Field are the nearest installations to the Freke prospect. These installations are located 30 and 11 kilometers from Freke, respectively. The distance from shore is about 200 kilometers and the water depth at Freke is 112 meters. Freke is located in the South Viking Graben and holds a volume potential of 90 million BOE (P 50). The structure has four-way closure delimited by a north-south trending horst. The primary reservoir is expected to be middle Jurassic Hugin Formation, with the underlying Sleipner Formation, constituting a secondary target. Expected hydrocarbons are light oil, possibly with a gas cap. The exploration well is planned as a vertical well with a total depth of 3695 meter with no drillstem test. Det norske will utilize the third generation Aker H-3 semisubmersible drilling rig Bredford Dolphin for the operation. Rig owner is Fred Olsen ASA. It is operated by Dolphin.

7 Feb 2009

Keppel FELS completes proprietary DSS™ 51 semi for Transocean

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has completed Transocean’s Development Driller III, an ultra-deepwater drilling rig built to Keppel’s proprietary DSSTM 51 semisubmersible (semi) design. The Development Driller III is designed to construct wells as deep as 11,430 metres (37,500 feet) wells and operate in water depths of up to 2,286 metres (7,500ft), upgradable to 12,192 metres (40,000 feet) and 3,048 .... [+ read more] metres (10,000 feet), respectively. Mr Robert L. Long, CEO of Transocean, said, “Through our collaborative effort with Keppel FELS, Development Driller III will soon be ready for deployment by our customer BP in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. We are looking forward to provide BP with the safest and most effective offshore drilling possible.”

6 Feb 2009

Keppel FELS delivers fifth Aban jackup drilling rig on time without incidents

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has successfully delivered the jackup drilling rig, Deep Driller 8, to Aban Singapore Pte Ltd (Aban) on time, within budget and without incidents. Deep Driller 8 is the fifth unit to be delivered in a series of five KFELS Super B Class rigs for Aban since 2006. The rig has been completed with a clean .... [+ read more] safety record. The KFELS Super B Class design is one of the world’s deepest drilling rigs, with capabilities for drilling high pressure, high temperature wells up to 35,000 ft at 350 ft water depth.

6 Feb 2009

Further delineation of the Pan/Pandora find

StatoilHydro is currently completing the drilling of two appraisal wells in the Pan/Pandora find south of the Visund field in the North Sea. Drilling of appraisal well 34/8-14 C has been completed, whereas drilling of well 34/8-14 D is presently being completed. The Pan/Pandora gas and oil find has earlier been delineated in the northern segment. The find was confirmed .... [+ read more] in October 2008 during drilling of exploration well 34/8-14 S. The purpose of well 34/8-14 C was to confirm the oil/water contact in the northern part of the Pan/Pandora find. The purpose of well 34/8-14 D was to delineate the find in the eastern direction. The well confirmed gas and oil columns indicating concurrent hydrocarbon contacts as observed in the original discovery well. The wells have not been formation tested, but data acquisition and sampling have been carried out. "The area south of Visund has a considerable remaining resource potential, says Alfred Båtevik, StatoilHydro's team leder for exploration activities in the Tampen area. "The resources confirmed in the Pan/Pandora find are estimated at between 22 and 47 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent." Developing the find and connecting it to the Visund field is being considered. Well 34/8-14 C was drilled to a vertical depth of 3,008 metres below sea level and completed in mid-Jurassic rocks. Well 34/8-14 D was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,941 metres below sea level and completed in lower Jurassic rocks. Located at a water depth of 292 metres the wells will be permanently plugged and abandoned. Drilling has been performed by the Borgland Dolphin rig. The rig will move to production licence PL089 in the North Sea to drill the 34/7-34 exploration well, which is also operated by StatoilHydro. Licensees in production licences 120 and 120B are: StatoilHydro (operator) (59.06%), Petoro (16.94), ConocoPhillips (13) and Total (11).

5 Feb 2009

Discovery at Fulla

StatoilHydro has made a gas and condensate discovery in North Sea license 035b on the Fulla prospect with well 30/11-7. Det norske oljeselskap ASA has an ownership stake of 15 percent in the license. The well is located about 40 kilometers north of the Heimdal Field. The well encountered gas and condensate in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks of the lower Brent .... [+ read more] Group. Testing and extensive data sampling has been carried out. Proven volumes are estimated between one and three million standard cubic metres of oil equivalents (6 to 19 million boe). An appraisal well is being planned drilled in the spring to help decide the size of the discovery. It is positive that hydrocarbons have been proven in this area, Det norske Vice President for reserves and area development Odd Ragnar Heum noted. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 4067 meters below the seabed and ended in rocks of Lower Jurassic age. Water depth in the area is 111 meters. The well, which was drilled on a cost sharing basis between license 035b and 362, is currently being temporarily plugged and abandoned. Det norske holds a 15 percent stake also in license 362.

30 Jan 2009

Luno appraisal well successfully tested

RWE Dea is pleased to announce that the first Luno appraisal well 16/1-10 located in production licence PL 338, offshore the Norwegian North Sea has been successfully tested. The well was drilled to appraise the Luno field discovered in late 2007 with well 16/1-8. The appraisal well has successfully confirmed the extension of the Luno field to the north east. .... [+ read more] The well was tested with a flow rate of approximately 4,000 barrels of oil per day on a 54/64 choke. A comprehensive data acquisition programme including multiple cores was successfully acquired. The results of the appraisal well will now be analysed and subsequently incorporated into a revised resource estimate for the Luno field which was indicated as within a range of 65 mmboe to 190 mmboe gross recoverable following the discovery well. The appraisal well was drilled with the Bredford Dolphin semi- submersible drilling rig to a total vertical depth of 2,125 meters below sea level in a water depth of 110 meters. PL 338 was awarded in the Norwegian North Sea licensing round in 2004. RWE Dea Norge ASA has a 20 percent interest. Lundin Petroleum is the operator of PL338 with a 50 percent interest and Wintershall Norge ASA (formerly Revus Energy ASA) has a 30 percent interest. Thomas Rappuhn, COO of RWE Dea said: “We are pleased with the results of this first appraisal well on the Luno field and will now consider potential development options for the Luno field. In addition we look forward to the further appraisal and exploration programme to test the additional prospectivity in the Luno area planned for 2009.”

28 Jan 2009

Keppel completes series of five Scorpion jackups on time

Keppel AmFELS Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M) in the US Gulf of Mexico, has delivered the jackup drilling rig, Offshore Intrepid, to Scorpion Intrepid Ltd. a subsidiary of Scorpion Offshore Ltd. (Scorpion) on time. With this delivery, Keppel AmFELS has completed the series of five LeTourneau Super 116 jackup rigs commissioned by Scorpion .... [+ read more] in 2005 without delay. Offshore Intrepid was named by Mrs. Drucie Cole, spouse of Mr. Jon Cole, Scorpion’s President & CEO, at the Keppel AmFELS yard on 24 January 2009. This rig has been chartered by Odfjell Drilling Services to operate in the Arabian Gulf for 41 months, beginning 2Q2009.

20 Jan 2009

Keppel delivers 1st jackup rig of 2009 to Maersk Drilling on time

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered the third of four high efficiency jackup rigs to Maersk Drilling (previously Maersk Contractors), on time and incident-free. The rig was named Mærsk Resolve, by Mrs Sun-hee Madsen, spouse of Mr Erik Madsen, Maersk Drilling’s Site Manager (Overall Projects), at a ceremony today. .... [+ read more]

12 Jan 2009

Hyedua-2 appraisal well flows at 16,750 barrels of oil per day (bopd)

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Hyedua-2 well, which has been drilled to appraise the Jubilee field offshore Ghana, flowed at a stable rate of 16,750 bopd. This result confirms good reservoir connectivity and very high productivity and also indicates that future production well deliverability will be in excess of 20,000 bopd. The Hyedua-2 appraisal well, which lies in the .... [+ read more] Deepwater Tano licence, has been drilled to a total depth of 3,663 metres by the Blackford Dolphin rig in a water depth of 1,246 metres. The well intersected 55 metres of high quality oil bearing reservoir sandstones of which a 41 metre section has been production tested. Three flow tests were conducted and a maximum rate of 16,750 bopd of 37 degree API gravity crude oil and 21 million cubic feet per day of associated natural gas was achieved through a 88/64” choke with a tubing head pressure of 1,380 pounds per square inch. This confirms that Jubilee is a highly productive reservoir and that once the wells have been configured for long-term production they will be capable of producing at rates in excess of 20,000 bopd. Hyedua-2 is located on the north-west flank of the field and the excellent reservoir properties measured during this flow test are expected to be even better in the core area of the field. Stable oil and gas flow rates were maintained throughout the tests and the pressure data indicates that it is connected to a large pore volume. This excellent reservoir continuity enhances our expectation of connectivity between the planned production and injection wells and we are currently assessing the positive impact on Phase 1 reserves. The combination of outstanding reservoir productivity and continuity is very encouraging for Phase 1 of the Jubilee development which remains on schedule for first oil in the second half of 2010. The Hyedua-2 well will now be suspended, as planned, for later completion as a production well. Tullow (49.95%) operates the Deepwater Tano licence. Other partners include Kosmos Energy (18%), Anadarko Petroleum (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest). Tullow is also the Unit Operator of the Jubilee field.

8 Jan 2009

Successful Mahogany-3 appraisal and exploration well

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Mahogany-3 well located in the West Cape Three Points licence offshore Ghana has intersected significant light oil columns in both the Jubilee field appraisal objective and also a deeper exploration target. In total, 33 metres of net pay have been penetrated. The primary objective of Mahogany-3 was to appraise the Jubilee field reservoir section .... [+ read more] away from the strong seismic amplitudes which have been the main targets to date. Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluid indicate that 16 metres of high quality stacked oil bearing sandstones have been encountered. This confirms a significant extension of the Jubilee field to the southeast. The secondary objective of the well was to drill Mahogany Deep, an exploration target which has been identified on 3D seismic but lies at a previously untested stratigraphic level. In this section, the well encountered 17 metres of good quality oil bearing reservoir sandstones at levels significantly deeper than the oil water contacts previously intersected on the Jubilee field. This success opens up further potential in the region and is the subject of ongoing evaluation. The well has been drilled by the Eirik Raude semi-submersible rig to a depth of 4,028 metres in a water depth of 1,236 metres. Once wireline logging operations have been completed, casing will be set in advance of further drilling which is being carried out to gain further information on the regional geology. Following the conclusion of activities on Mahogany-3, the rig will move to the Tweneboa-1 exploration well location in the Deepwater Tano block. Drilling activities are expected to commence before the end of January. Tullow has a 22.9% interest in the West Cape Three Points licence. Other partners include Kosmos Energy (Operator 30.875%), Anadarko Petroleum (30.875%), the E.O. Group (3.5%), Sabre Oil & Gas (1.854%) and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) (10% carried interest). Tullow is the Unit Operator of the Jubilee Field and the Technical Operator for this well.

5 Jan 2009

Drilling start-up on Gjøa

The Transocean Searcher drilling rig has started drilling the first of a total of 13 production wells on the Gjøa field in the North Sea. The rig will drill nine oil wells and four gas wells. "The first well to be drilled on Gjøa is an appraisal well in the northern segment," says vice president Kjetel Digre. “The information gathered .... [+ read more] here will be important when we are going to look at the overall plan for wells and drainage strategy for Gjøa.” Gjøa is located in the Sogn area. With this development, a new part of the North Sea is being opened for oil and gas production. The Vega and Vega South satellites will be developed with subsea installations and tied back to Gjøa. The total development of Gjøa, Vega and Vega South is currently the largest development project on the Norwegian continental shelf.

23 Dec 2008

Keppel AmFELS delivers jackup rig to Atwood Oceanics

Keppel AmFELS Inc., the wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited in the Gulf of Mexico, has delivered a newbuild jackup rig to Atwood Oceanics Pacific Limited (AOPL). The rig was christened Atwood Aurora by Ms. Deborah Beck, Corporate Executive Director of Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (the parent company of AOPL), at a ceremony on 6 December 2008. .... [+ read more] Atwood Aurora has been awarded a contract by RWE Dea Nile GmbH ("RWE") for work offshore Egypt for two years with two separate options to extend the term to three years. Built to the LeTourneau Super 116E design with leg lengths of 477 feet that can be upgraded to 511 feet, the unit is capable of drilling wells up to 30,000 feet deep in water depths of 350 feet.

6 Dec 2008

Keppel FELS completes Jindal’s 2nd jackup ahead of schedule and incident-free

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is set to deliver a jackup rig ahead of schedule to Virtue Drilling, an associate company of India’s Jindal Drilling & Industries (Jindal). Named in the presence of Guest-of-Honour, Dr Lee Boon Yang, Singapore’s Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, the jackup rig VIRTUE I, has also achieved a clean safety record of about .... [+ read more] 2.1 million manhours worked without incidents. VIRTUE I is the second jackup rig Keppel FELS has completed for Jindal and has been contracted by India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in the Indian Ocean for a period of five years. The first rig, DISCOVERY I was delivered in September this year, 49 days ahead of schedule and without incidents.

5 Dec 2008

Nucula discovery in the Barents Sea delineated

StatoilHydro has completed the drilling of an exploration well on the Nucula discovery, which is located around 110 kilometres east-northeast of the Goliat discovery in the Barents Sea. The purpose of exploration well 7125/4-2 in the StatoilHydro-operated production licence 393 was to delineate the Nucula oil and gas discovery from early 2007, and to explore another segment of the structure. .... [+ read more] The well confirmed a small oil column in sandstone of the Triassic age. The oil-bearing layers were thin, but showed good production properties. It is too early to reach a conclusion on the size of Nucula. Preliminary calculations would suggest that the resource basis lies in the lower region of the original estimation which was 6-12 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent. "We will now evaluate the size of the find and further development opportunities for Nucula," says StatoilHydro's head of exploration activities in the far north, Geir Richardsen. The exploration well was not formation tested, but data has been gathered to be able to evaluate the size and extent of the find. The well was concluded in early Triassic rocks at a vertical depth of 1,727 metres below sea level. Water depth at the location was 294 metres. The well has been permanently plugged and abandoned. This is the second well in production licence 393, which was awarded in the 19th licensing round in 2006. The partners in the Nucula licence are: StatoilHydro (operator) (30%), ENI Norge (30%), BG Norge AS (20%) and Petoro (20%). The drilling was carried out by the semi-submersible Polar Pioneer drilling rig, which is moving to production licence 228 to drill delineation well 7223/5-1 (Obesum 2) operated by StatoilHydro.

3 Dec 2008

Delineation of North Sea oil and gas discovery

StatoilHydro has completed the drilling of an appraisal well on the Pan/Pandora gas/oil discovery south of the Visund field in the North Sea. The purpose of well 34/8-14 A was to delineate the 34/8-14 S Pan/Pandora discovery in the northern segment of this structure. "The area south of Visund has a considerable remaining resource potential, and we are very pleased .... [+ read more] that the expectations as to the northern extension of the discovery now have been confirmed," says the head of infrastructure-led exploration west, May-Liss Hauknes. The well confirmed the existence of a 53-metre gas column over an eight-metre oil column in the Brent group. Extensive data acquisition and sampling have been conducted. StatoilHydro will drill a sidetrack from this appraisal well. Well 34/8-14 C will be drilled in the lower flank of the same segment. The sidetrack is designed to determine the oil/water contact and contribute to more accurate evaluations of the Pan/Pandora resource potential. This is the 14th exploration well in production licence 120, which was awarded in 1985. The appraisal well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3,044 metres below the sea level and completed in the Drake formation in Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks. Drilled in 292 metres of water the well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. The drilling was performed by the Borgland Dolphin drilling rig, which will now drill the 34/8-14 C sidetrack as part of PL 120 operations. The partners in production licences 120 and 120B are: StatoilHydro (operator) (59.06 percent), Petoro (16.94 percent), ConocoPhillips (13 percent) and Total (11 percent).

20 Nov 2008

Small additional gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea

StatoilHydro has made a small additional gas discovery during drilling of an exploration well north-west of Sandnessjøen in mid-Norway. As operator of production licence 218 StatoilHydro is currently concluding the drilling of exploration well 6707/10-2 A. The well has been drilled south-east of the Luva gas discovery, 280 kilometres north-west of Sandnessjøen. The purpose of the well was to confirm .... [+ read more] petroleum in Upper Cretaceous reservoir rock. The well was a planned sidetrack to a deeper prospect following the confirmation of 8–14 billion cubic metres (Sm3) of gas during drilling of well 6707/10-2 S in October 2008 in a prospect called Haklang. The well confirmed a 38 metre gas column in the lower part of the Nise formation. The confirmed resources are small, and it is too early to say whether the discovery is commercially viable when seen in connection with a possible field development of Haklang and the nearby Luva and Snefrid South finds. ”This year we have drilled three exploration wells in the vicinity of Luva and gas has been found in all wells,” says Frode Fasteland, who is StatoilHydro’s head of exploration in the Norwegian Sea. ”This well confirmed a new exploration model, and even if the find is small it offers exciting opportunities for further exploration in this part of the Norwegian Sea,” says Mr Fasteland. This is the fourth exploration well in production licence 218, which was awarded in the 15th licensing round in 1996. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 4,325 metres below sea level and concluded in lower parts of the Nise formation in Upper Cretaceous rock. The water depth in the area is 1,248 metres. The well was drilled by the Transocean Leader drilling rig, which is now drilling exploration well 6605/1-1 in production licence 328 operated by StatoilHydro. The partners in production licence 218 are: StatoilHydro ASA (operator) (75%), ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Norway AS (15%) and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS (10%).

14 Nov 2008

Well spudding on Fulla

Drilling operations at the Fulla Field started 12 November. The field is operated by StatoilHydro, and Det norske has a 15 percent interest in the license. Fulla is located in licenses 035 and 362, and the drilling operations are carried out by the semi-submersible rig West Alpha. The recoverable volumes are estimated at 63 MBOE (P50), while Det norske`s share is .... [+ read more] 11 MBOE. Oil, gas, and condensate are expected.The drilling operation is expected to last about 80 days. The water depth on Fulla is 114 meters. The nearest installation is Heimdal, located 36 kilometers away. The well, 30/11-7, has a reservoir of late Jurassic age in the Brent formation.

31 Oct 2008

New discovery in the Barents Sea

StatoilHydro has confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons in an exploration well in the Caurus prospect in the Barents Sea, 160 kilometres north-northwest of Hammerfest in North Norway. The well was drilled in block 7222/11 in production licence 228. The purpose of the well was to confirm hydrocarbons in sandstone of middle and late Triassic age. The drilling in Caurus was .... [+ read more] carried out by the Polar Pioneer drilling rig at a water depth of 356 metres. Polar Pioneer will now start drilling appraisal well 7125/4-2 in the StatoilHydro operated production licence 393. Exploration well7222/11-1 S was drilled to a total depth of 2825 metres below sea level and was concluded in rocks of early Triassic age. The well is now being temporarily plugged and abandoned. Production licence 228 was awarded in the Barents Sea project in 1997, when Saga Petroleum ASA was operator. Well 7222/11-1 (Caurus) is the second exploration well in the licence. The first exploration well, 7222/6-1, was drilled in January-February 2008 and confirmed hydrocarbons in the Obesum structure in the far northern part of the licence. Another exploration well in the licence has been scheduled, which will be a delineation of the Obesum discovery scheduled for start-up in December 2008.

23 Oct 2008

Possible tie-back of Noatun to Njord

Recoverable reserves of the Noatun discovery have been estimated to be between five and eight million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent following the drilling of an appraisal well. A tie-back to the Njord field is being considered. In September gas and condensate were confirmed at Noatun, which lies 16 kilometres north of the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea. StatoilHydro .... [+ read more] is currently concluding the drilling of a sidetrack well from the original well. The purpose of the well was to confirm the size of a gas/condensate discovery in reservoir rocks of middle to lower Jurassic age. The data gathered in connection with the sidetrack drilling have confirmed recoverable volumes of between five and eight million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent according to a preliminary estimate. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 5050 metres below sea level and was completed in the lower Jurassic Åre formation. ”The Noatun find proves that it is still possible to make considerable finds in established exploration models in this area, also at water depths of up to 5000 metres,” says Sivert Jørgenvåg, head of exploration activities close to existing fields on the Halten Bank. ”It is encouraging that we make discoveries which can prolong the lifetime of the Njord field.” The well was drilled by the semi-submersible West Alpha drilling rig, which is proceeding to the North Sea to drill the Fulla prospect.

17 Oct 2008

Keppel FELS delivers fourth Sinvest jackup drilling rig on time

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered the jackup drilling rig, Deep Driller 6, to Sinvest AS (Sinvest), a subsidiary of Aban Singapore Pte Ltd (ASPL) on time and within budget. Deep Driller 6 is the fourth unit to be delivered in a series of five KFELS Super B Class rigs built for Sinvest. The fifth rig, Deep Driller .... [+ read more] 8, is on track for a timely delivery in the first quarter of 2009. The KFELS Super B Class design is one of the world’s deepest drilling rigs, with capabilities for drilling High Pressure, High Temperature wells up to 35,000 ft at 350 ft water depth.

7 Oct 2008

Det norske accelerates drilling of Eitri

Det norske oljeselskap ASA (“DETNOR”) will drill the Eitri prospect, located in Production License (PL) 027D, in February 2009. The company thus takes advantage of an earlier drilling opportunity as compared to previous drilling plans, where the drilling of Eitri was scheduled for Q2. Det norske is the operator of the drilling on Eitri, and will subsequent to the completion of .... [+ read more] the operation acquire a 25 percent interest in the license. ExxonMobil is the operator of the license. Eitri will be drilled directly after Freke. Freke is located in PL 029B, and the estimated spud date is mid-December. Both locations will be drilled by the rig Bredford Dolphin. Det norske is the operator of the drilling operation, whereas the license is operated by ExxonMobil. The drilling on Fulla, in PL 362, is expected to commence in late October. Det norske holds a 15 percent interest in the license, which is operated by StatoilHydro.

16 Sep 2008

Rowan Reports on Condition of Gulf of Mexico Fleet Following Hurricane Ike

Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:RDC) announced today that it has completed an initial aerial survey of its nine rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. All of the Company's rigs were on location, with the exception of the Rowan-Anchorage. The Company is undertaking efforts to locate the rig but believes it may have capsized and sunk at its pre-storm location offshore Louisiana. All .... [+ read more] appropriate regulatory agencies have been notified. In addition, Rowan's Sabine Pass, Texas facility encountered a significant storm surge and is expected to be out of commission for some time. The Company's newbuild jack-up, Rowan-Mississippi, which is stationed there for final outfitting, was apparently struck by another vessel during the storm. The Company's initial assessment is that the damage is limited and should not delay the rig's scheduled delivery. Rowan's other rigs in the Gulf Coast area appear to have sustained minimal damage but a complete evaluation of their condition will require a closer inspection upon the return of the Company's drilling personnel. Crew members have begun returning to their assigned rigs and normal operations should resume as soon as possible. The Rowan-Anchorage was a LeTourneau 52-class slot jack-up rig. The rig had been secured at its pre-storm location in Vermillion Block 201 and all personnel were evacuated prior to the arrival of Hurricane Ike. It was insured for $60 million, less a $17.5 million windstorm deductible, and had a carrying value of approximately $4.5 million. The rig had been operating under a well-to-well contract at a day rate of approximately $60,000.

13 Sep 2008

Keppel FELS receives 49-day early delivery bonus from Indian rig owner

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), has secured a bonus of S$1 million for delivering a jackup drilling rig 49 days ahead of schedule to Discovery Drilling, a joint-venture of Jindal Drilling & Industries (JDIL). The rig DISCOVERY I has also achieved a safety record of more than 2.2 million manhours work without incidents. At its naming ceremony, .... [+ read more] Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman and CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine, the parent company of Keppel FELS, said, “This accomplishment demonstrates the strong project management skills of Keppel FELS and our excellent teamwork with Discovery Drilling and Jindal. At all times, Safety remains our top priority. It is ingrained in our processes and even more so in our mindset.”

12 Sep 2008

Sidetrack to be drilled at Noatun prospect

Drilling of an exploration well in the Noatun prospect 16 kilometres north of the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea has struck gas and condensate. A sidetrack is to be drilled in the well to assess whether the find is worth exploiting. The objective of exploration well 6407/7-8 was to prove gas/condensate in the middle/lower Jurassic reservoirs in the Noatun .... [+ read more] prospect. The well struck gas/condensates at the prospective Jurassic range, although the size of the find is as yet unconfirmed. The well has been formation tested using mini-DST, and extensive data and samples have been collected. A flank sidetrack will be drilled to confirm gas/water contact and the size of the find. "We are delighted to have found hydrocarbons which can contribute to the extended lifetime of the Njord field, but we need more information before we can say anything about the size of the find, and any possible extraction methods," says Sivert Jørgenvåg, exploration manager for the Halten Bank. This is the eighth exploration well drilled in production licence 107. The licence was awarded during the ninth concession round in 1985. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 5,110 metres under the sea surface, and terminated at the Åre formation in the lower Jurassic level. Sea depth is 293 metres. The well will be permanently plugged and abandoned. The well was drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig West Alpha, which will now continue operations in production licence 107 by drilling sidetrack 6407/7-8A. Licensees for production licence 107 are: StatoilHydro (20%), E.ON Ruhrgas (30%), ExxonMobil (20%), Gaz de France (20%), Petoro (7.5%) and Endeavour Energy (2.5%).

10 Sep 2008

Keppel AmFELS earns bonus upon delivery of fourth Scorpion rig

Keppel AmFELS Inc., the US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), has delivered Scorpion Offshore's (Scorpion) fourth jackup drilling rig. The yard received a bonus of US$1.35 million upon the successful delivery of the rig to Scorpion. Named Offshore Vigilant, the rig is one of five LeTourneau Super 116 jackups that were commissioned by Scorpion .... [+ read more] in 2005. Two units, Offshore Courageous and Offshore Defender, were delivered in 2007 and the third, Offshore Resolute, in May this year. All were completed on-time. The fifth unit is expected to be completed in 2009. All five rigs are identical. Each incorporates a 70 ft cantilever, the maximum reach currently available for all but a few harsh environment units. Each is capable of working in 350 ft of water as outfitted or in water of depths up to 400 ft through the installation of additional leg sections. The drilling depth is approximately 30,000 feet. Offshore Vigilant has been chartered by Gazprom for its maiden operations offshore Venezuela beginning in October 2008.

25 Aug 2008

Oil discovery near Sleipner

The presence of a considerable oil column has been confirmed under the Dagny structure in the North Sea. The purpose of well 15/5-7 in production licence 048 was to confirm the presence of oil in Mid-Jurassic reservoir rocks below the Dagny gas discovery. The well confirmed an oil column of some 100 metres in the Hugin formation. The total recoverable .... [+ read more] volume is estimated at 100-125 million barrels of oil equivalent. "This is a very exciting discovery. The Sleipner area is still very prospective, and this well confirms that there is also a good chance of making oil discoveries in this area," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for StatoilHydro's explorations on the Norwegian continental shelf. "The discovery is a result of focused efforts to find more hydrocarbons that may be phased in to Sleipner. I will credit my exploration organisation for coming up with the idea that there might be an oil column below the gas at Dagny, which was discovered 30 years ago," he says. The Dagny discovery is located some 10 kilometres north-west of Sleipner West. Development of the discovery in association with the Sleipner field will be considered. Drilled in 119 metres of water by the Transocean Winner drilling rig the well was completed in the Upper Triassic Skagerrak formation, 4,037 metres below the sea level. A side-track is now being considered in order to establish the oil-water contact. The costs of the well are split between PL048 and PL029. StatoilHydro (the operator) has an interest of 78.2 percent in PL048, whereas the partner, Total, has an interest of 21.8 percent. ExxonMobil is the operator of PL029 (100 percent).

25 Aug 2008

Gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea

Gas has been proven in the deep-water Snefrid South prospect near the Luva discovery in the Norwegian Sea. exploration well 6706/12-1 in production licence PL218 in the Norwegian Sea was successful. The well is located west of the Luva gas discovery, some 290 kilometres west of Sandnessjøen. The purpose of the well was to confirm the existence of petroleum in .... [+ read more] Late Cretaceous reservoir rocks in a prospect named Snefrid South. The well confirmed the existence of a 70-metre gas column with good reservoir qualities in the Nise formation. Core drilling was performed, and fluid and pressure samples were collected. The discovery is estimated to contain some 4 billion standard cubic metres of recoverable gas. ”I am pleased that the result met with our expectations and that dry gas was confirmed in a reservoir with good reservoir qualities,” Dodson says. Snefrid will be developed in combination with the Luva discovery. Dodson emphasises that the drilling of the exploration well in the Snefrid South prospect is an important step in order to accelerate the development of the Luva discovery, which was made by BP in 1997. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3925 metres below the sea level and completed in the lower parts of the Nise formation in 1265 metres of water. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. Well 6706/12-1 was drilled by the Transocean Leader drilling rig, which will now drill exploration well 6707/10-2 S in the same production licence. StatoilHydro (operator) has an interest of 75 percent in PL 218. The partners are ExxonMobil (15 percent) and ConocoPhillips (10 percent).

22 Aug 2008

Gas discovery in the Barents Sea

StatoilHydro Petroleum AS, as operator of exploration licence 394, has completed drilling of exploration well 7224/6-1 in the Barents Sea. The well was tested in a prospect called Arenaria in block 7224/6. The primary goal was to prove hydrocarbons in sandstone of early Jurassic to late Triassic age. The secondary goal was to prove hydrocarbons in rocks of the middle Triassic .... [+ read more] age. In the primary exploration target, rocks of good reservoir quality were found in accordance with the prognoses. No hydrocarbons were proven. In the secondary drilling target, gas was proven in reservoir rocks of poor quality. "The well was not formation tested and it is too early to tell if the gas can be produced," says Bente Fotland, exploration manager for licences in the far north. This is the first well to be drilled in exploration licence 394 which was awarded in the 19th license round in 2006. The well was an obligation well. It was drilled to a vertical depth of 2315 metres below sea level and was completed in rocks of middle Triassic age. The well is now being permanently plugged and abandoned. Drilling of exploration well 7224/6-1 was completed by the Polar Pioneer drilling unit at a water depth of 265 metres. Polar Pioneer will now start drilling exploration well 7222/11-1 in the StatoilHydro-operated exploration licence 228. The licensees in exploration licence 394 are: StatoilHydro (65%), Gaz de France Norge AS (20%) and Petoro (15%).

13 Aug 2008

Keppel FELS to build seventh ENSCO deepwater rig worth US$560 million

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has won the contract to build the seventh ENSCO 8500 Series® deepwater semisubmersible (semi) worth US$560 million. This sum includes equipment specified by the owner. To be delivered in the second half of 2012, the ENSCO 8506 will be the seventh consecutive semi that Keppel FELS is constructing for ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO). The contract .... [+ read more] follows shortly after the award of the sixth semi, ENSCO 8505, that was announced on 1 June 2008. Mr Daniel W. Rabun, Chairman, President and CEO of ENSCO said, "Working with a leading shipyard that is familiar with our needs will enable us to advance our deepwater strategy more effectively. “As we continue to execute on our strategy to expand our deepwater presence, we again look forward to working with Keppel FELS on this important project. Our US$3.1 billion investment in the ENSCO 8500 Series® rigs demonstrates our commitment to playing a meaningful role in the growing deepwater market. Only two other companies will have ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig fleets equal to the size of the ENSCO fleet."

5 Aug 2008

Petrobras sign firm contract for 'Sevan Brasil'

With reference to the announcement on June 2nd, 2008, Petrobras SA and a subsidiary of Sevan Drilling AS, have signed a firm drilling contract for a newbuild drilling unit intended for operations off the coast of Brasil, in water depths down to 2,400 m. This is the second deepwater drilling unit contracted to Petrobras, and the third deepwater drilling unit .... [+ read more] to be built, owned and operated by Sevan Drilling, as the company also signed a drilling contract with India’s ONGC in June 2008. The drilling contract will have a fixed term of six years with start-up by end-2011. Revenues which could be generated over the six year period are approximately USD975 million, including a bonus arrangement and mobilization fee. Sevan has awarded a letter of intent (LOI) to the Cosco Shipyard Group for a turnkey contract comprising the construction, equipment procurement and installation, and commissioning of the drilling unit. Cosco shall also provide yard financing. Aker Kvaerner MH has been awarded an LOI for delivery of the drilling package. Also the delivery of other long lead equipment has been secured. The newbuild drilling unit to Petrobras is based on Sevan’s proprietary cylindrical Sevan 650 design, as is the case also for the two other Sevan drilling units. All three Sevan deepwater drilling units are built at the same shipyard and utilize the same drilling package, thus significantly reducing risks to schedule and cost.

4 Jul 2008

Exploration on Stetind

The drilling of exploration well 6605/8-2 in a structure named Stetind in the Norwegian Sea is being completed without any recoverable hydrocarbons being confirmed. The well was drilled by the Transocean Leader drilling rig. After completing this well the rig will move on to production licence 218 in the Norwegian Sea for the drilling of exploration well 6706/12-1, operated .... [+ read more] by StatoilHydro.

4 Jul 2008

Gas discovery in the Barents Sea

StatoilHydro has confirmed the existence of gas in the Ververis prospect in the Barents Sea, whereas an exploration well in the Stetind prospect in the Norwegian Sea turned out to be dry. ”It is of course promising that we have discovered gas, but the drilling was performed in a relatively complex formation. We therefore need to perform more analyses and evaluations .... [+ read more] in order to determine the resource potential of the discovery,” says Bente Fotland at StatoilHydro’s Harstad office. Ververis is the first well in production licence 395, which was awarded in the 19th licensing round in 2006. “The licence was awarded in April 2006, and seismic data were shot during the summer of 2006. The entire project was in fact completed sooner than expected,” Fotland says. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2992 metres below the sea surface and completed in the lower Triassic Havert formation. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. Polar Pioneer will move on to drill exploration well 7224/6-1 in production licence 394, operated by StatoilHydro. The licensees in production licence 395 are: StatoilHydro ASA (operator) (50 prosent), BG Norge AS (30 prosent), Petoro AS (20 prosent).

19 Jun 2008

AoC for West Phoenix

The West Phoenix mobile drilling unit operated by Seadrill Management AS has received an acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) from the Petroleum Safety Authority of Norway. This facility represents the first in a series of brand new mobile units which are due to be used on the Norwegian continental shelf. .... [+ read more]

18 Jun 2008

The Trow Prospect (Well 32/2-1) Spudded in PL 369

Talisman Energy has commenced drilling operations in Production License 369 with the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner. The exploration well, located east of the Troll Field, is aiming for hydrocarbons in Jurassic sandstones (Trow prospect). Det norske estimates that Trow could hold 100 million barrels of oil equivalents, with a discovery probability of 20%. The drilling operation is expected to take .... [+ read more] about 28 days. Det norske holds a 20% interest in PL 369. Operator Talisman Energy holds 40%. Other licensees include Petro Canada Norge and Revus, with a 20% interest each.

18 Jun 2008

Drilling operations on Lilleulv in final stage

The jack-up rig Maersk Giant is about to finalize drilling operations on the Lilleulv prospect in Production License 038. The drilling commenced on 26 May and is expected to be concluded this month. Lilleulv is a separate structure to the Varg Field, and the well is thus classified as an exploration well. A positive result would be of importance, .... [+ read more] as it could extend the life of the Varg Field and add extra barrels of oil production to Det norske. Talisman Energy is the operator of PL 038 with a 65% interest. Det norske has a 5% interest, whereas Petoro holds the remaining 30%.

16 Jun 2008

Deepsea Trym at Troll through 2011

On behalf of the partners in the Troll licence, StatoilHydro has entered into an agreement on a two-year extension of a current contract with Odfjell Drilling for the Deepsea Trym drilling rig. ”Deepsea Trym has been employed on the Troll field since 2005 and will continue to operate on the field during the extended contract period through 2011,” says Atle Reinseth .... [+ read more] in the Projects business area. This contract gives StatoilHydro good rig coverage at the Troll field for the next years and allows realisation of the planned drilling activities in the area. ”The contract extension allows StatoilHydro to continue carrying out efficient and good resource management on the Norwegian continental shelf. Increased oil recovery is an essential part of the further development of the Troll field,” says Ivar Aasheim, senior vice president for Operations North Sea. Deepsea Trym is owned by Songa Offshore ASA and the operator is Odfjell Drilling.

10 Jun 2008

Mahogany-2 appraisal well flows at 5,200 bopd on test

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Mahogany-2 well, which is being drilled to appraise the Jubilee field offshore Ghana, flowed at a test rate of 5,200 barrels per day of 36-degree API gravity crude oil and approximately 5.3 million cubic feet per day of associated natural gas. The Mahogany-2 well, which lies in the West Cape Three Points licence, has .... [+ read more] been drilled to a total depth of 3,443 metres by the Songa Saturn drillship in water depths of 1,080 metres. A single zone covering an interval of 17 metres was tested through a 40/64-inch choke resulting in a flowing tubing head pressure of 1,540 pounds per square inch. This flow rate was however severely limited by the available test equipment and facilities. These favourable results confirm that the Turonian turbidite reservoirs of the Jubilee Field are highly productive and validates the geological and reservoir model. Oil samples will now be acquired to conduct comprehensive refinery assays before the well is suspended as a potential development well and the rig released. Development planning for the Jubilee field is ongoing and Tullow has secured the Blackford Dolphin and the Eirik Raude deepwater rigs for an extended programme of appraisal, development and exploration drilling in both the West Cape Three Points and the Deepwater Tano licences. This programme is scheduled to commence later this year.

9 Jun 2008

LUNDIN PETROLEUM SPUDS TORPHINS EXPLORATION WELL, OFFSHORE UNITED KINGDOM

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well 21/8-4 on the Torphins prospect located in block 21/8, production licence P1107, in the central North Sea sector of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS), has commenced. Well 21/8-4 is targeting the Palaeocene sandstone reservoir. The Torphins prospect is defined by a 3D seismic anomaly. .... [+ read more] The estimated unrisked gross potential is approximately 30 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). Lundin Petroleum has contracted the Transocean's GSF Arctic II semi-submersible rig to drill this prospect. Drilling is expected to take up to 75 days. Well 21/8-4 is located 12km north of the Lundin operated Scolty discovery drilled in late 2007 and is targeting a similar amplitude anomaly. Lundin Petroleum is the operator with 40 percent interest. Partners are Challenger Minerals (North Sea) Limited and Revus Energy (E&P) Limited.

3 Jun 2008

Keppel wins US$385 million semisubmersible rig contract from Brazilian driller

Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), through Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), has secured a US$385 million repeat order to build a semisubmersible drilling rig for Brazilian drilling contractor group Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás (QGOG). This price excludes the drilling and subsea equipment which will be supplied by QGOG. To be named Alpha Star, this deepwater platform will .... [+ read more] be built to the DSS™ 38 design jointly developed by Keppel O&M’s technology arm Deepwater Technology Group and Marine Structures Consultants of The Netherlands. This latest rig is a repeat order of the first semisubmersible, Gold Star, which was awarded to Keppel FELS in August 2006. Gold Star will support Petrobras’ growth plans whilst Alpha Star may be deployed in either offshore West Africa or South America, when they are delivered in the second half of 2009 and of 2011 respectively.

1 Jun 2008

Keppel FELS to build 6th ENSCO semisubmersible rig worth US$537 million

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has won a contract to build a US$537 million ultra-deepwater semisubmersible (semi) drilling rig from a subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO). This contract follows shortly after of the award of the fifth semi, ENSCO 8504, that was announced on 6 May 2008. This latest rig, ENSCO 8505, is the sixth consecutive semi .... [+ read more] of the ENSCO 8500 Series® that Keppel FELS is constructing, and is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2012. Mr Daniel W. Rabun, Chairman, President and CEO of ENSCO said, “Deepwater has become a very important part of our business. We estimate that our deepwater fleet, including the 8500 Series® semis, will contribute approximately 30% of our total revenue when in operation. “We are pleased that Keppel FELS is constructing all six of our new 8500 Series® semis. We are benefiting from synergies associated with building all these rigs at one yard, and with a partner whom we have a strong working relationship, and who is familiar with our needs.”

28 May 2008

Keppel FELS delivers KFELS B Class rig to SeaDrill three days ahead of time

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), has completed its fourth KFELS B class jackup rig for SeaDrill Limited (SeaDrill) within budget and three days ahead of schedule. This is Keppel O&M’s sixth jackup rig delivery this year, with five from Keppel FELS and one from Keppel AmFELS. In .... [+ read more] keeping with the naming tradition for all of SeaDrill’s other drilling units, this rig has been christened with the name of a celestial body, West Ariel. This KFELS B Class rig will have the capability of operating in water depths of up to 400 feet, has a drilling depth of 30,000 feet and can accommodate 112 men.

21 May 2008

Gas discovery in the Norwegian Sea

StatoilHydro has struck gas during exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea north-west of Kristiansund and will drill a sidetrack well to further identify the area. StatoilHydro, the operator of production licence 348, now completes the drilling of exploration well 6407/8-4 S. The well is located 30 kilometres north-east of the Njord field and 9 kilometres north-west of the Draugen field. "The .... [+ read more] purpose of the well was to confirm the existence of hydrocarbons in mid/lower Jurassic rocks in the southern segment of the Galtvort prospect. It is very positive that we again strike hydrocarbons in these areas where finds can quickly be put on stream,” says StatoilHydro’s vice president for infrastructure-led exploration in the North, Ørjan Birkeland. The well has confirmed the existence of gas in Jurassic sandstone. The size of the discovery is so far not determined, and a sidetrack well will be drilled right after the current well has been completed. . This is the first exploration well in production licence 348, which was awarded in TFO 2004 (awards in pre-defined areas). No formation leak-off test has been conducted in the well, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been performed in the reservoir. The exploration well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2632.3 metres below the sea surface and completed in rocks belonging to the lower Jurassic Åre formation. The well, located in 266 metres of water, will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. The well was drilled by the West Alpha drilling rig, which will now drill sidetrack well 6407/8-4 A on the Galtvort prospect. The licensees in production licence 348 are: StatoilHydro (30.0 percent), Gaz de France Norge (20.0), Norwegian Energy Company (17.5), E.ON Ruhrgas Norge (17.5), Endeavour Energy Norge (7.5) and Petoro (7.5).

16 May 2008

Tornerose wells completed

StatoilHydro has completed the drilling of two appraisal wells at the Tornerose gas discovery in the Barents Sea. No new find was made. StatoilHydro, the operator of production licence 110 C, has completed the drilling of appraisal wells 7123/4-1 S and 7123/4-1 A. The latter well was sidetracked from the S well. .... [+ read more] The purpose of the wells was to confirm the existence of resources in Triassic sandstones within previously untested segments on the Tornerose structure. The appraisal wells were drilled to a vertical depth of 2683 metres and 2603 metres respectively under the sea surface and completed in Triassic rocks. The well confirmed the existence of reservoir development in this rock, but no movable hydrocarbons were proven in any of the wells. "It is disappointing to drill dry wells, but we have previously confirmed the existence of recoverable gas in the Tornerose structure. Experience gained from these wells will be useful during the drilling of additional wells in this area in the years ahead," says StatoilHydro's vice president for infrastructure-led exploration in the North, Ørjan Birkeland. Two wells have previously been drilled in production licence PL 110B on the Tornerose structure. Both were successful. This production licence was awarded in 2004 in connection with TFO 2004 (award in pre-defined areas), whereas PL 110 C was awarded as additional acreage to the Tornerose discovery in connection with the 19th licensing round in 2006. The two appraisal wells were drilled by Polar Pioneer in 413 metres of water. This rig will now be used for the drilling of a new StatoilHydro-operated exploration well in the Barents Sea, well 7226/2-1 in production licence 395. Licensees in production license 110C: StatoilHydro (operator) (33.53 percent), Petoro (30.00), Total E&P Norge (18.40), Gaz de France Norge (12.00), Hess Norge (3.26) and RWE Dea Norge (2.81).

13 May 2008

Two new discoveries in the Oseberg area

StatoilHydro has discovered hydrocarbons in two wells in the Oseberg area in the Norwegian offshore sector of the North Sea. The first discovery was made in a long-reach exploration well from the Oseberg C platform, targeting the Cook Formation in the Theta structure. “The well is designed to be converted to a producer within 45 days after the discovery, giving .... [+ read more] an extremely quick turnover from prospective resources to producible reserves,” says Oseberg Petech project leader Trond Eide. Prospect mapping and well planning was a collaborative effort between the Oseberg Petech team and the North Sea infrastructure-led exploration team, with the former unit being responsible for the drilling operation. “Work is currently underway to determine the optimal production solution,” says Bjørn Inge Braathen, leader of the exploration team working in the Oseberg area. Depending on the development solution, preliminary expected volumes are around 5 million barrels of oil. Shortly after the Theta discovery, oil and gas was also found in the Delta S2 structure in the Oseberg South area. The Delta S2 discovery targeted the Brent Group, and is believed to contain about 16 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalents. Well 30/9-21S was drilled by Transocean Winner, and the rig is now drilling a second branch to test the nearby Richards prospect. “We have been excited about the prospectivity of the Oseberg area for a long time, and after a few years of limited exploration in the area it’s good to see that the efforts are stepped up in a successful manner,” says Tom Dreyer, vice president for infrastructure-led exploration North Sea. The Delta S2 discovery may be tied to the nearby Delta template within a few years and continued exploration success in the area may trigger new development solutions.

8 May 2008

Gas and condensate discovery in the Norwegian Sea

StatoilHydro has confirmed the existence of gas and condensate on the Alve field in the Norwegian Sea around 16 km southeast of the Norne field. Based on a preliminary estimate, the discovery includes three to five billion cubic metres of gas. A thin oil zone was also proven below the gas. ”The find is encouraging and supports our firm belief in .... [+ read more] other opportunities we are evaluating in the vicinity,” says Ørjan Birkeland, vice president for infrastructure exploration north. Extension drilling was carried out in this production well. Due to come on stream in January 2009, it is the first production well on the Alve field. The purpose of the exploration extension was to prove hydrocarbons in a reservoir located deeper in mid-Jurassic rocks than the resources proven in previous exploration wells on the Alve field. Gas and condensate in sandstone of mid-Jurassic rock were proven during the extension drilling. The drilling of well 6507/3-5S has been completed, and the well will be temporarily plugged. A completion of the previously proven reservoir is planned for the autumn of 2008. The gas is to be transported to the Norne field. The licensees will evaluate how the additional resources proven in the extension drilling can be recovered. Formation testing was not performed in the well, but comprehensive data collection and sampling have been carried out. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3,834 metres below sea level, and was completed in lower Jurassic rocks. The water depth is 368 metres. The Ocean Vanguard drilling rig is leaving the location to drill an exploration well for StatoilHydro on the Irish continental shelf. The partners in PL159B are StatoilHydro (operator) with an 85 percent interest and DONG with a 15 percent interest.

6 May 2008

Keppel FELS secures order for a US$512 million rig from ENSCO

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), has secured a contract to build a US$512 million ultra-deepwater semisubmersible (semi) drilling rig from a subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO). To be delivered in the second half of 2011, the ENSCO 8504 will be the fifth consecutive semi that Keppel FELS .... [+ read more] is constructing for ENSCO. Mr Daniel W. Rabun, Chairman, President and CEO of ENSCO said, “We see the deepwater market as a significant catalyst for our future growth, and we are expanding our deepwater fleet to meet the sustained market demand. “We are very pleased that all five of our new ENSCO 8500 Series® semisubmersible rigs are being built by Keppel FELS. Having constructed all our recent newbuild jackups, Keppel FELS has been the largest contributor in helping us create our premier rig fleet.”

5 May 2008

Keppel AmFELS delivers yet another rig to Scorpion on schedule

Keppel AmFELS Inc., the US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), has delivered its third jackup drilling rig Offshore Resolute for Scorpion Offshore (Scorpion). The Offshore Resolute is one of five LeTourneau Super 116 jackup rigs that were commissioned by Scorpion in 2005. The first two, Offshore Courageous and Offshore Defender, were timely delivered in 2007, .... [+ read more] the fourth and fifth are expected to be completed later in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Each rig incorporates a 70 ft cantilever, the maximum reach currently available for all but a few harsh environment units. The rigs are also capable of working in 350 ft of water as outfitted or in water of depths up to 400 ft through the installation of additional leg sections. Each rig will have a drilling depth of approximately 30,000 feet.

24 Apr 2008

Dryships Inc order two UDW drillships

DryShips Inc., (“Dryships”) today announced that it has exercised its option to acquire two advanced capability drillships for use in ultra-deep water drilling locations. The drillships, are to be constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (“SHI”) and are expected to be delivered from the shipyard in the third quarter of 2011. The expected delivered cost of the newbuild drillships is .... [+ read more] approximately USD800 million per unit. The company expects to receive shortly a firm commitment for the debt portion to finance construction and other payments. Mr. George Economou, Chairman and CEO of DryShips, commented: “I am very excited with our agreement to construct two premium, ultra deep water drillships, which is in line with our strategy of expanding our presence in the ultra-deep water drilling sector. We hope that our pending mandatory tender offer for the acquisition of Ocean Rig ASA will be approved by its shareholders in early June. The successful acquisition of Ocean Rig will give us the operating platform necessary to construct, complete and operate these two drillships to the highest standards. Going forward weplan to expand our asset portfolio with further acquisitions and explore other strategic alternatives including the possibility of spinning off this business unit to our shareholders.”

21 Apr 2008

PPL Shipyard and Sembawang Shipyard on track to deliver Baker Marine Pacific Class 375 jackup

Sembcorp Marine Ltd is pleased to announce that its subsidiaries, PPL Shipyard Ltd and Sembawang Shipyard Pte Ltd, are on track to deliver a Baker Marine Pacific Class 375 Design jack-up rig to Aban Singapore Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Aban Offshore Ltd of India The jack-up rig was christened Aban VIII by Mrs Deepa .... [+ read more] Reji, wife of Mr Reji Abraham, Managing Director of Aban Offshore Ltd, in a naming ceremony held in Sembawang Shipyard on 19 April 2008. The ceremony was attended by key representatives and stakeholders from Aban Offshore, PPL Shipyard and Sembawang Shipyard as well as distinguished guests from the shipping / offshore fraternity.

16 Apr 2008

Discovers oil on Draupne

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate announced today that Det norske oljeselskap ASA (“DETNOR”) has discovered oil and gas on Draupne (Production License 001B). Det norske has a 35% interest in the license. Det norske believes this to be a commercial discovery. Oil and gas were encountered in 44-m thick sandstone from the Middle Jurassic period. The oil-water contact was not detected. The .... [+ read more] discovery is situated deeper than what was stipulated by the original prognosis, and the license partners have determined that further mapping and analysis is necessary before the location of an appraisal well may be concluded. Consequently, the well will now be plugged and abandoned. The Draupne well has proven recoverable resources between 4 and 5 million standard cubic meters of oil equivalents which, together with two other discoveries located in the area (Hanz and West Cable), may contain recoverable resources of oil and gas corresponding to 90 million barrels. The licensees in Hanz and West Cable are the same as those in Draupne. Det norske will now consider a number of joint development scenarios in the area. This part of the North Sea contains several fields in production as well as discoveries under evaluation. A data acquisition of core samples and liquid samples has been completed. The well is the ninth exploration well in Production License 001B. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,511 meters below sea level. The sea depth was 111 meters. The well was drilled with the semi-submersible drilling facility Bredford Dolphin. Licensees in Draupne are Det norske with a 35% interest, StatoilHydro with 50%, and PA Resources with 15%.

14 Apr 2008

New discovery on the Halten Bank

StatoilHydro has made a gas discovery in the Natalia prospect in the Norwegian Sea. According to preliminary calculations the discovery could contain around 1.5 billion cubic metres of recoverable gas. Natalia is located five kilometres north-west of the Midgard structure on the Åsgard field on the Halten Bank and adds to the many finds in this area. Exploration activities in the .... [+ read more] area have so far this year given good results, such as the Natalia, Gamma and Marulk (partner-operated) finds. Positive results in Gamma and Natalia are also important contributions in evaluating the potential of equivalent structures in the area.

2 Apr 2008

LUNDIN PETROLEUM COMPLETES EXPLORATION WELL IN NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) announces the completion of the exploration well 2/5-14S in PL 006C, in the North Sea sector of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The exploration well 2/5-14S was targeting the Hyme prospect. The Hyme prospect showed no commercial hydrocarbons and as a result, no coring or testing was performed and the well has now been plugged and .... [+ read more] abandoned. The jack-up rig Mærsk Gallant was used for drilling. The South East Tor chalk discovery made in 1972 is also located in PL006C and has estimated resources of 22.5 million barrels of oil equivalent.The decision was taken not to proceed at this time with the drilling of the side track 2/5-14A as an appraisal well on the South East Tor discovery, pending further technical and economic analysis. Lundin Petroleum is the operator of PL 006C with a 75 percent interest.Partners are Noreco ASA with a 15 percent interest and Faroe Petroleum AS with a 10 percent interest.

1 Apr 2008

Five-year drilling contract for Aker

StatoilHydro has awarded a five-year contract to Aker Drilling for drilling operations in the Norwegian Sea. The total contract value is about NOK 5 billion. The contract was awarded in December 2006, but StatoilHydro has had until now to decide the final length of the fixed part of the contract, beyond a minimum period of three years. The Aker Drilling .... [+ read more] rig "Aker Spitsbergen" will be used for drilling assignment at Halten Nordland in the Norwegian Sea. The rig, which belong to Aker Drilling's sixth generation rigs, are designed for assignment on the Norwegian continental shelf, where deep waters and tough weather pose extra challenges. During full utilisation of the rig the total contact value over five years will be about NOK 5 billion, based on an exchange rate of NOK 5.10 to the US dollar. The construction of the rig is now in full progress at the Aker Kværner yard at Stord. "Aker Spitsbergen" is scheduled to be delivered at the end of July 2008.

11 Mar 2008

First offshore drilling in Canada as operator

StatoilHydro will drill its first offshore prospect as operator in Canada in the fourth quarter of 2008, at the Mizzen prospect off the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Transocean rig, Henry Goodrich, has been secured for the operation. The Mizzen prospect is located in block EL 1049 in the Flemish Pass Basin offshore Newfoundland and Labrador in 1,100 metres .... [+ read more] water depth. StatoilHydro has signed an agreement whereby Husky Energy will participate in the exploration well. Under the agreement Husky Energy will earn a 35% interest in Mizzen. "We are very excited about starting drilling operations offshore Canada," says Geir Jøssang, head of StatoilHydro Canada. "Canada is becoming an important contributor to StatoilHydro’s international portfolio,” he adds. StatoilHydro just signed a rig sharing contract with Petro-Canada and Husky, bringing the Transocean-operated Henry Goodrich rig to the east coast of Canada. The rig is expected to arrive in Newfoundland this summer. “The Flemish Pass Basin is a new and almost unexplored area on Canada’s east coast,” explains Johan K. Mikkelsen, head of StatoilHydro’s offshore business in Canada. “We are already participating in production from the Terra Nova and Hibernia fields and we have learned a lot from our partners in the 12 years we have been in Canada, and now look forward to preparing for our own drilling operations here,” he adds.

7 Mar 2008

Find in the Barents Sea

Hydrocarbons have been proven in the Obesum prospect in the Barents Sea. StatoilHydro is the operator and has 100 percent interest in this licence. This is the fourth find on StatoilHydro-operated licenses on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2008, and the fifth so far this year. The drilling in production licence 228 in the Barents Sea is completed. Hydrocarbons were .... [+ read more] proven in sandstone from the Triassic Age, and extensive data acquisition has been conducted. The results from the well show that the reservoir contains both oil and gas. It is too early to estimate the size of the finds and further data processing is required. ”The finds confirm our expectations that additional reserves can be found in this area, and we plan to drill another well in this licence in 2008,” says Tim Dodson, head of exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. This was the first well in production licence 228, which was awarded in the Barents Sea licensing round in 1997. The well was drilled to a total depth of 2825 metres below sea level, and was completed in Triassic rocks. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. Well 7222/6-1S was drilled by the Polar Pioneer drilling rig in 364 metres of water. The next project for the Polar Pioneer is an appraisal well for PL110C on the Tornerose discovery. StatoilHydro has previously reported discoveries south-west of the Grane field and in the Fram area of the North Sea, and Gamma at Haltenbanken. Additionally, a discovery was made at Marulk on Haltenbanken where ENI Norway is the operator and StatoilHydro has a 50 percent ownership stake. StatoilHydro is the operator and has 100 percent interest in licence 228.

20 Feb 2008

Oil find at Grane

An oil discovery has been made by StatoilHydro due south-west of the Grane field in the North Sea. The size of the find is estimated to be in the order of 20 – 30 million recoverable barrels of oil. “The find is a continuation of the good start to exploration activities on the Norwegian continental shelf in 2008,” says Tim Dodson, .... [+ read more] director of exploration in Exploration and production Norway. “This find is the fourth discover we have been involved in so far this year,” he says. StatoilHydro has previously reported a discovery in the Fram area of the North Sea and Gamma at Haltenbanken. Additionally, a discovery was made at Marulk on Haltenbanken where ENI Norway is the operator and StatoilHydro has a 50 per cent ownership stake. The discovery at Grane was made in connection with the production licence PL169 for which StatoilHydro is operator, and is named M prospect. Exploration well 25/11-25 S was drilled down to reservoir rock types of Paleogenic age, and drilling has been concluded. The well is the thirteenth exploration well in production licence 169. The licence was awarded in the thirteenth concessionary round in 1991. The discovery in the M prospect is interesting and may be relevant for further investigation when seen in the context of other discoveries in the area. The well was not formation strength-tested, but comprehensive data collection and testing has been carried out. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 1804 metres below the sea surface. The sea depth is 125 metres. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. Well 25/11-25 S was drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner, which will now drill exploration well 25/11-25 A as a lateral branch well, to prove the presence of petroleum in a nearby prospect in the same production licence. Licencees in production licence PL169: StatoilHydro (operator) (57 percent), Petoro (30) and ExxonMobil (13).

20 Feb 2008

Spud on Draupne

Det norske oljeselskap has spudded well 16/1-9 on Draupne. The operation commenced Tuesday 19 February at 4:20 p.m. (CET), and is carried out with the semi-submersible drilling rig Bredford Dolphin. Det norske is the operator of Draupne (Production License 001B) and holds a 35% interest in the license. License partners are StatoilHydro with 50% and PA Resources with 15%. The well .... [+ read more] will be drilled to a depth of 2,475 meters, and the duration of the drilling operation is estimated at 47 days. The reservoir is located at a depth of 2,275 meters. The recoverable volume has been estimated at approximately 50 million barrels. This is the first drilling operated by Det norske in 2008. According to the drilling program, the company will perform a total of nine drilling operations during 2008.

19 Feb 2008

EXPLORATION WELL PL 292 SPUDDED, OFFSHORE NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well 15/12-19 on the Phi-North prospect located in Block 6/3 and 15/12, production license PL 292, in the North Sea sector of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), has commenced. The exploration well 15/12-19 with a planned depth of approximately 3,100 metres mean sea level will target .... [+ read more] the middle Jurassic and the Triassic/lower Jurassic reservoir by using the jack up rig Mærsk Guardian. Drilling is expected to take approximately two months. The operator is BG Norge AS. Lundin Petroleum is a partner with 40 percent interest.

18 Feb 2008

Keppel FELS receives US$40,000 for early delivery of a KFELS B Class rig

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), received US$40,000 from Awilco Offshore ASA (Awilco) for the early delivery of jackup drilling rig. Built to Keppel’s proprietary KFELS B Class design, the rig was delivered 10 days ahead of contractual schedule to Awilco without any lost time incidents during its construction. .... [+ read more] The rig is the second of three rigs Keppel FELS is building for Awilco. The first rig was also delivered ahead of schedule in December 2006. The third rig is scheduled for delivery in second quarter 2009.

14 Feb 2008

Transocean to drill Indonesia wells

The Makassar Strait Explorers Consortium, including StatoilHydro, has signed a two-year contract with Transocean to lease the ultra deep-water drill ship GSF Explorer to conduct a drilling campaign on the Karama block off west Sulawesi in Indonesia. The contract starts late 2009. The exact date of commencement is dependent on the completion of work under the current rig lease contract. .... [+ read more] StatoilHydro is operator of three exploration wells in Karama and GSF Explorer will drill them during the contract period. StatoilHydro owns a 51% stake and Pertamina a 49% share in the wells. “The first of the three wells in the Karama license is scheduled for the second half of 2010,” says Bjarte Ydstebø, StatoilHydro Vice President, Procurement Drilling & Well. “We have a good cooperative relationship with the other consortium members regarding procurement,” he remarks. “The consortium is now in the process of planning procurement of additional products and services for the drilling campaign.” Tore Larsen, head of StatoilHydro Drilling & Well, Asia, is the head of the company’s Karama drilling campaign and consortium participation. The Makassar Strait Explorers Consortium comprises Marathon International Petroleum Indonesia Ltd, Anadarko Popodi Ltd, ConocoPhilips (Kuma) Ltd, ENI Bukat Ltd, Statoil Indonesia Karama AS and Talisman (Sageri) Ltd. The consortium’s drilling programme includes a total of 12 exploration wells during a two-year period. Marathon is acting as lead operator for the group, but each consortium member is responsible for their own committed wells. The Karama block is located in deep waters in Indonesia’s Makassar Strait.

13 Feb 2008

Volve on stream

The StatoilHydro-operated Volve field in the North Sea came on stream on 12 February. The Volve field is located around 200 kilometres west of Stavanger in the southern section of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). StatoilHydro has a 59.6% interest in the field. Oil from the field will be produced by using the Mærsk Inspirer jackup rig, while Navion Saga .... [+ read more] will be used as a storage vessel for further transport. The gas will be sent to the Sleipner A platform for final processing and export. Recoverable reserves are estimated at 78.6 million barrels of oil and 1.5 billion standard cubic metres of gas. Production from Volve is expected to reach plateau production of 50,000 barrels per day by the end of the first quarter of 2009. StatoilHydro is operator of the field and has assigned the operations activities to Maersk. Maersk Inspirer is the world’s largest jackup rig and the only one of its kind used for production purposes on the NCS. Mærsk Inspirer started drilling in the summer of 2007 and has also completed the processing plant during this period. It has been decided to develop the field with eight wells but another five wells are already being planned and matured.

1 Feb 2008

New oil discovery on UK continental shelf

BP and its partner, Marathon Petroleum West of Shetlands Ltd, today announced a new oil discovery in Block 204/23, following drilling on the South-West Foinaven prospect, some 190 kilometres west of the Shetland Islands. The exploration well 204/23-2 was drilled using the Paul B Loyd Junior semi-submersible drilling rig. Located 11 kilometres south-west of the Foinaven Floating, Production, Storage .... [+ read more] & Offloading (FPSO) vessel, the well reached a total depth of 2,528 metres below sea level. BP, together with its partner, is now evaluating the discovery and the potential for a two well subsea development, tied back to the Foinaven FPSO. Dave Blackwood, head of BP's North Sea business, said, "Discoveries like this are key to the future of the North Sea and, combined with continuing investment in brownfield development, will make best use of the existing offshore infrastructure. BP is always looking for new opportunities to invest, particularly around our existing acreage to extend the life of the North Sea." Licence P1263, comprising parts of blocks 204/ 23 and 204/24 was awarded to BP for operatorship (72% equity) and Marathon Oil (28%) in 2005 following the successful award in the 23rd Offshore Licensing Round.

31 Jan 2008

BP makes a significant deep gas discovery in Egypt's Nile Delta

The Satis discovery is located in the North El Burg Offshore, Nile Delta concession, some 50 kilometres north of Damietta. The well was drilled to a Nile Delta record depth of more than 6,500 metres and is the first significant high-pressure, high-temperature, offshore Oligocene discovery. Satis is a major technical achievement that demonstrates the great potential of the deeper reservoirs .... [+ read more] within the Nile Delta and will require further appraisal. The parties to the North El Burg offshore concession agreement are: BP, operator (50 per cent) and IEOC, the affiliate of Italy's ENI in Egypt (50 per cent). Satis was drilled by the Constellation II jack-up rig, in a water depth of 90 metres. Andy Inglis, BP's chief executive of Exploration & Production said: "This is a significant discovery, which will underscore our position as a major producer in the growing Egyptian gas market for many years to come."

31 Jan 2008

Gas find on the Halten Bank

Drilling of an exploration well in the Gamma prospect in the Norwegian Sea has been concluded. A tie-in of the gas discovery to the Åsgard field will be considered. Rich gas was proven in the Fangst group of middle Jurassic age. According to preliminary calculations the find is in the order of 2 to 3 GSm3 of recoverable gas. Gamma is .... [+ read more] located eight kilometres southeast of the Mikkel field on the Halten Bank. The exploration well is one of several similar prospects in the Norwegian Sea, and the find helps increase the understanding of the underground in this area. “The results strengthen our belief in the further potential of the area near the Midgard and Mikkel fields, and more wells will be drilled in the next few years,” says Ørjan Birkeland, manager for exploration activities in areas close to existing fields in North Norway. The exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 2,508 metres below sea level, and concluded in rocks of middle Jurassic age. Formation testing of the well has not been performed, but extensive data gathering and sampling have been carried out. The semi-submersible drilling rig, Ocean Vanguard, has drilled in the Gamma prospect. The well will be plugged and abandoned, and the rig will continue to the Alve find in the Norwegian Sea to drill an exploration well.

23 Jan 2008

Another “Bully” at Keppel heralds growing drillship business for the yard

Keppel Shipyard Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M) has been awarded a contract valued at about SGD 145 million for the integration and completion of a new build “Bully” drillship. Keppel secured the contract with a company jointly owned by Frontier Drilling and Shell. This is the second drillship of the “Bully” rig .... [+ read more] design awarded to Keppel by the same owners. The first “Bully” drillship was awarded in June 2007 with delivery by fourth quarter 2009. The new hull will be built in China and is due to arrive at Keppel Shipyard in the first quarter of 2009. The drillship is expected to be delivered by the second quarter of 2010.

10 Jan 2008

New drilling campaign at Sleipner West

On behalf of the licencees of Sleipner West, StatoilHydro has elected to exercise an option to commence drilling with the drilling rig West Epsilon in the North Sea field. The option has a value of NOK 620 million, and the total value of the contract now entered into with Seadrill for Sleipner West since last summer now amounts to NOK 1.18 .... [+ read more] billion. The option to use the jack-up drilling rig West Epsilon allows StatoilHydro to drill five or six new wells at Sleipner West in the period leading up to 2010. There is strong activity on the Sleipner West field, and new seismics will be shot this year. StatoilHydro is utilising advanced seismics to reduce risk and become more effective in its drilling operations. The drilling campaign can contribute to increasing remaining reserves. The initiatives being implemented mean that production at Sleipner West is expected to continue well beyond 2020.

7 Jan 2008

LUNDIN PETROLEUM COMPLETES EXPLORATION WELL 12/17b-1, OFFSHORE UNITED KINGDOM

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) announces that the well 12/17b-1 on the Ridgewood prospect reached Total Depth at 1,731 meters (5,678 ft). The well is located in block 12/17b, production licence P1301, in the Moray Firth area of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS). The well was drilled using the Transocean Galaxy II jack-up rig and evaluated one reservoir target. .... [+ read more] This target is being plugged and abandoned as a dry hole. Lundin Petroleum is the operator with 30 percent interest. Partners are Palace Exploration Company (United Kingdom) Limited (25%), Britcana Energy Ltd. (25%) (a subsidiary of International Frontier Resources Corp.), Gulf Shores UK Resources Ltd. (10%) and Monoil UK Limited (10%).

27 Dec 2007

LUNDIN PETROLEUM SECURES DRILLING RIG FOR PL 304 AEGIS EXPLORATION WELL

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that Aker Exploration AS will acquire an interest in production licence PL 304, located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in the North Sea.Aker Exploration will supply the Aker Barents drilling rig to drill the Aegis prospect in PL 304. Aker Exploration will acquire a 10 percent licence interest from .... [+ read more] Lundin Petroleum and a 20 percent interest from Endeavour Energy Norge. Following the transaction, Lundin Petroleum, the PL 304 operator, will retain a 50 percent licence interest and Endeavour Energy will hold 20 percent. The transaction is subject to approval by Norwegian regulatory authorities. The Aker Barents is owned by Aker Drilling and is a sixth-generation semi-submersible drilling rig.Drilling of the PL 304 Aegis exploration well is expected to begin in late 2008.

27 Dec 2007

Lundin Petroleum Secures Drilling Rig for PL 304 Aegis Exploration Well

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that Aker Exploration AS will acquire an interest in production licence PL 304, located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in the North Sea.Aker Exploration will supply the Aker Barents drilling rig to drill the Aegis prospect in PL 304. Aker Exploration will acquire a 10 percent licence interest from .... [+ read more] Lundin Petroleum and a 20 percent interest from Endeavour Energy Norge. Following the transaction, Lundin Petroleum, the PL 304 operator, will retain a 50 percent licence interest and Endeavour Energy will hold 20 percent. The transaction is subject to approval by Norwegian regulatory authorities. The Aker Barents is owned by Aker Drilling and is a sixth-generation semi-submersible drilling rig.Drilling of the PL 304 Aegis exploration well is expected to begin in late 2008.

21 Dec 2007

LUNDIN PETROLEUM HAS SPUDDED EXPLORATION WELL 12/17B-1, OFFSHORE UNITED KINGDOM

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well 12/17b-1 on the Ridgewood prospect located in block 12/17b, production licence P1301, in the Moray Firth area of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS), has commenced. Well 12/17b-1 is targeting Jurassic sandstones. The Ridgewood prospect is a four-way dip closure. The unrisked gross potential resource .... [+ read more] is 41 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). Lundin Petroleum has contracted the Global Santa Fe Galaxy II jack-up rig to drill this prospect. Drilling is expected to take 28 days. Well 12/17b-1 is the third well of a three well back-to-back exploration drilling programme on the UKCS using the same rig. Lundin Petroleum is the operator with 30 percent interest. Partners are Palace Exploration Company (E&P) Limited (25%), Britcana Energy Ltd. (25%) (a subsidiary of International Frontier Resources Corp.), Gulf Shores UK Resources Ltd. (10%) and Monoil UK Limited (10%).

13 Dec 2007

NOIL Energy ASA: Dry well in the North Sea

Det norske oljeselskap ASA (“DETNOR”) announces today that Det norske’s subsidiary, NOIL Energy ASA, has concluded drilling of appraisal well 24/12-5S in the North Sea. Well 24/12-5S was drilled in Production License 341 to prove hydrocarbons in the Thorkildsen prospect in the Heimdal formation. The purpose of the well was to prove larger accumulations of hydrocarbons in the same formation .... [+ read more] as proven by well 24/12-3S in 1996. 16 meters of sandstone in the Heimdal formation over the oil/water contact was proven in well 24/12-3S, but no hydrocarbons. The well was drilled to a total depth of 2,214 meters in Paleocene rocks. The well is now being permanently plugged and abandoned. The well was drilled using the Bredford Dolphin drilling facility in 116 meters of water. As for Det norske oljeselskap, all costs pertaining to this well have been paid by PA Resources as part of a farm-in agreement between PA Resources and NOIL Energy.

10 Dec 2007

Dry well in the Barents Sea

StatoilHydro has completed drilling of the Askeladd Beta exploration well in production licence 7120/8-4 in the Barents Sea. The well was drilled some six kilometres south-west of the Snøhvit field and 150 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest, northern Norway, in a water depth of 275 metres. Its purpose was to prove hydrocarbons in sandstones of Jurassic age that could have yielded .... [+ read more] additional resources near the Hammerfest LNG plant at Melkøya. The well was dry and only traces of hydrocarbons were proven. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. The operation was carried out by the Polar Pioneer drilling rig in a safe, efficient and environmentally sound way in accordance with applicable petroleum industry requirements for the area. StatoilHydro will have a comprehensive exploration programme in the Barents Sea in 2008. Several wells will be drilled to prove new deposits that are suitable for Snøhvit, as well as additional wells in new areas of the Barents Sea. Polar Pioneer's next assignment will be to permanently plug a well at Snøhvit before moving on to a new exploration well. Snøhvit Unit licensees are StatoilHydro (operator) with a 33.53% interest, Petoro AS (30.00%), Total E&P Norge AS (18.40%), Gaz de France Norge AS (12.00%), Hess Norge AS (3.26%) and RWE Dea Norge AS with 2.81%.

30 Nov 2007

NOIL Energy ASA: delineation of oil discovery in the North Sea

Det norske oljeselskap ASA (`DETNOR`) announces that the Ragnarock well 16/2-4 is at TD of 2000 m below sea level. Det norske oljeselskap`s affiliate, NOIL Energy ASA, holds a 30% interest in the 265 license. The current evaluation indicates considerable hydrocarbon volumes with a high uncertainty in recovery factor. A series of mini-DST well tests were conducted, which confirmed limited flow .... [+ read more] potential in the chalk reservoir. Oil and gas were also proven in low permeable crystalline basement. The main purpose of the well was to prove the extent of the moveable hydrocarbons and evaluate productivity within the chalk reservoir. More detailed evaluations are necessary to confirm the potential of Ragnarock and if commercial volumes can be produced. This well is located 35 km east of the Gudrun Field and was drilled with the West Epsilon jack-up rig. The water depth in the area is 113 metres. The partners in PL 265 are StatoilHydro ASA (30% and operator), NOIL Energy ASA (30%), Petoro AS (30%), and Talisman Energy Norge AS (10%).

20 Nov 2007

Det norske oljeselskap ASA discovered more oil in Storskrymten

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) announced today that Det norske oljeselskap ASA (formerly Pertra ASA), operator of Production License 337, has finalized the drilling of wildcat well 15/12-18 S and the appraisal well 15/12-18A, located in the North Sea between the fields Sleipner Øst and Varg. The well proved two oil discoveries in Paleocene reservoirs. The wildcat well 15/12-18S had two .... [+ read more] targets for drilling; one in Paleocene (the Storskrymten prospect), and one in Jurassic/Triassic (the Grytkollen prospect). In the Paleocene section, 23 meters of oil was proven in sandstones with good reservoir characteristics comprised by the Ty formation and the Heimdal formation. In addition, 9-m thick sandstones of Jurassic age (Grytkollen) were encountered, but no hydrocarbons. The well was drilled to a total depth of 3,520 meters below the sea surface and was finished in rocks of Permian age. Oil and rock samples in the Ty formation were collected for further analysis. The appraisal well 15/12-18A was drilled to delineate the oil discovery and confirm the reservoir development in the Ty formation. The well encountered sandstones in the Ty formation and the Heimdal formation. The sandstone in the Heimdal formation was oil-bearing. Det norske oljeselskap estimates the size of the recoverable volume in Storskrymten, now comprising reservoirs in both the Ty and Heimdal formations, to between 10 and 45 million barrels. Prior to designating the discovery as commercially viable, additional analyses are required to determine whether it is necessary to drill an appraisal well to map the size of the discovery in the Heimdal formation. One alternative might be to produce the oil from the FPSO Petrojarl Varg, located 17 km south of Storskrymten. Det norske oljeselskap is the operator of PL 337 and holds a 45% interest. The other licensees are Dana Petroleum (25%), Revus Energy (20%), and Bridge Energy (10%). The well was drilled with the drilling facility Mærsk Giant.

15 Nov 2007

Duster in Bjørk prospect

Drilling of the wildcat 6608/8-2 in the Bjørk prospect north of the Norne field has been completed. No hydrocarbons were proven in the well. StatoilHydro is operator for production licence 352, the Bjørk prospect in block 6608, 33 kilometres north of the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea. The well did not reveal hydrocarbons and has been classified as dry .... [+ read more] but several reservoir zones were discovered in Cretaceous rocks. This was the first well in PL 352 which was awarded in the APA of 2004. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,809 metres below sea level and was terminated in Triassic rocks. The well has now been plugged and abandoned. “The Bjørk prospect has been defined as an exciting drilling target for quite some time,” says Ørjan Birkeland, StatoilHydro’s exploration vice president for infrastructure in the north. “We had hoped to find oil in Cretaceous sandstone,” says Mr Birkeland. “The sandstone rocks were well-developed but unfortunately did not contain hydrocarbons. The operation was carried out in a safe, efficient and environmentally acceptable manner. The results from the well will now be used to gain a better understanding of the exploration model.” The well 6608/8-2 was drilled by the Ocean Vanguard rig in 337 metres of water. The rig is now to go to a shipyard for a classification survey.

12 Nov 2007

Keppel AmFELS repeats on track delivery for Scorpion’s second rig

Keppel AmFELS Inc., the US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), has delivered its second jackup drilling rig for Scorpion Offshore (Scorpion) on time and within budget. The delivery of Offshore Defender comes just five months after Keppel AmFELS completed its first jackup rig for Scorpion earlier this year. A newly established drilling company, .... [+ read more] Scorpion has contracted Keppel AmFELS to build a fleet of five drilling rigs. Construction of the remaining three is progressing well on track, and the rigs are scheduled for delivery through 2008 to 2009.

5 Nov 2007

Dry well in Snøhetta prospect

Drilling of the first exploration well 6609/6-1 in the Snøhetta prospect in the Norwegian Sea has been completed. No hydrocarbons were proven. StatoilHydro is operator for production licence 286 in block 6609 on the Nordland Ridge. "This wildcat was started in September and completed after the merger of Statoil and Hydro," says Geir Richardsen, exploration vice president in Exploration & .... [+ read more] Production Norway. "Collaboration between the drilling teams in the two former companies has been good and the drilling operation was carried out in a safe, efficient and environmentally-sound manner." The primary objective was to test the potential for hydrocarbons in Upper Cretaceous rocks. Secondly, the well was also to explore the prospect opportunity in the Brygge formation in Eocene rocks. Only thin layers of sandstone were found in the potential reservoir zones. This was the first well in PL 286 which was awarded in the 17th licensing round in 2002. The well was drilled to a total depth of 2,710 metres below sea level and terminated in Triassac rocks. It has now been permanently plugged and abandoned. The drilling operation was carried out by the Polar Pioneer rig in 330 metres of water. The rig will leave the area on 3 November for the Snøhvit Unit to drill well 7120/8-4, Askeladden Beta. StatoilHydro is operator for this well.

22 Oct 2007

Four year contract for Polar Pioneer

StatoilHydro has awarded a four-year contract to Transocean for lease of the semi-submersible rig Polar Pioneer. The contract will become effective during the first half of 2010. The exact date of commencement will depend on the completion of work under the current rig lease contract. "This is the first rig contract awarded by the new company and represents a .... [+ read more] strategically important acquisition, not least with regard to exploration in the far north of Norway and completion of production wells," says Kjell-Erik Østdahl, chief procurement officer. "Moreover, we have good previous experience with this rig. It is flexible and has a proven record in efficient operations. It is vital for StatoilHydro to secure further resources for exploration projects in the time ahead, and Polar Pioneer is regarded as suitable in this respect," says Østdahl.

8 Oct 2007

EXPLORATION WELL ORANGE COMPLETED

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) announces that BG Norge AS, operator of Production Licence (PL) 335, has completed drilling of wildcat (exploration) well 7/7-4. The well is located close to the Norway/UK international border, about 50 km north of the Ula field in the North Sea. The water depth at the well location is 83 m. The purpose of .... [+ read more] the well was to prove hydrocarbons in the Paleocene Forties unit. Forties reservoir sands were encountered in the well but they were water bearing. The well is the first exploration well drilled in PL 335. The licence was awarded in APA 2004 (Awards in Predefined Areas). The well was drilled to a depth of approximately 3,000 m MD, and was terminated in the top Ekofisk Formation. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. Well 7/7-4 was drilled using the Mærsk Guardian drilling rig. Lundin Petroleum has a licence interest of 18 percent, BG Norge (operator) has 52 percent, Bridge Energy AS has 18 percent and RWE Dea Norge AS has 12 percent.

28 Sep 2007

Pertra discovered oil in Storskrymten

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has announced that Pertra ASA, Operator of Production License 337, has discovered oil in Paleocene sands in wildcat well 15/12-18S. The discovery is located 16 km north-west of the Varg Field. One purpose of the well was to prove hydrocarbons in Paleocene sandstones in a prospect named “Storskrymten”. The well proved oil in parts of 36 meter .... [+ read more] thick sandstones of the TY Formation at a depth of 2,550 meters. The reservoir section will be sampled and evaluated before a decision to drill a side-track is made. After having collected the necessary samples, the operator will continue to drill in order to test the potential of another prospect at 3,300 meters, called “Grytkollen”.This is the first exploration well in Production License 337. The license was awarded in APA 2004. The well is being drilled by the jack-up drilling rig “Mærsk Giant”.

17 Sep 2007

New oil find in Sleipner area

A new oil discovery has been made by Statoil in the Ragnarrock prospect near the Sleipner area in the North Sea. "It is encouraging that Statoil has made an oil discovery in a little-explored exploration model that is close to our North Sea infrastructure," says Frode Fasteland, acting exploration manager for the North Sea. The find was made in .... [+ read more] exploration well 16/2-3 in production licence 265, which lies 35 kilometres east of the Statoil-operated Gudrun discovery. "The oil was proven in Cretaceous rocks with complex reservoir conditions," says Mr Fasteland. "Together with our partners in the licence we have therefore decided to drill the appraisal well 16/2-4 in the structure when the first well is completed." Statoil has carried out an extensive compilation of data and taken samples which will be analysed. The well was drilled to a total depth of 1,856 metres below sea level. The water depth in the area is 113 metres. The exploration well is now being permanently plugged and abandoned by the West Epsilon jack-up rig. This is the fifth exploration well drilled by West Epsilon for Statoil this year and hydrocarbons have been proven in all of the wells. The licensees are Statoil, operator, with 30%, Petoro (30%), Den norske Oljeselskap ASA ( 30%) and Talisman (10%).

17 Sep 2007

Gas/condensate find in Njord area

As operator of exploration and production licenses 107 and 132, Hydro is close to concluding the drilling of exploration well 6407/7-7S in the Njord area in the North Sea. There are proven gas/condensate reserves in the well. “This find increases the chance for developing resources proven on Njord’s Northwest flank, as additional reserves to the Njord field,” says Rune .... [+ read more] Adolfsen, field manager for Hydro’s Njord field unit. The well is located about five kilometers northwest of the Njord A platform on the so-called Njord Northwest Flank. The point of the well was to prove petroleum in Jurassic reservoir rock. The size of the find is estimated at between one to six billion standard cubic meters recoverable gas and between 0.5 to 2.5 million Sm3 recoverable condensate. The well was not production tested, but significant data collection and core samples have been done. The well is the seventh exploration well in license 107. The license was awarded in 1985 in the 9th concession round. The latest well was drilled to a vertical depth of 3,646 meters beneath the surface of the sea and concluded in Lower Jurassic. The sea depth was 334 meters. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. Well 6407/7-7S was drilled by the rig Transocean Winner, which will now continue drilling branch well 6407/7-B-1 Y1H on the Northwest Flank.

17 Sep 2007

Keppel FELS delivers third KFELS B Class jackup rig to Seadrill ahead of time

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered the third KFELS B Class design jackup drilling rig to Seadrill Limited (Seadrill), within budget and ahead of time. This rig was named West Atlas by Lady Sponsor Mrs Anne-Marie Hood, wife of Mr Peter Hood, Executive Director - Chief Executive Officer .... [+ read more] of Coogee Resources Limited. He also graced the ceremony as Guest-of-Honour. West Atlas is the third KFELS B Class rig that Keppel FELS has delivered to Seadrill. The first rig, West Ceres (ex-Seadrill 3), was delivered to Seadrill in April 2006 and the second, West Prospero, was delivered in June 2007. All three were delivered earlier than scheduled without compromise on budget and quality.

10 Sep 2007

LUNDIN PETROLEUM HAS SPUDDED EXPLORATION WELL 21/8-3, OFFSHORE UNITED KINGDOM

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well 21/8-3 on the Scolty and Banchory prospects located in Block 21/8, production licence P1107, on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS), has commenced. Well 21/8-3 is targeting Palaeocene and Jurassic sandstones. The Scolty prospect is defined by a 3D seismic anomaly and the Banchory prospect .... [+ read more] is a stratigraphic pinchout. The unrisked gross potential is 51 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). Lundin Petroleum has contracted the Global Santa Fe Galaxy II jack-up rig to drill this prospect. Drilling is expected to take 45 days. The 21/8-3 is the second well of a three well back-to-back exploration drilling programme on the UKCS using the same rig. Lundin Petroleum is the operator with 40 percent interest. Partners are Challenger Minerals (North Sea) Limited and Palace Exploration Company (E&P) Limited.

10 Sep 2007

LUNDIN PETROLEUM HAS SPUDDED LUNO EXPLORATION WELL, OFFSHORE, NORWAY

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well 16/1-8 on the Luno prospect located in Block 16/1, production licence PL 338, on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), has commenced. The 16/1-8 is targeting to test the hydrocarbon potential in sandstones of Middle and Upper Jurassic age. The structure is defined by 3D seismic .... [+ read more] and is a large pinch-out closure. The gross prospective resource of Luno is estimated at 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe). Lundin Petroleum is using the semi submersible drilling rig Bredford Dolphin to drill the prospect. Drilling is expected to take approximately one month. This is the first well operated by Lundin Petroleum on the NCS. Lundin Norway AS is the operator with 50 percent interest. Partners are RWE Dea Norge AS and Revus Energy ASA.

5 Sep 2007

Mærsk Giant on location in PL 337

The rig “Mærsk Giant” arrived on location 2 September and has now completed loading the required equipment. The well was spudded at 08:25 a.m. (CET) today. The well will be drilled in sections; first vertically down to a depth of 1,150 meters, and then the inclination will be built up to approximately 30 degrees prior to penetrating the potential reservoir Storskrymten. .... [+ read more] If discoveries are made here, a new casing will be set before further drilling aimed at testing the last reservoir, Grytkollen, continues. If no discovery is made in Storskrymten, the drilling will continue directly down to Grytkollen, located at a depth of 3,300 meters. The duration of the drilling operation for testing of primary targets is estimated at 50 days, and the entire operation at 70 days.

29 Aug 2007

New Norwegian Sea gas find

Statoil has discovered gas in the Midnattsol prospect in the Norwegian Sea. The find was made in exploration well 6405/10-1 in production licence 281 where the company is operator. Statoil has discovered gas in the Midnattsol prospect in the Norwegian Sea. The find was made in exploration well 6405/10-1 in production licence 281 where the company is operator. "It's positive .... [+ read more] that a new gas find has been made in a deepwater area of the Norwegian Sea," says Frode Fasteland, acting head of exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. Midnattsol is located some 40 kilometres north of the Ormen Lange field and 30 kilometres south of the Ellida find. The well was drilled in a water depth of 928 metres to a total depth of 3,158 metes below sea level. Gas was encountered in a reservoir of the late Cretaceous. Core samples have been taken and an extremely thorough data acquisition programme carried out. The collected data will be analysed to estimate the discovery's size and production characteristics. It is too early at this stage to declare the find commercial. "We have great faith in the Norwegian Sea and will continue to have a high level of activity in the area," says Mr Fasteland. "Future activities include five exploration wells in the deepwater area in 2008. Three of them are Statoil-operated." Midnattsol will be permanently plugged and abandoned. The Transocean Leader drilling rig will now be taken over by Eni. The licensees in production licence 281, blocks 6405/4, 7 and 10 are Statoil with a 50% interest, EON Ruhrgas (20%), Petoro (20%) and CononoPhillips with 10%.

17 Aug 2007

LUNDIN PETROLEUM COMPLETES EXPLORATION WELL 41/10A-2Z

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) announces that the well 41/10a-2Z on the Lytham prospect reached Total Depth at 2,063 meters (6,768 ft). The well is located in the Southern North Sea sector of the United Kingdom continental shelf (UKCS). The well was drilled using the GSF Galaxy II jack-up rig, evaluated three reservoir targets and is being plugged and abandoned .... [+ read more] as a dry hole. Lundin Petroleum is the operator with 25 percent interest. Partners are Challenger Minerals (North Sea) Limited and Palace Exploration Company (E&P) Limited with Gulf Shores UK Petroleum Ltd, Eternal Energy Limited, Britcana Energy Ltd and Monarch Energy Limited participating in the well in an earn-in capacity. On completion of the abandonment the rig will be mobilised to the 21/8-C location – Scolty and Banchory prospects, the second well in a three well back-to-back UKCS exploration drilling programme.

24 Jul 2007

LUNDIN PETROLEUM HAS SPUDDED EXPLORATION WELL 41/10A-2, OFFSHORE UNITED KINGDOM

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well 41/10a-2 on the Lytham prospect located in block 41/10a, production licence P1129, in the southern North Sea sector of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS), has commenced. The 41/10a-2 is targeting Carboniferous Namurian sandstone and the Haupt and Platten dolomite reservoirs of Permian age. The .... [+ read more] structure is defined by 3D seismic and is a large 4 way dip closure. The unrisked gross potential is 400 billion cubic feet (bcf) (65 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe)). Lundin Petroleum has contracted the Global Santa Fe Galaxy II jack-up rig to drill this prospect. Drilling is expected to take one month. The Lytham prospect is the first well of a three well back-to-back exploration drilling programme on the UKCS using the same rig. Lundin Petroleum is the operator with 25 percent interest. Partners are Challenger Minerals (North Sea) Limited and Palace Exploration Company (E&P) Limited with Gulf Shores UK Petroleum Ltd, Eternal Energy Limited, Britcana Energy Ltd and Monarch Energy Limited participating in the well in an earn-in capacity.

24 Jul 2007

Lundin Petroleum has Spudded Exploration Well 41/10A-2 Offshore UK

Lundin Petroleum AB (Lundin Petroleum) is pleased to announce that drilling of the exploration well 41/10a-2 on the Lytham prospect located in block 41/10a, production licence P1129, in the southern North Sea sector of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS), has commenced. The 41/10a-2 is targeting Carboniferous Namurian sandstone and the Haupt and Platten dolomite reservoirs of Permian age. The .... [+ read more] structure is defined by 3D seismic and is a large 4 way dip closure. The unrisked gross potential is 400 billion cubic feet (bcf) (65 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe)). Lundin Petroleum has contracted the Global Santa Fe Galaxy II jack-up rig to drill this prospect. Drilling is expected to take one month. The Lytham prospect is the first well of a three well back-to-back exploration drilling programme on the UKCS using the same rig. Lundin Petroleum is the operator with 25 percent interest. Partners are Challenger Minerals (North Sea) Limited and Palace Exploration Company (E&P) Limited with Gulf Shores UK Petroleum Ltd, Eternal Energy Limited, Britcana Energy Ltd and Monarch Energy Limited participating in the well in an earn-in capacity.

23 Jul 2007

Drilling of Snøhvit well completed

Statoil has concluded the drilling of an appraisal well in the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea. The well was drilled to map the recoverable oil reserves in the field. The appraisal well 7120/6-2 in production licence 097 was drilled to a depth of 3,120 metres below the seabed and finished in late Triassic rocks. Water depth in the area is .... [+ read more] 321 metres. The Polar Pioneer drilling rig has performed yet another successful operation in the Barents Sea. The appraisal well was drilled without any incidents or accidental discharges to the sea. The goal of the drilling was to gain further information about the thickness of the gas and oil column in the western part of Snøhvit and to find out whether the oil column is situated in a zone with reservoir properties that are sufficiently good for oil recovery. A comprehensive data compilation has been done in the well. The data will now be analysed and the result will be ready during September. The well has been temporarily plugged and will possibly be used later for injection of formation water or carbon dioxide. Statoil is operator for the development and operation of Snøhvit with a 33.53% share. The other licensees are Petoro (30.00%), Total E&P Norge (18.40%), Gaz de France (12.00%), Amerada Hess Norge (3.26%) and RWE Dea Norge (2.81%).

18 Jul 2007

Rosebank a success

The Rosebank appraisal well 205/1-1 in block PL 1026, west of Shetland, is a success. During a production test, the well flowed at choked rates of 6,000 barrels of oil per day. Statoil has a 30% interest in the find. "Statoil is very encouraged by the first test results from Rosebank," says Gregory T Himes, vice president in Statoil global .... [+ read more] exploration (GEX). "The partnership is making every effort to commercialise the discovery as quickly as possible." The Rosebank discovery lies in some 1,000 metres of water, around 160 kilometres north-west of the Shetland Islands. "If commercial, Rosebank will add substantially to Statoil's Atlantic Margin production," Mr Himes says. The 205/1-1 well is the second appraisal well drilled in Rosebank as part of a three-well programme conducted by the Transocean Rather drilling rig. The deviated well is located at the southern end of the Rosebank structure and was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,750 metres. The oil is very light, with a gravity of 38 degrees API (American Petroleum Institute gravity scale). North Sea oil is normally of 20-30 API quality. The rig is currently preparing to move to the third appraisal well location in the northern part of the structure to drill well 213/27-A2. "The three-well programme is designed to fully evaluate the Rosebank discovery and fast-track a development," says Mr Himes. The well programme will optimise the understanding of the size, geometry and production potential of the field. It is expected that the programme will be completed by November 2007 when analysis of the appraisal data will determine the future work programme for the discovery. Statoil’s partners in the area are operator Chevron with a 40% interest, OMV (20%) and Dong Energy (10%). The group has acquired much of the acreage surrounding Rosebank where further prospects lie. In addition, Rosebank is 15 kilometres from the UK/Faroe Islands median line, which is promising for exploration in the Faroes where Statoil is operator in four large licences. In the area to the west of Shetland, Statoil already has a 5.88% interest in the BP-operated Schiehallion field.

9 Jul 2007

More Ermintrude resources found

Operator Statoil has completed the drilling of two appraisal wells at the Ermintrude find in the North Sea. Gas, condensate and oil have been proven. Wells 15/6 A and B lie in production licence 303 seven kilometres north of the Sleipner area in the North Sea's central sector. Gas and condensate in sandstones of Jurassic age have been proven in .... [+ read more] well 15/6-9 A while oil has been proven in well 15/6-9 B in the same reservoir. "The two successful appraisal wells have increased our understanding of the promising 15/6-9 S oil find, carried out in May this year, confirming its size to be eight to 12 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil equivalent reserves," says Frode Fasteland, acting head of Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) exploration. "Around half is gas/condensate and half is oil." According to Mr Fasteland, the results are encouraging. "This reinforces our belief that Ermintrude can add valuable additional resources to the Sleipner area and will be an important contributor to our ambition of producing one million barrels of oil equivalent per day from the NCS until 2015," he says. The wells have not been production tested, but comprehensive data gathering and sampling have been carried out. Statoil will evaluate the need for further appraisal of the find and to what extent its development can be tied back to existing fields in the vicinity. Both wells were drilled by the West Epsilon drilling rig in a water depth of 114 metres to a total depth of 3,580 and 3,870 metres respectively. Drilling was halted in rocks of the late Triassic. The wells were then permanently plugged and abandoned. Statoil has a 100% interest in production licence 303. West Epsilon will now drill appraisal well 16/2-3 in the Ragnarrock structure in production licence 265.

8 Jul 2007

Statoil completes the Ballena well

Statoil has completed the drilling of Ballena, the second of the three wells that are part of the exploration campaign in Block 4 of Plataforma Deltana, located offshore eastern Venezuela. Out of two intervals tested, one flowed gas at significant rates. The Ballena well was drilled in 350 meters of water. No well has been drilled in deeper water in .... [+ read more] Venezuela to date. The rig, Sovereign Explorer, will be moved to the next well location, Orca. This is the third and last well of the exploration campaign of the Block 4. "We are satisfied with the completion of the challenging Ballena well where hydrocarbons have been found, but it is too early to say if these are commercially viable volumes," said Thore E Kristiansen, Statoil Venezuela's country president. "Further evaluation of the results will be done in the coming months with a decision dependent on the outcome of the last well. This drilling campaign has generated more than 500 directly and indirectly related jobs in Venezuela." Plataforma Deltana Block 4 is a license awarded to Statoil by the Venezuelan government in 2003. Statoil, with a 51% interest, is the operator of the license in which Total has the remaining 49%. PDVSA Gas has the option to participate up to 35 % once a commercial discovery has been declared.

2 Jul 2007

Keppel FELS delivers its KFELS B Class jackup rig to Seadrill ahead of time

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered a KFELS B Class design jackup drilling rig to Seadrill Management AS (Seadrill), within budget and ahead of time. This rig was named West Prospero by Lady Sponsor Mrs Jocelyn Pedregosa Shearer, wife of Mr Ian Shearer, Senior Vice President for Jackup .... [+ read more] Units of Seadrill on 30 June 2007. Mr Liam Mallon, Chairman and Lead Country Manager of ExxonMobil Malaysia, graced the ceremony as Guest-of-Honour. West Prospero is the second KFELS B Class rig that Keppel FELS has delivered to Seadrill. The first rig, West Ceres (ex-Seadrill 3), was delivered to Seadrill in April 2006. Keppel FELS is building two more KFELS B Class jackup rigs for Seadrill. Construction of the other two rigs is progressing according to schedule. They are due for delivery later this year and mid-2008 respectively.

18 Jun 2007

Tullow Oil plc – Significant oil discovery offshore Ghana

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the high impact Mahogany-1 exploration well drilled on the West Cape Three Points licence offshore the Republic of Ghana has discovered a significant light oil accumulation based on the results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluid. The well, which is drilling in water depths of 1,320m, has been drilled to a depth .... [+ read more] of 3,683m and has to date, encountered a gross hydrocarbon column of 270m with 95m of net stacked pay. It is planned to drill to a total depth of approximately 4,200m to test further prospective horizons. Upon reaching the target depth, the well will be suspended pending further evaluation and additional appraisal drilling will be required. The Mahogany-1 well will be tested at a later date as part of the appraisal programme. The Mahogany discovery, a Santonian turbidite stratigraphic trap, opens a new play fairway in the Tano Basin. The structure straddles both the West Cape Three Points and Deepwater Tano licences in which Tullow has interests of 22.9% and 49.95% respectively. Tullow is also the operator of the Deepwater Tano licence. The Mahogany-1 well was drilled using the “Belford Dolphin” - a dynamically positioned fifth-generation deepwater drillship. This is the first exploration well to be drilled under the West Cape Three Points seven-year exploration agreement and follows a 1,076 sq km 3D seismic survey on the block in 2005.

11 Jun 2007

Consent for exploration drilling with “Mærsk Giant” in PL 337

Pertra is the operator of Production License 337 and is scheduled to drill an exploration well in the license in August 2007. The drilling rig “Mærsk Giant” is operated by Maersk Contractors. Well services are provided by Halliburton Norge, and AGR manages the drilling operation. The responsible drilling manager for this project in Pertra is Odd Inge Sørheim. Well 15/12-18 shall .... [+ read more] test deposits of hydrocarbons in the Ty Formation (the Storskrymten prospect) and in the Skagerak Formation (the Grytkollen prospect). The well is to be drilled to a depth of approximately 3,300 meters. ”Mærsk Giant” is a jack-up drilling rig with a good safety track record and operational results. Pertra was previously engaged in operations employing ”Mærsk Giant” on the Varg Field, which produced very good results. The rig is currently in operation for Talisman Energy. This assignment is expected completed in early August this year, whereupon Pertra will take over and employ the rig for exploration drilling in PL 337. The anticipated duration of the drilling program for testing of the primary targets in PL 337 is 55 days. The estimated cost is 219 MNOK. If well results prove positive, Pertra will consider drilling a sidetrack. If discoveries are made and the drilling of a sidetrack decided, the duration of the operation is estimated to be prolonged with 17 days. This will carry an additional estimated cost in the amount of 83 MNOK. Having submitted an Application for Consent to Drill to the authorities, Pertra has now received consent for this operation. The Norwegian Pollution Control Authority has issued a discharge permit on condition that the environmental risk assessment and the emergency preparedness analysis are updated prior to drilling start-up. This work has already been initiated. License partners are BG Norge, Revus Energy, and Talisman.

11 Jun 2007

Oil find in North Sea

As operator of exploration and production license 090, Hydro has made a small oil find on the H-North Prospect in the North Sea. “The find on H-North can provide valuable additional resources to fields in the Fram area. The find confirms Hydro exploration successes in this area over the past few years,” says Tore Lilloe-Olsen, exploration manager in the Development .... [+ read more] Norway sector of Hydro’s Oil & Energy business area. Both the Peon and Astero finds were discovered in this area in 2005 and proven to contain recoverable oil. Development concepts for the finds are presently being worked on. Exploration well 35/11-15S with sidetrack 35/11-15ST5 were drilled to a respective total depth of 3,177 and 2,961 meters below the surface of the sea, and ended in rock dating from the Upper Jurassic period. Oil was found in both the main well and the sidetrack. The main well also contains gas. The wells were not production tested, but there has been significant data collection and samples taken. The wells are now permanently plugged and abandoned. A total of 14 exploration wells have been drilled in license 090. The wells were drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig Transocean Winner at a water depth of 363 meters. Transocean Winner will now proceed to drill an exploration well on exploration and production license PL 107 on the Njord field, also operated by Hydro, on the Haltenbanken in the Norwegian Sea.

7 Jun 2007

Keppel FELS to build fourth ultra-deepwater semi valued at US$427million for ENSCO

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has secured an order for an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible (semi) drilling rig from a wholly-owned subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO). The total project value is US$427 million. The semi, ENSCO 8503, will be the fourth semi that Keppel FELS is constructing for ENSCO. It is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2010. .... [+ read more]

29 May 2007

http://www.statoil.com/en/NewsAndMedia/News/2007/Pages/PromisingNorthSeaFinds.aspx

Operator Statoil has made a promising oil discovery in the North Sea's Ermintrude prospect. Deposits are reckoned to be in the region of 50 million barrels of recoverable reserves. "Ermintrude can give valuable additional resources at the Sleipner area," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in Exploration & Production Norway (EPN). "The well is an important .... [+ read more] part of our exploration programme and can contribute to our ambition of producing one million boe per day from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) until 2015." Wildcat 15/6-9 S in block 15/6 lies 10 kilometres north of the Sleipner area in production licence (PL) 303. The well was drilled in a water depth of 114 metres to a total depth of 3,850 metres below sea level. Drilling was halted in rocks of Triassic age. The well was found to contain light oil in sandstones of mid-Jurassic age. A small gas find was also proven in sandstones of Tertiary age. "We will now drill a sidetrack well further up in the Ermintrude structure to establish if there is gas/condensate above the oil that has been discovered," says Mr Dodson. "A prospective development, and what solution is chosen, depends on what can be proven in the sidetrack." After its Ermintrude duties, the West Epsilon rig will continue its Sleipner area exploration programme. Statoil has a three-year contract with the Seadrill company for the hire of the jack-up rig. West Epsilon's exploration programme has so far yielded promising results, with operator Statoil proving gas and condensate in the Biotitt prospect in the Sleipner area earlier this spring. "Statoil has great faith in the NCS," says Mr Dodson. "Ermintrude shows that our NCS focus gives results." Statoil has a 100% interest in PL 303.

28 May 2007

Keppel FELS secures order for a US$191 million jackup from PV Drilling

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), has secured a contract from PetroVietnam Drilling Investment Corp (PVD Invest) to build a US$191 million jackup drilling rig. The contract was secured following Keppel FELS’s successful delivery of PV Drilling I, a high quality jackup drilling rig, two months ahead of schedule in .... [+ read more] March 2007. Like PV Drilling I, the new rig will also be built to the KFELS B Class design. To be named PV Drilling II, it is slated for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2009.

5 May 2007

Volve rig en route

The Maersk Inspirer, the world's biggest jack-up drilling rig is now being towed out to one of the Norwegian continental shelf's (NCS) smallest oil fields, Volve, in the North Sea. Statoil is consolidating its position as the largest small field operator on the NCS. "An independent development of Volve means that additional resources can be phased in later," says .... [+ read more] Bente Aleksandersen, operations vice president for the Sleipner, Volve and Glitne fields. "We will drill further exploration wells from the platform in the next few years. These can be converted into production wells." The Volve field alone has an expected life span of six years but if oil prices remain high that life span can be prolonged. There are possible additional reserves in the Volve area. "Exploration and development of smaller fields is important for us achieving our ambition of producing one million barrels of oil equivalent per day on the NCS until 2015," says Ms Aleksandersen. Operator Statoil is hiring the Maersk Inspirer rig, with processing facilities. Maersk Contractors Norge will manage production at the Volve field. The rig has been berthed at Haugesund north of Stavanger in recent months for installation and testing of the process facilities. "A tight schedule in a very tough market means that we are slightly behind with the Volve project," says Ole Jacob Næss, project manager. "We have prioritised safety over reaching our target on time." Oil from Volve will be temporarily stored on the Navion Saga vessel before being transported to market. Gas will be sent via pipeline to the Sleipner area. There, wet gas will be separated out and piped to Kårstø, with dry gas being piped to the European market. Total development and operation costs for Volve are estimated at around NOK 7 billion. Maersk Inspirer will drill eight wells in the first phase - three production wells, three water injection wells and two water production wells. Plans call for start-up to begin in the third quarter of 2007. Recoverable reserves are estimated to be 70 million barrels of oil and 1.5 billion standard cubic metres of gas. The field is expected to produce 50,000 barrels per day at plateau production. Statoil is operator with a 49.6% share. The other licensees are ExxonMobil (30.4%), PA Resources (10%) and Hydro (10%).

3 May 2007

Keppel AmFELS is on track to deliver first Scorpion jackup rig

Keppel AmFELS Inc., the US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M), is on course to a timely delivery of Scorpion Offshore Ltd.’s first jackup drilling rig at the end of May 2007. The ultra premium drilling rig, Offshore Courageous, is the first of five jackups that Keppel AmFELS is constructing for Scorpion Offshore. The other .... [+ read more] four rigs are Offshore Defender, Offshore Resolute, Offshore Vigilant and Offshore Intrepid. Said Mr Jon Cole, CEO of Scorpion Offshore, “The on-time delivery of Offshore Courageous is crucial to Scorpion Offshore’s goal of providing superior solutions to our customers in the ultra-premium jackup market.”

13 Apr 2007

New rig secured

Statoil has today, 13 April, signed an agreement with Odfjell Invest AS for hire of the sixth-generation Deepsea Atlantic rig. The rig will be used for production and exploration drilling at the Statoil-operated North Sea Gullfaks field. Odfjell Invest is building the rig at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering yard in South Korea. It will be delivered in .... [+ read more] the first half of 2009. "Consideration towards safeguarding the natural and working environment on the rig has been decisive for this contract award," says Terje Overvik, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway (EPN). "The rig will contribute to ensuring safe and effective operations at the Gullfaks field." He adds that the procurement is an important contribution to fulfilling the aggressive production targets Statoil has set for the Tampen area of the North Sea. Anders Opedal, vice president for procurements in the drilling and well technology business unit in Technology and Projects (T&P), is pleased that Statoil has secured essential future rig capacity in a tight market. "With the signing of this contract, Statoil is inviting Odfjell to be part of a renewal of the ageing rig fleet on the Norwegian continental shelf," says Mr Opedal. Statoil has secured flexibility with regard to the length of the contract which runs for four or five years, with an additional two two-year options. Statoil must decide on the final length of contract by July 2008.

30 Mar 2007

Keppel FELS delivers 9th jackup for ENSCO

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered ENSCO 108, its ninth jackup rig for ENSCO International Inc (ENSCO) on schedule, within budget and with zero loss time incidents. Of this outstanding achievement, Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman & CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine, said, “Construction of ENSCO 108 was a true mark of the efficiency and precision in project .... [+ read more] design, management and execution. “ENSCO has been a tremendous supporter of our proprietary designs, and ENSCO 108 is the seventh consecutive rig of the premium KFELS design that we have been commissioned to build since 1999. We are very honoured that ENSCO has entrusted us time and again with delivering some of the most advanced premium offshore rigs in their fleet.” ENSCO 108 was named by Lady Sponsor, Mrs Marcia Hunzeker at a ceremony at Keppel FELS on 24 March 2007. Mrs Hunzeker is wife of Mr Russ Hunzeker, Drilling and Completions Manager of BP Tanguh. ENSCO 108 is built to Keppel’s proprietary KFELS B Class jackup rig design. She is expected to depart the Keppel FELS’ yard in April on her maiden assignment in Indonesia for BP.

14 Mar 2007

Finds at Sleipner

Operator Statoil has proven gas and condensate in the Biotitt prospect in the North Sea using the West Epsilon rig, which is now continuing its exploration programme in the area. The 16/4-4 wildcat in production licence 339 was drilled to a total depth of 2,360 metres below sea level. Drilling was halted in rocks of Cretaceous age with gas and .... [+ read more] condensate being proven in the Heimdal formation of Tertiary age. "We will assess whether to produce the find using the Sleipner platform," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in Exploration & Production Norway (EPN). "An evaluation and analysis of the gathered data will now be carried out to determine the find's resource potential. A joint development with the 16/7-2 find south of Biotitt could be an option. "Biotitt is a good start in a comprehensive exploration programme in the North Sea in the next few years," he says. The Biotitt find lies approximately 20 kilometres north-east of the North Sea's Sleipner field. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. The well was drilled using the West Epsilon drilling rig in 91 metres of water. Statoil has a three-year contract with the Seadrill company for hire of the jack-up rig which can operate at depths of up to 120 metres. West Epsilon is now being moved to its next location which is the Ermintrude prospect in block 15/6 in production licence 303, 10 kilometres north of the Sleipner field. The licensees in exploration licence 339, awarded in 2004, are Statoil with a 70% share and ExxonMobil with 30%.

28 Feb 2007

Oil and gas discovery in the Barents Sea

Hydro has proved the presence of oil and gas in the exploration well on the Nucula prospect in the Barents Sea. The drilling was carried out using the semi-submersible drilling unit “Polar Pioneer”, around 110 kilometres north-east of the Goliath discovery, and around 65 kilometres north of the Norwegian town of Honningsvåg. As operator for production licence 393, Hydro .... [+ read more] has now completed drilling of exploration well 7125/4-1 on the Nucula prospect. The exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 1592 metres below the surface of the sea, reaching rock formations from the early Triassic period. Oil and gas were encountered in the well. Hydrocarbons were found in the Realgrunnen Group formation, and in the Kobbe formation. The well was not production tested, but extensive data collection and sampling work has been carried out. ”It is positive that a new, functioning petroleum system has been proven in this part of the Barents Sea, too. However, it is important to emphasise that there is a need for further evaluation and analysis of collected data in order to ascertain whether or not the discovery is commercial,” says Vice President Tore Lilloe-Olsen, head of Exploration in the Development Norway sector, in Hydro’s Oil & Energy business area. Production licence 393 was awarded in March 2006. Less than a year later, drilling is now completed. There have been strict requirements for this exploration well, with regard to discharge and preparedness. The only discharge to the sea during this drilling operation has been from the top hole, and this has predominantly been composed of a mixture of fresh water and table salt. Examinations of the sea bed have also been carried out after the drilling, and these show that the environmental effects of the operation have been minimal. “Hydro set ambitious targets for implementation of this drilling operation. For this reason it is gratifying to see that the operation was carried out with less discharge to the sea than planned, no unforeseen incidents, and with minimal effects on the environment. This shows that Hydro is capable of carrying out drilling operations with an extremely good environmental profile, in areas where this is necessary,” Lilloe-Olsen comments. Hammerfest was used as base both for helicopter transportation and the provision of supplies to the exploration rig, while several of the emergency preparedness vessels were stationed in Honningsvåg.

31 Jan 2007

Consent to use Mærsk Inspirer on the Volve field

Statoil ASA has secured consent to use the Mærsk Inspirer for production drilling on Volve during the period up to production start-up on the field. In April 2005, the Plan for development and operation (PDO) for Volve was approved by the Prince Regent in Council. The Volve oil field is situated about 200 km west of Stavanger. There are several .... [+ read more] gas and condensate fields in the area surrounding Volve. None of these fields have infrastructures that are suitable for phasing in Volve. Therefore, Volve is planned as a stand-alone development. The development concept includes use of a jack-up drilling and production facility (Mærsk Inspirer) and a storage facility (Navion Saga) for storage of stabilized oil. Our consent relates to use of the Mærsk Inspirer to carry out production drilling on the field prior to production start-up. According to the plan, production will commence in May 2007. Statoil will then require a new consent for use of the Mærsk Inspirer for drilling and production, as well as use of the Navion Saga for storage. The Mærsk Inspirer currently has an (AoC) as a mobile drilling facility. An application for AoC for the Mærsk Inspirer as a drilling and production facility is currently being processed in the PSA.

16 Jan 2007

Drilling started on the Nucula prospect in the Barents Sea

The semi-submersible drilling unit 'Polar Pioneer' today started drilling on the Nucula prospect in the Barents Sea. The well is to be drilled 45 kilometers north of the North Cape, and drilling is expected to take around 40 days. Hammerfest will be used as the base for both helicopter transportation and the provision of supplies to the exploration rig. .... [+ read more] Production licence 393 was awarded during the 19th licensing round in March 2006, and less than a year later Hydro has commenced wildcat drilling on the licence. “We are delighted that we have managed to drill this well so quickly following the licence award. This emphasises Hydro’s intention to invest in the Barents Sea,” says head of Exploration, Tore Lilloe-Olsen. “We are also extremely proud of the environmental profile that has been established for this drilling operation. The quality of this operation is top class, both in terms of planned discharge to the sea and preparedness,” Lilloe-Olsen concludes. This exploration well must meet strict requirements, both with regard to discharge and preparedness. The only permitted discharge to the sea is during drilling of the uppermost part of the well (the top hole), when discharge is predominantly composed of a mixture of cooking salt and fresh water. Hydro has also planned extensive oil-spill preparedness. Several of the oil protection systems provided by the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies (NOFO) will be in the area during the drilling, and an agreement has been entered into with 17 local fishing vessels, with 24-hour response time. In addition, both a helicopter and a monitoring aircraft are available to assist in any potential operation. In December, Hydro held a course and a practical exercise in Honningsvåg for all those who are intended to play a role during a possible oil-spill protection operation in connection with the exploratory drilling.

4 Jan 2007

More Drilling Activities for Pertra

PL 380 was awarded to Pertra (70% and operator) and DNO (30%) in APA 2005. The license partners were scheduled to make a drill or drop decision within 6 January 2007. The partners have now decided to drill an exploration well to test the Midgard West prospect. The prospect is scheduled to be drilled using the semi-submersible drilling rig ”Bredford Dolphin” .... [+ read more] in Q4 2007. The water depth is 266 meters and the prospect is situated 2,800 meters below the seabed. The prospect is located only 4 kilometers from the Midgard Field, which was discovered in 1981 and started producing through the Åsgard development in 1999. ”We are very pleased to commence drilling activities in the two operator licenses awarded to us in APA 2005. This indicates that we have been successful in identifying interesting licenses in our license applications. Midgard West is a classic example of an opportunity not being pursued by the major companies. Provided that hydrocarbons are present, this prospect will prove to be of great value to society”, comments CEO Erik Haugane. Following this decision, Pertra will operate two exploration wells on the Norwegian Shelf in 2007; one in the North Sea and this one in PL 380 in the Norwegian Sea.

28 Dec 2006

Further North Sea exploration

Statoil has today, Thursday 28 December, commenced drilling of exploration well 16/4-4 on the North Sea Biotitt prospect. The drilling marks the start of a busy exploration programme for the West Epsilon rig which initially will drill four North Sea exploration wells for Statoil. "We've secured significant capacity in the North Sea over the next few years with the West .... [+ read more] Epsilon contract," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). In the summer, Statoil signed a contract with the Seadrill company for the chartering of the jack-up rig for three years. West Epsilon can only operate at water depths down to 128 metres. The rig has now begun drilling the first well on the Biotitt prospect, south west in block 16/4 in production licence 339, awarded in 2004. The prospect lies north east of the Sleipner West field. Statoil is operator with a 70% stake, while ExxonMobil has 30%. The well will be drilled to a total depth of around 2,400 metres. The water depth in the area is around 91 metres. Exploration drilling is expected to take 40 days with the aim of proving gas/condensate which can be produced by the Sleipner A platform. Following Biotitt drilling, the rig will continue exploration in the southern part of the North Sea. Well number two will be drilled on the Ermintrude prospect in block 15/6 in production licence 303, awarded in 2003. Following that, it will be moved to the Ragnarrock structure in production licence 265, awarded in 2001. "The four exploration wells that will initially be drilled are in areas that could yield valuable additional resources near existing infrastructure," says Mr Dodson. "The wells are an important part of Statoil's exploration programme on the NCS." West Epsilon will also drill in the "cellar" under the Statoil-operated Huldra field in production licence 051. "West Epsilon's activity is important for us in achieving our goal of producing one million barrels of oil equivalent on the NCS in 2015," says Mr Dodson.

22 Dec 2006

Gjøa drilling contract

As development operator, Statoil has signed an agreement with Transocean Offshore for drilling of production wells at the North Sea's Gjøa field. Valid for three years, the contract is worth around USD 427 million. The deal covers drilling of 13 wells, with options for a further three. The Transocean Searcher rig will drill the wells. First drilling is planned to .... [+ read more] start in October 2008. "It's important to have the big and important contracts in place in good time in relation to the implementation," says project manager Kjetel Digre. "We are therefore particularly pleased with the signing. The deal secures us a familiar rig with good results." Earlier this autumn Statoil signed an agreement for the construction of the platform deck and supply of subsea installations to Gjøa. The next big contract will be the building of the platform jacket for the semi-submersible production platform. Plans call for the Gjøa field to produce oil and gas from 2010. Total investment is estimated at around NOK 27 billion in 2006 money. Gjøa was proven in 1989. The field lies in blocks 35/9 and 36/7, around 70 kilometres north of the Troll field and 45 kilometres off the coast of western Norway. Reserves are estimated at around 40 billion cubic metres of gas and around 83 million barrels of oil and condensate. Gaz de France takes over as operator when the field comes onstream with a 30% stake. Other licensees are Petoro with 30%, Statoil (20%), Shell (12%) and RWE Dea (8%).

13 Dec 2006

Keppel divests entire stake in ultra deepwater tender rig

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), will divest its entire 72% interest in the rig, West Berani, to SeaDrill Asia Limited (SeaDrill Asia) for approximately US$72 million. This divestment follows the completion of the semisubmersible drilling tender (SSDT), which was delivered on time today. In May 2005, Keppel .... [+ read more] FELS entered into an agreement with SeaDrill Asia, formerly Smedvig Asia, to own and operate the SSDT on a 72/28 basis respectively. SeaDrill Asia had the option to exercise Keppel FELS’ interest in the rig upon completion. This is the fifth deepwater tender drilling rig that Keppel has built for SeaDrill Asia since 1994. The first of the series, West Pelaut, was the world’s primary purpose-built SSDT for tender-assisted drilling.

5 Dec 2006

Hydrocarbon discovery offshore Canada

Hydro and Husky Energy have discovered hydrocarbons during delineation drilling in the Jeanne d'Arc Basin, offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. The West Bonne Bay F-12 well is located in Significant Discovery License (SDL) 1040, approximately 320 kilometres southeast of St. John’s, in close proximity to the Terra Nova oil field. Under a farm-in agreement with Hydro, operator of SDL 1040, Husky .... [+ read more] Energy drilled the well using the jack-up drilling rig Rowan Gorilla VI. The F-12 well was drilled to a total depth of 4,666 metres. A side track well F-12Z was drilled to further delineate the structure and to gather additional reservoir information. In both wells hydrocarbons were encountered in the Upper Hibernia formation. Further analysis of core, fluid samples and wireline log data is continuing to estimate the recoverable resources from this pool. “Hydro is very satisfied with the drilling operation and the cooperation with Husky. We are encouraged by the result and will evaluate the find further to see if this can be developed commercially, said Johan Kr. Mikkelsen, President of Norsk Hydro Canada Oil & Gas.

30 Nov 2006

Chartering rig in Gulf of Mexico

Statoil has entered into an agreement with Maersk Contractors USA for the chartering of a drilling rig capable of exploration drilling in ultra-deep waters. Worth USD 696 million, the agreement spans four years. The agreement has been concluded through Statoil's subsidiary, Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC. The semi-submersible rig is under construction at the Keppel FELS yard in Singapore and .... [+ read more] delivery is expected in April 2008. It can operate in water depths down to 3,000 metres and will be one of the most sophisticated units on the market. The rig will mainly be used for wildcat drilling in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico, but can also be used in Statoil’s other international focus locations. The charter agreement comes into force as soon as the rig arrives in the Gulf of Mexico in June 2008. “This long-term contract will secure drilling capability in the Gulf of Mexico,” says Bill Maloney, senior vice president for global exploration (GEX) in International Exploration & Production. “It underpins our determination to build a role as exploration operator beyond Norwegian waters.” Statoil has also entered into an agreement with Woodside Energy (USA), the American affiliate of the Australian energy company Woodside Energy, regarding sharing of the newly-built rig. Woodside Energy (USA) will use the rig for a total of 18 months of the contract period.

7 Nov 2006

Keppel AmFELS is on course to a timely delivery of its first Scorpion jackup rig

Keppel AmFELS Inc., the US wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M) is expected to deliver the first of its five jackup rigs on time and within budget for Scorpion Offshore Ltd. Keppel AmFELS successfully launched the premium rig Offshore Courageous on November 4, 2006, which marked the completion of the hull works, a major milestone in .... [+ read more] its construction of the jackup. Mr Jon Cole, CEO of Scorpion Offshore, said, “The launch of Offshore Courageous is highly significant in the development of Scorpion Offshore. Thanks to the efforts of the entire Scorpion team, particularly our Brownsville construction office, as well as our shipyard, Keppel AmFELS, and our major suppliers, LeTourneau, National Oilwell Varco, Cameron and Lewco. The Offshore Courageous will now undergo final outfitting, installation of the drilling equipment and remaining leg sections and commissioning prior to the rig’s delivery in May 2007.

25 Oct 2006

Sembawang Shipyard awarded drillship upgrading contract by Neptune Marine Oil and Gas Ltd.

: Sembawang Shipyard, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SembCorp Marine, has secured a S$30 million contract from Neptune Marine Oil & Gas Limited, Scotland, for the upgrading and reactivation of drill ship, Neptune Explorer. Neptune Marine Oil & Gas Limited is a growing quality offshore drilling contractor with product focus on drill-ships and other mobile offshore assets and .... [+ read more] with market focus on Mediterranean, Black Sea, Middle East, India and South East Asia. Sembawang Shipyard was awarded this contract on the strength of its capabilities and established track record in repairs and refurbishment of offshore rigs and drill ships and more importantly, on its ability to meet Neptune Marine Oil & Gas Limited’s schedule and QHSE (Quality, Healthy, Safety and Environment) standards. The Neptune Explorer is expected to undergo 6 months of major upgrading and reactivation work in the shipyard from end October 2006. Major work-scope contracted to Sembawang Shipyard includes an estimated 1,700 tons of steel renewal and new installation, complete overhaul and repairs to the marine systems and rebuilding of accommodation spaces.

17 Oct 2006

Brugdan not commercial

Drilling by Statoil as operator of well 6104/21-1 in licence 006 off the Faroe Islands has been completed. No commercially viable oil or gas volumes were proven. The well was drilled by the Stena Don rig to a total depth of 4,201 metres in roughly 480 metres of water. Only traces of gas were found in the structure. "We are .... [+ read more] obviously disappointed that the drilling did not reveal commercial volumes of hydrocarbons, " says Rúni M Hansen, vice president for Statoil Færoyene. "A positive aspect is that the well has given us useful knowledge about drilling in volcanic sub-basalt rock. That will be helpful in future exploration off the Faroes. Originally, the plan was to drill down to 3,780 metres but Statoil applied for permission to drill deeper. Due to technical problems, the well had to be abandoned early. The well has now been permanently plugged and abandoned. Cores from the well will be thoroughly examined to gather information for future exploration. According to Bjarni Djurholm, trade and industry minister for the Faroes, the well is an important source of knowledge about the geology below the sub-basalt rocks on the Faroese continental shelf. "Preparations for the third Faroese licensing round are under way," says Mr Djurholm. "I expect it to be announced in the autumn of 2007 as scheduled." The partners in licence 006 are Statoil with 27.15%, Dong (21.91%), Anadarko (13%), Enterprise Oil (Shell) (12.47%), Amerada Hess (11.09%), BG group (10.31%), Faroe Petroleum (4.04%) and Atlantic Petroleum (0.03%).

16 Oct 2006

Keppel FELS on course to deliver another KFELS Super B Class jackup

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) is on course to deliver another KFELS Super B Class jackup drilling rig to repeat customer, Sinvest ASA (Sinvest) on time and within budget. Mrs Evelynn Worum, Lady Sponsor and wife of Mr Geir Worum, Chairman of Sinvest, named the rig Deep Driller 3 at a ceremony on 14 October 2006 at Keppel FELS. .... [+ read more] The jackup drilling rig is the second of five KFELS Super B Class rigs that Keppel FELS is constructing for Sinvest. The first rig, Deep Driller 2, was delivered on time in April 2006.

26 Sep 2006

Keppel FELS secures third semi contract from ENSCO within a year

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has secured a repeat order for an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible (semi) drilling rig from a wholly-owned subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO). The total project value is approximately US$385 million. To be named ENSCO 8502, the semi is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2009. This rig is similar to the first two semis, .... [+ read more] ENSCO 8500 and ENSCO 8501, which will be delivered in second quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009 respectively. Keppel FELS is also building an ultra-high specification jackup rig, ENSCO 108, for ENSCO, and this rig is scheduled for delivery in the second quarter of 2007. All three rigs have firm drilling contracts.

19 Sep 2006

Duster on Antares

Exploration well 6406/3-7 has been completed by operator Statoil on the Antares prospect in production licence 314 in the Norwegian Sea without encountering mobile hydrocarbons. The group now plans to drill three further exploration wells in this part of the Halten Bank area, which lies south of the Åsgard field. Drilled from the West Alpha semi-submersible in 275 metres .... [+ read more] of water, the 6406/3-7 well was intended to probe for oil and gas in Jurassic sands. “We’re naturally disappointed that the well turned out to be dry, but it was important for clarifying the potential of this area,” says Tim Dodson, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. Drilled to a total depth of 4,502 metres below sea level, the well terminated in early Jurassic sediments. It has now been permanently plugged and abandoned. Mr Dodson says that the three other interesting projects available in the area are due to be drilled this year and in 2007. “These operations will be carried out in quick succession, and will be important for clarifying the potential of the area,” he reports. Since Antares lies in a different geological area from the new wells, it has no significance for the probability of discoveries with them or the estimated resources they might contain. Statoil has a 45% interest in PL 314, with Hydro holding 35% and ExxonMobil 20%. West Alpha is now due to spud an exploration well in PL 255, operated by Shell.

19 Sep 2006

Petrobras awards drilling contract to Sevan

Petrobras America Inc. has awarded Sevan a drilling contract for the ‘Sevan Driller’ for the US Gulf of Mexico. The ‘Sevan Driller’ is currently under construction and the detailed engineering has been underway since March 2006. The rig is designed to include the most advanced drilling capabilities in the industry, based on Sevan’s own patented technology. The ‘Sevan Driller’ will have .... [+ read more] a capacity of drilling of wells up to 40,000 feet in water depths of up to 12,500 feet, a variable deckload of more than 15,000 metric tons and high storage capacity of bulk materials. It will be equipped with an internal storage capacity of up to 150,000 barrels of oil. The drilling contract has a duration of six years and is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2009. Revenues which could be generated over the six year period are approximately USD880 million, including a bonus arrangement and mobilization fee. In order to satisfy client specific requirements and to further enhance drilling efficiency and rig uptime for deepwater operations in the US Gulf, additional investments of USD50 m will be made to the unit.

10 Sep 2006

Incident on drilling rig Bideford Dolphin

About 50 cubic meters of oil-based mud and base oil leaked onto the seabed from the drilling rig Bideford Dolphin late Saturday. The leak occurred because of a break in a pipe during drilling. The well has been secured and there is no danger of further emissions. The emergency preparedness organization and containment resources have been mobilized. No oil .... [+ read more] has been observed on the surface, and the area will be checked regularly. The incident will be investigated. The “Bideford Dolphin” is owned by Fred Olsen Energy asa, but is working for Hydro in the Oseberg area.

1 Sep 2006

New rig agreement with Transocean

A 30-month charter worth some NOK 2.3 billion (USD 378 million), taking effect from the end of 2008, has been awarded by Statoil to rig contractor Transocean for its Transocean Leader drilling unit. Transocean Leader will be used mainly for exploration and production drilling in the Tampen and Halten/Nordland areas of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). "This contract will be .... [+ read more] very important in maintaining Statoil's exploration ambitions in the Norwegian Sea, and the rig will contribute to increased production drilling in the group's core areas," says Bjarte Ydstebø, vice president for rig strategy in Statoil. The semi-submsersible Transocean Leader is a fourth-generation Aker H-4.2 unit, built in 1987 to work on the NCS. It is specially-designed to operate in greater water depths than traditional rigs and is therefore very suitable for drilling in the Norwegian Sea.

23 Aug 2006

Appraising the Astero discovery using a new well

Hydro's promising oil discovery on the Astero prospect north of the Fram field in the North Sea is to be appraised using a new well. Drilling started on Wednesday morning, using the semi-submersible drilling rig "Transocean Winner". The drilling rig sailed from Ølen on last Thursday, and performed anchoring tests prior to reaching the Astero prospect on Sunday evening. Drilling .... [+ read more] of the well "35/11-14S" began on Wednesday morning, and is scheduled to continue for 61 days. The aim is to appraise the size of the Astero discovery, which Hydro made in May 2005, and to determine the gas-oil contact. The well will also provide information regarding reservoir quality in the field. The results from the first exploration well on Astero are said to be promising, and estimates indicate that the discovery is commercially interesting. However, as yet no development concept for the field has been decided upon.

22 Aug 2006

Rig contract with Diamond extended

Statoil is extending the charter contract with Diamond Offshore Netherlands BV for the Ocean Vanguard drilling rig. The contract is worth NOK 1.8 billion. Lasting for two years, the contract includes an option for Statoil to extend the contract. The contract takes effect in April 2008. The rig will mainly be used for exploration drilling in the North Sea and .... [+ read more] in the Halten/Nordland area of the Norwegian Sea. ”We are very pleased that we have secured Ocean Vanguard for another two years. This will make it possible to maintain the high exploration activity on the Norwegian continental shelf for a long time,” says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for exploration in Statoil. The Marshall Islands-registered semi-submersible Ocean Vanguard was built in Brevik, Norway in 1982 and is a third-generation rig. It is designed for drilling in water depths of down to 450 metres (1,500 feet). The drilling depth is stated to be maximum 7,600 metres (25,000 feet). The rig has been chartered by Statoil since 2004. Ocean Vanguard is currently drilling a well off Mid-Norway for Shell, which Statoil has a rig collaboration with.

18 Aug 2006

Peon drilling operation completed

Hydro has completed a re-entry operation in the Peon gas discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The operation in the discovery well 35/2-1 R was completed with the drilling rig Deepsea Trym. Evaluation based on the well construction prior to a planned production test concluded with a postponement of the testing during the operation. A program to further increase .... [+ read more] the understanding of the field is now under way, in order to seek an optimal field development solution: Additional data-acquisition and planning activities are in progress and a seismic acquisition program will be completed later this fall. The gas field located in production license 318 was discovered by Hydro in the North Sea in August 2005, about 100 kilometers west off the coast of Sogn og Fjordane county in Norway. Peon is operated by Hydro. Co-owners are Petoro and Idemitsu.

18 Aug 2006

Gas proven on Tros

Statoil has completed drilling of an exploration well in the Trost prospect in the Norwegian Sea. Gas was proven and the find is now being evaluated with a view to production tied back to the Norne field. "We hope that the Trost find will be commercial but it is too early to tell," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for .... [+ read more] exploration in Statoil’s Exploration & Production Norway business area. The prospect is localised roughly one kilometre west of the Norne field. Exploration well 6608/10-11S was drilled to a total depth of 3,243 metres in early Jurassic rocks. The objective was to prove hydrocarbons in Jurassic sandstones. The well has been permanently plugged and abandoned. Drilling was performed by the Transocean Arctic rig which will continue production drilling on the Norne field. Statoil is operator for production licence 128 with a 50.5% interest. The other licensees are Petoro (24.5%), Eni (11.55%) and Hydro (13.5%).

25 Jul 2006

Dry Edvarda well

The drilling of exploration well 6403/6-1 in the Edvarda structure in the Norwegian Sea is completed. No gas or oil was found. ”It is of course disappointing that we did not strike hydrocarbons, but the deep-sea areas in the Norwegian Sea are rather unexplored. This new data point will be an important contribution in the efforts to find more oil .... [+ read more] and gas in the region,” say Kjersti Seim, exploration manager for the Norwegian Sea deep-sea area. The well was drilled to a total depth of 4095 metres below sea level. The drilling rig Eirik Raude performed the drilling in 1720 metres of water. The purpose was to examine the potential for oil and gas in possible sandstones from the Cretaceous period in the Edvarda prospect. Edvarda is located some 100 kilometres north-west of the gas field Ormen Lange in the southern part of the Norwegian Sea, some 230 kilometres northwest of Kristiansund. Statoil is operator for production licence 322, with an interest of 90%., whereas 10% is owned by Shell.

17 Jul 2006

Stena contract extended

A charter with Stena Drilling for the Stena Don semi-submersible has been extended by Statoil for three years plus a one-year option. Worth a total of just under NOK 4 billion, including the option, this contract will come into effect in December. “The rig market is tight because of the high level of exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf,” .... [+ read more] observes Gunnar G Opsahk, sub-surface head for the Halten/Nordland business cluster. “Extending our charter with Stena Drilling secures us access to rig capacity for our drilling and completion activities for a long time to come.” Plans call for Stena Don to drill wells on the Heidrun, Norne and Åsgard wells in the Norwegian Sea.

12 Jul 2006

Valkyrie well disappoints

A wildcat on the Valkyrie structure close to the Statoil-operated Norne field in the Norwegian Sea has been completed without yielding commercial hydrocarbons. The Norne production ship ranks as one of the most profitable units on the Norwegian continental shelf, and great expectations have been aroused for continued development of the area. Oil was found two years ago in .... [+ read more] the Linerle and Falk structures, and a discovery in Valkyrie would have further strengthened the local resource base. It might also have justified a separate infrastructure, so Jostein Gaasemyr, operations vice president for Norne, is very disappointed by the results of the latest well. “We’d hoped to prove substantial reserves,” he says. “We’ll now be going through the well data in order to take a new look at our strategy for the whole area.” The wildcat has now been permanently plugged and abandoned, and plans call for another exploration well on the Valkyrie structure early next year. This formation is located just over 25 kilometres north-east of Norne in production licence 128, and 2.7 kilometres south-east of the Linerle discovery. Drilled to a total depth of 2,248 metres, the 6608/11-5 exploration well terminated in Triassic rocks. It aimed to prove hydrocarbons in Lower Jurassic and Upper Triassic sands, but only traces were discovered. The drilling operation was conducted from Ocean Vanguard, which has now been taken over by Shell for a well in production licence 93 close to Draugen in the Norwegian Sea.

28 Jun 2006

Agreement for drilling the West Bonne Bay Prospect

Hydro has entered into a farm-in agreement with Husky Energy Inc. for the drilling of a well in the Jeanne dArc Basin, offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Hydro currently holds a 90 percent working interest and is the operator of the West Bonne Bay SDL 1040. Under the terms of the farm-in agreement, Husky will receive a 25 percent working interest .... [+ read more] in the prospect and an additional 7.5 percent in the North Ben Nevis SDL 1008, where Husky has a working interest of 65.6 percent. Husky will serve as operator for the drilling program. Mr. Johan Kristian Mikkelsen, President of Norsk Hydro Canada Oil & Gas, is pleased to welcome Husky Energy as a partner in the drilling of this well. “By using the drilling rig “Rowan Gorilla VI” under contract to Husky Energy, we have the opportunity to drill the well during a period when the market for drilling rigs is extremely tight,” he says. The West Bonne Bay prospect is located in Significant Discovery License (SDL) 1040, approximately 320 kilometres southeast of St. John’s, in close proximity to the Terra Nova oil field, and in water depths of 100 metres. The well will be drilled using the jack-up drilling rig “Rowan Gorilla VI”, which is under contract to Husky Energy. Drilling of the West Bonne Bay well is expected to begin in late June and will take approximately 60 days.

27 Jun 2006

New Contract Award

Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) announced the receipt of a letter of award from Venture Production plc (“Venture Production”) to enter into a contract with the Company for a new F&G JU-2000E enhanced premium jackup drilling rig to be constructed by China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co., Ltd./Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Co., Ltd (“DSIC”) in Dalian, China. The .... [+ read more] Venture Production commitment, which has been approved by both companies’ Board of Directors, will have a contract term of two years at a dayrate of $210,000 per day. There are no extensions or options beyond the contract term. The Company estimates the cost of the rig will be approximately $190 million. Venture Production has informed the Company that it anticipates employing the rig in the North Sea. Mark Jackson, President and Chief Operating Officer of Noble Corporation, said, “We are pleased to continue to build on our long-term relationship with Venture Production with this contract.” This rig is the third heavy duty, harsh environment (HDHE) F&G JU-2000E, a high specification Friede & Goldman designed jackup, that the Company has scheduled to deliver to customers over the next three years. The Company has previously reported contracts with Shell E and P Offshore Services B.V. for the first two such newbuild jackups, to be named the Noble Roger Lewis and Noble Hans Deul. Each of these harsh environment jackups has a 75 foot cantilever reach, rated water depth of 400 feet, and rated drilling depth of 30,000 feet.

22 Jun 2006

Rig contract with Fred. Olsen Energy

Hydro has signed a letter of intent for a three-year contract with Fred. Olsen Energy ASA for a prolonged use of the drilling rig 'Bideford Dolphin' from 2008 to 2011. Hydro is the operator of several new discoveries and subsea developments requiring rig capacity for drilling of production wells. This agreement allows Hydro to pursue an ambitious production drilling programme .... [+ read more] on the Norwegian continental shelf in the coming years. The value of the contract for the period 2008-2011 is NOK 2.9 billion. The contract is subject to partner approval. Bideford Dolphin is a semi-submersible rig, currently drilling production wells for Hydro in the Oseberg area.

19 Jun 2006

Rig for Troll/Sleipner chartered

Statoil has signed a contract with the rig company Seadrill for the chartering of the West Epsilon jack-up rig from November 2006. The rig will be used for exploration and production drilling in the Troll/Sleipner area in the North Sea. ”This means that there will be full focus on further development of the Sleipner area," says Astrid Sørensen, senior vice .... [+ read more] president for the Troll/Sleipner business cluster. "The production from the Sleipner fields will be off plateau in a few years. Additional volumes will be developed and exploration for new volumes performed. West Epsilon marks a change of pace in the development of this part of the North Sea.” Under the contract with Seadrill Statoil gets to charter the rig for a total period of up to four years. The alternatives are two years of charter with an option to extend the contract for two years, or three years of charter, with an option for a one-year extension. The value of the contract is between NOK 1.5 and 2.0 billion, depending on what charter alternative Statoil goes for. West Epsilon is a jack-up rig that can operate in water depths of up up to 120 metres. Currently on assignment for BP the rig will be taken over by Statoil towards the end of the year.

15 Jun 2006

Finds on Valemon and Morvin

Gas and condensate have been proven by Statoil on Valemon near the Kvitebjørn field in the North Sea and oil has been proven on Morvin on the Halten Bank north of the Kristin field. The finds were made during drilling of appraisal wells 34/11-5S (Valemon) and 6506/11-8 (Morvin). "Developing fields near areas where we already play a leading role .... [+ read more] is essential to us," says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for the exploration cluster in the Exploration & Production Norway (UPN) business area. "Even if it is too early to determine the size of the reserves on Valemon and Morvin, these finds support the group's high ambitions for the Norwegian continental shelf." The appraisal well on Valemon was drilled from the Statoil-operated Kvitebjørn platform. With a total length of 7,380 metres this well is the longest high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) well ever drilled by the group. "This drilling operation has been highly cost-effective as the well is later to be converted to a production well for Kvitebjørn," says Astrid Sørensen, senior vice president for the Troll/Sleipner business cluster. "Field development studies of Valemon are currently being made, however, it is too early to say anything about any development of this gas/condensate find. We will look at alternatives involving a separate development and hook-up to another infrastructure," Ms Sørensen says. The appraisal well on Morvin was drilled from the West Alpha rig. "The oil find is interesting and confirms the large potential in the Halten Bank area. Morvin will most likely be developed as a satellite to the Kristin or the Åsgard field," Mr Dodson notes. The Kvitebjørn (production licence 193) licensees are Statoil with 43.55%, Petoro 30%, Hydro 15%, Enterprise Oil Norge 6.45% and Total with 5%. The Morvin licensees (production licence 134B) are Statoil with 50%, ENI 30%, Hydro 14% and total with 6%.

30 May 2006

Obo-1 Discovery in Block 1 of the Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone Confirmed

Afren (AIM:AFR), the oil and gas company focused on establishing itself as the premier pan-African independent exploration and production company, announces that Chevron, the Operator of Block 1 of the Nigeria Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone ("JDZ"), has confirmed that it has discovered hydrocarbons in the Obo-1 well, which is the first exploration well in this area. The Obo-1 .... [+ read more] well logged a cumulative total of at least 150 feet (45 meters) of net hydrocarbon pay in multiple reservoirs and provided important reservoir rock and liquid samples. The well is located in 1,720 meters of water (5,640 feet) The JDZ Block-1 is located approximately 190 miles (300 km) north of the city of Sao Tome and approximately 125 miles (200 km) south of the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Chevron JDZ Limited has a 51 percent equity share in the block, ExxonMobil holds 40 percent, and Dangote Energy Equity Resources Limited holds the remaining 9 percent. Afren plc is the beneficial owner of 49 percent of the equity in Dangote Energy Equity Resources Limited, through its wholly owned subsidiary Energy Equity Resources A.S.

8 Apr 2006

Keppel FELS on track to deliver one of the world’s deepest jackup drilling rigs

Keppel FELS Ltd (Keppel FELS) is on track to deliver one of the world’s deepest drilling rigs, Deep Driller 2, to Sinvest ASA on time and within budget. Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Deputy Secretary-General, National Trades Union Congress graced the christening ceremony as Guest-of-Honour. Other dignitaries included Mr Bjarne Skeie, Chairman of Sinvest ASA and .... [+ read more] Deep Drilling Group, owner of Deep Driller 2, and Mr Lim Chee Onn, Executive Chairman of Keppel Corporation. Built to the KFELS Super B Class design, Deep Driller 2 is an enhancement of the highly acclaimed KFELS B Class design. The rig has been customised to the owner’s specifications and marks another milestone in Keppel’s design and engineering capability. When delivered, Deep Driller 2 will be one of the world’s deepest drilling rigs, capable of drilling down to 35,000 feet. She will be contracted to Brunei Shell Petroleum Company for deployment in offshore Brunei Darussalam.

3 Apr 2006

Keppel undertakes US$102 million upgrading of fourth semi for Diamond

Keppel FELS Ltd (Keppel FELS) has secured a contract from Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (Diamond Offshore) for the major upgrading of semisubmersible rig (semi) for US$102 million. Ocean Monarch will arrive at Keppel FELS in mid 2006 for the upgrading and is expected to be operationally ready in the fourth quarter of 2008. When completed, Ocean Monarch can operate .... [+ read more] in up to 10,000 feet of water in a moored configuration. It will be among the most modernised and competent of Diamond’s fleet of upgraded Victory-class semis. This semi is the fourth in a series of fifth generation Victory-class upgrades that Keppel FELS has undertaken for Diamond Offshore. The first three semis are Ocean Baroness, Ocean Rover and Ocean Endeavor. Ocean Endeavor is currently undergoing upgrading works at Keppel FELS and is scheduled for completion in fourth quarter 2006. Keppel FELS is currently undertaking the construction of one jackup rig for Diamond Offshore. Its sister company, Keppel AmFELS is also building a jackup rig for the same customer. Both rigs are of the proprietary KFELS B Class jackup design by the R&D arm of Keppel.

27 Mar 2006

Oil and gas find on Gudrun

Oil and gas have been proven on the Gudrun structure in the Sleipner area of the North Sea by operator Statoil. The results from appraisal well 15/3-8 confirm the estimates of Statoil that the Gudrun structure contains at least 150 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. Oil, gas and condensate have earlier been proven in the structure. The appraisal .... [+ read more] well was drilled to find out if there were enough hydrocarbons in Gudrun to develop the structure. "Data from the well confirms that the Gudrun discovery is substantial," says Lars Jan Jaarvik, exploration manager for Troll/Sleipner. "Statoil is now looking at various development alternatives." Gudrun can be developed with a platform or a subsea solution. Production can be transported to a Norwegian or UK installation for further processing and export. This will be clarified later in connection with the development plans. The Gudrun structure is located in production licence 025, some 40 kilometres north of the Sleipner area and 13 kilometres east of the border between the Norwegian and UK sectors of the North Sea. The well was drilled by the Transocean Leader rig in 109 metres of water to a total depth of 4,570 metres below sea level, terminating in late Jurassic sediments. The well will be permanently plugged. Oil and gas were proven in late Jurassic sands. Statoil has completed two successful productions tests, both with a maximum production rate of between 6,000 and 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent (1,000-1,200 cubic metres) per day through a 3/4 inch nozzle opening. The Transocean Leader is moving to the Skinfaks and Rimfaks fields in the North Sea to drill production wells. Statoil has a 46.8 per cent interest in production licence 025. The other licensees are Marathon with 28.2 per cent, Gaz de France with 12.5 per cent and BP with 12.5 per cent.

24 Mar 2006

Drilling on Morvin

The West Alpha rig has started drilling an appraisal well for operator Statoil in the Morvin structure in the Norwegian Sea. The drilling operation began on 24 March and is expected to take just over four months. Kjell Martin Edin, senior geologist in the Halten/Nordland area and project manager for well 6506/11-8, reports that Morvin is an oil discovery .... [+ read more] on the Halten Terrace. Morvin lies in production licence 134b, about 10 kilometres from the Statoil-operated Kristin field. Like Kristin, Morvin is challenging owing to high pressure and high temperature in the reservoir. In 2001, Statoil drilled an exploration well on Morvin and found light crude. The well where the find was made was drilled at the top of the structure. The purpose of the new well is to appraise the extent of the find and clarify whether the resources are sufficient to justify a development. "If oil is proven in the well, it is likely that Morvin will be a subsea development phased in to Kristin or Åsgard," says Mr Edin. The well is set to be drilled to a depth of about 4,800 metres below sea level. Water depth in the area is 380 metres. Statoil has a 50 per cent interest in production licence 134b. The other licensees are Eni (30), Hydro (14) and Total (6).

9 Mar 2006

Keppel to build a third jackup for Awilco at US$146 million

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has secured a repeat order for a third KFELS B Class jackup rig from Awilco Offshore (Awilco) at US$146 million, via the exercise of an option agreement. The first and second rigs were announced in February and August 2005 respectively. Customised to Awilco’s requirements, the new rig, WilStrike, will be capable of drilling .... [+ read more] down to 30,000 feet in water depths of up to 400 feet. Delivery for this new rig is expected in second quarter 2009. Work on the first two rigs, WilCraft and WilBoss, is progressing well. Deliveries are expected in fourth quarter 2006 and early 2008 respectively.

3 Mar 2006

Keppel secures US$270 million contract from GlobalSantaFe

Keppel FELS Ltd (Keppel FELS) has secured a contract with GlobalSantaFe Corporation (GSF) to build an ultra-deepwater drilling rig for US$270 million. Under the contract agreement, GSF will supply the drilling and sub-sea equipment while Keppel FELS provides the design, engineering and construction of the hull as well as the accommodation quarters for 180 men and marine equipment. .... [+ read more] The rig, to be named the GSF Development Driller III, is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter of 2009. GSF has chosen to build the state-of-the-art semisubmersible (semi) to the proprietary design, DSS-51, jointly designed and developed by Keppel’s Deepwater Technology Group (DTG) and Marine Structure Consultants (MSC).

9 Feb 2006

Rig secured for Norwegian Sea

A letter of intent worth about NOK 2.35 billion (USD 350 million) for use of the Deepsea Bergen drilling rig in the Halten-Nordland area of the Norwegian Sea has been signed with Odfjell Drilling by Statoil. The rig will be used for development drilling and exploration in the areas near the Heidrun, Norne and Åsgard fields. The agreement is .... [+ read more] valid for three years. Plans call for Statoil to take over the rig in the second quarter of 2008. The letter of intent is subject to approval by Statoil's partners in the production licences for Heidrun, Norne and Åsgard.

8 Feb 2006

Drilling on Snøhvit completed

The Polar Pioneer drilling rig completed drilling of the 10 Snøhvit wells in the Barents Sea on Tuesday 7 February. The drilling operations have been performed without any harmful discharges to the sea. "The drilling campaign has on the whole been a success, and the wells have been drilled with great precision in terms of reservoir drainage," says Thor Bensvik, .... [+ read more] drilling and well manager for the Snøhvit project. "We have drilled a total of 10 wells without any harmful discharges to the sea and within the original budget and schedule," he continues. Polar Pioneer started drilling on Snøhvit in December 2004. Prior to the operation, the 20-year-old rig was modified to meet the environmental requirements of the discharge permit for drilling in the Barents Sea. Compliance with the environmental requirements has been important to Statoil. The group has promoted the use and further development of new technology for this type of operation. "We have achieved the good operational and environmental results through thorough planning of the work tasks beforehand and great commitment by the entire Snøhvit team during the execution," explains Mr Bensvik. Polar Pioneer is now finishing the completion work on the wells. The rig will then clean and prepare nine of the wells for production and one well for carbon dioxide injection. This work is expected to be finished before the summer. The first phase of the Snøhvit project covers the Snøhvit and Albatross fields, which lie about 140 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest in northern Norway. The wells will come on stream when the Hammerfest LNG plant at Melkøya is completed in 2007. Statoil is operator for the development and operation of the Snøhvit project.

23 Jan 2006

Drilling Update

Afren (AIM:AFR), the oil and gas company focused on establishing itself as the premier pan-African independent exploration and production company, announces that Chevron, the Operator of Block 1 of the Nigeria - Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone ('JDZ') has confirmed that it has commenced drilling of the first exploration well on this licence on 14 January 2006. The .... [+ read more] Obo-1 well is located in approximately 1,750m of water (5,750 ft) and should be completed in approximately 60 days, assuming no technical challenges are encountered during the drilling operation. The well is being drilled by the Deepwater Discovery Drillship, which is contracted to Chevron by Transocean. The JDZ Block-1 is located approximately 190 miles (300 km) north of the city of Sao Tome and approximately 125 miles (200 km) south of the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Chevron JDZ Limited has a 51% equity share in the block, ExxonMobil holds 40% equity, and Dangote Energy Equity Resources Limited holds the remaining 9% equity. Afren plc is the beneficial owner of 49% of the equity in Dangote Energy Equity Resources Limited, through its wholly owned subsidiary Energy Equity Resources A.S.

21 Jan 2006

Keppel FELS delivers jackup rig ahead of schedule to ENSCO

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has delivered ENSCO 107, a KFELS B Class design jackup drilling rig to ENSCO International Inc (ENSCO) one month ahead of contractual schedule and within budget. The christening ceremony came one day after Keppel FELS and ENSCO inked a new contract for the construction of a US$338 million semisubmersible. The ENSCO 107 is the eighth jackup .... [+ read more] rig that the Keppel Offshore & Marine group has completed for ENSCO since 1999. It has achieved a clean safety record of zero loss time for its 2,500,000 manhours of work.

20 Jan 2006

Keppel FELS secures repeat ultra-deepwater semisubmersible order from ENSCO

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has secured a repeat order for an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig from a wholly-owned subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO). The total project value is approximately US$338 million. The semi is scheduled for delivery in the first quarter 2009. To be named ENSCO 8501, this rig is similar to the first semi, ENSCO .... [+ read more] 8500, which ENSCO ordered with Keppel FELS in September 2005. Both semis will have the capability of drilling in water depths of up to 8,500 ft, and can be readily upgraded to 10,000 ft water-depth if required. Each rig is fitted with a DPS2 dynamic positioning system, eight 2600KW thrusters and a single conventional drilling derrick system, with accommodation for up to 150 persons.

13 Jan 2006

Exploration well in Barents Sea

Drilling began on an exploration well on Statoil's Uranus prospect in the Barents Sea from the Eirik Raude rig on 13 January. Expected to take about 70 days, the well is to be drilled to a total depth of about 4,000 metres. Statoil has previously made a small discovery in the same area. "This well is part of .... [+ read more] our work to investigate the further potential in this area," says Ørjan Birkeland, Statoil's Barents Sea exploration manager. The Uranus prospect is located 120 kilometres from land in block 7227/11 in production licence 202. Once Uranus is completed, Eirik Raude will move to the Norwegian Sea where it will drill an exploration well on the Statoil-operated Edvarda prospect.

14 Dec 2005

Secures rig for exploration offshore Norway

Hydro has entered into an agreement with Transocean Offshore (North Sea) Ltd NUF to lease the drilling rig "Transocean Winner" for a three-year period. The rig will be reactivated to drill exploration wells in the Norwegian offshore sector by the fourth quarter of 2006. Hydro is an active exploration company and made six finds in Norwegian waters during 2005. Hydro .... [+ read more] presently operates five floating rigs and has both alone and together with other oil companies in Norway, secured good rig capacity to carry out planned as well as new exploration drilling operations in the Norwegian offshore sector during the coming years. ”We see significant potential for future exploration activity in the Norwegian offshore sector and want to contribute our expertise, capacity and experience to map out and develop resource potential both in mature and new areas,” says Hydro Exploration Norway chief Lars Christian Alsvik. ”With this in mind, we have applied for new shares and operatorships in the 19th concession round and TFO round (award of pre-defined areas) in 2005. This rig contract is therefore a very important part of Hydro’s strategy. It secures us additional capacity to operate a focused and long-term exploration program in Norway,” he points out.

8 Dec 2005

New wildcat off the Faroes

A sub-basalt exploration well is to be drilled by Statoil on the Brugdan prospect in licence 006 off the Faroe islands next summer. This operation will be carried out by the semi-submersible Stena Don, which is currently on charter to Statoil in Norway. The partners in licences 003 and 001, operated by Statoil and Amerada Hess respectively, have signed .... [+ read more] an agreement to farm into the Statoil-operated 006 licence. They have been allowed by the Faroese Petroleum Administration to offset their drilling commitments in licences 003 and 001 by participation in the planned wildcat. “We’re very satisfied to have reached agreement with our partners and the Faroese authorities on drilling this well,” says Gregory T Himes. He is Statoil’s vice president for the former Soviet Union and Europe in the global exploration cluster of the International Exploration & Production business area. "The Brugdan prospect has provided a real technical challenge for the explorationists trying to interpret beneath very thick sections of volcanic rock," says Mr Himes. This drilling target is about 70 kilometres from the nearest well discovery, Rosebank, but he emphasises that the geology could be completely different. Statoil has a 30 per cent interest in Rosebank, which is operated by Chevron. The Brugdan well will be drilled to a total depth of about 3,780 metres below sea level, in roughly 450 metres of water. Statoil has 27.15 per cent of licence 006, which is one of its four operatorships on the Faroese continental shelf. Its partners in licence 006 are DONG with 21.91 per cent, Anadarko 13 per cent, Enterprise Oil (Shell) 12.47 per cent, Amerada Hess 11.09 per cent, BG group 10.31 per cent, Faroe Petroleum 4.04 per cent and Atlantic Petroleum 0.03 per cent.

5 Dec 2005

Snøhvit drilling enters final phase

Drilling and well completion work on the Snøhvit development operated by Statoil in the Barents Sea is now entering its final phase. The Polar Pioneer rig moved south to the associated Albatross reservoir on 20 November in order to drill three producers. This unit has already drilled and partly completed six production wells and the carbon dioxide injection .... [+ read more] well on the actual Snøhvit field. To ensure high output towards the end of Albatross’ producing life, two of its wells will be drilled and completed with a horizontal section. These will run through the reservoir 1,430 metres beneath the seabed, and rank as the only highly-deviated wells in this phase of the development. Drill cuttings are being transported to land for deposition. “Our work so far has been successful,” reports Thor Bensvik, drilling and well manager for the Snøhvit project. “The reservoir has been penetrated at the planned depth,” adds Lars Klefstad, who heads the petroleum technology department for the field. “We’ve also gathered large volumes of data from a number of the wells, and set a Barents Sea record for core length by retrieving a continuous section 82.5 metres long.” Well placement was analysed in detail with the aid of three-dimensional seismic data and advanced reservoir models. Collection and analysis of well data are important for future reservoir management as well as for production planning. All 10 wells on Snøhvit and Albatross will be ready for production to start in 2006, but are not due to come on stream until the Hammerfest LNG plant on Melkøya is completed in 2007. This development comprises subsea production installation on the Snøhvit, Albatross and Askeladd discoveries, which lie about 140 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest.

11 Oct 2005

Rig secured for exploration and production

A charter worth almost NOK 900 million to use the Transocean Leader rig in both exploration and production drilling has been secured by Statoil. Due to come into force in September 2007, this one-year contract represents a direct extension of an existing charter with rig contractor Transocean. “Transocean Leader will secure future volumes of oil and gas for installations .... [+ read more] in the Tampen area of the North Sea,” says sector manager Øyvin Jensen. The rig has been drilling for Statoil since the summer of 2004, and is currently working in an exploration collaboration which also involves Shell and Hydro.

10 Oct 2005

Rig leak posed no threat

A discharge of hydraulic oil from the Eirik Raude drilling rig in the Barents Sea on 12 April posed no environmental threat, according to an official inquiry report. This document has been drawn up by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) and the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT). Eirik Raude was drilling the Guovca wildcat for Statoil when the .... [+ read more] accident happened. Work stopped at once, and contractor Ocean Rig and Statoil sought to clarify the background for the leak. This internal investigation also concluded that the discharge of about one cubic metre of hydraulic oil had no impact on the marine environment. “The official report is in line with our own assessment of the causes of the accident,” says Ørjan Birkeland, Statoil’s exploration manager for the Barents Sea. “We’re glad it confirms that no environmental damage was done. It also supports the view that, despite the leak, this was one of Norway’s most environment-friendly drilling operations.” The internal inquiry found that the direct cause of the leak was a split hose. After the hose had been replaced, drilling resumed following a three-week shutdown.

6 Oct 2005

Rosneft-BP joint venture makes second discovery in Sakhalin

CJSC “Elvary Neftegas” (Rosneft-BP joint venture) today announced the successful completion of drilling and testing of its second exploratory well in the Kaigansky–Vasuykansky exploration licence. The offshore licence block, covering over 6,000 square kilometres, lies in the south of the Sakhalin-5 acreage, north-east of Sakhalin Island. The Udachnaya well was drilled to a total depth of 2,705 meters and encountered .... [+ read more] hydrocarbons in three zones. A restricted test programme was conducted on a single zone which flowed at a rate of 1,900 barrels of oil per day through a 28/64-inch choke. This second discovery in the block was made by the Transocean Legend semi-submersible drilling rig on the Udachnaya structure located about 40 kilometers offshore, in water depths of some 100 metres. The first well in the Kaigansky-Vasuykansky exploration licence was drilled in 2004 on the Pela Lache structure some 15 kilometres to the east. It encountered significant volumes of oil and gas in a number of high-quality sandstone reservoirs. Elvary Neftegas plans to continue exploratory drilling in 2006.

3 Oct 2005

Borgland Dolphin chartered for Tampen

Rig capacity for recovering more oil from the mature Tampen area of the North Sea has been secured by Statoil through a three-year charter for the Borgland Dolphin drilling rig. Placed with rig contractor Dolphin, owned by Norway’s Fred Olsen shipping group, this contract will commence on 1 January 2007 and is worth some NOK 2.3 billion. The semi-submersible .... [+ read more] unit will be used for drilling and well operations on such developments as the Statfjord and Gullfaks satellites, the Tordis, Vigdis and Borg subsea fields and Visund. Borgland Dolphin will have operated for six years in the Tampen area at the end of December, reports Øyvin Jensen, manager of drilling and subsea operations for this part of the North Sea. “It’s important for us and our partners that we secure continued access to this rig for on-going drilling and well work,” he explains. “These activities embrace both exploration and production drilling in the Tampen area over the next three years.”

23 Sep 2005

Completing Tulipan wildcat

A small gas find has been made by Statoil on its Tulipan prospect in the Norwegian Sea. As operator for production licence 251, which covers this structure, the group is currently completing the 6302/6-1 wildcat there. Small quantities of gas were encountered in early Tertiary sandstones at a depth of just over 2,600 metres beneath the seabed. Statoil .... [+ read more] is currently completing a very extensive logging programme in the well, which will form the basis for further analyses. The wildcat terminated in late Cretaceous rocks about 2,950 metres beneath the seabed. “This represents a new play model on the Norwegian continental shelf,” reports Knut Chr Grindstad, exploration manager for the deepwater part of the Norwegian Sea. “The well accordingly opens exciting perspectives in a completely new area. Unfortunately, however, it yielded only a small discovery.” Drilled by Eirik Raude, the well is located in 1,260 metres of water roughly 130 kilometres west of Hydro’s Ormen Lange gas development. Statoil has a 90 per cent interest in Tulipan, with Norske Shell holding the remaining 10 per cent. BG Norge is acquiring 20 per cent of Statoil’s share, subject to government approval. Eirik Raude will now move to the Barents Sea to drill on Eni’s Goliat discovery before spudding an exploration well on Statoil’s Uranus prospect.

23 Sep 2005

Keppel FELS partners ENSCO to build a cost-efficient ultra-deepwater semi

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has secured a contract to build a cost-efficient semisubmersible drilling platform, ENSCO 8500, for a subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO). The total project value is approximately US$312 million and is expected to be completed in 32 months. ENSCO has secured for ENSCO 8500 a drilling contract with a consortium of three independent .... [+ read more] oil companies for operation in the Gulf of Mexico. This agreement is for a four-year primary term with an option for the extension of the term.

19 Sep 2005

Keppel FELS delivers NDC jackup rig 18 days ahead of schedule

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered a KFELS B Class jackup rig to the National Drilling Company of Abu Dhabi (NDC) 18 days ahead of schedule. The rig has also achieved a zero-accident safety record during her more than two million manhours of construction period. At its .... [+ read more] inauguration ceremony held in Abu Dhabi recently, Mr Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer of Keppel O&M, said, "The early delivery of Al-Hail is testament to Keppel's promise to our customers to complete our projects on-time, on-budget and above all, safely. We are fully committed to this amid our heavy orderbook. I am very proud of the team for their dedication and commitment." Al-Hail is NDC's first newbuild jackup in 20 years. It is also the first KFELS B Class jackup customised to meet NDC's requirements for a cost-effective rig. With leg lengths of 307 feet, Al-Hail is tailored specifically for operations in benign Middle East conditions of water depths down to 150 feet.

12 Sep 2005

Eirik Raude resumes exploration drilling

The drilling rig, "Eirik Raude," was able to resume exploration drilling in the Barents Sea on Monday afternoon after getting the green light from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. Ocean Rig, the company that owns "Eirik Raude," was ordered on 17 February to evaluate the quality of all the rig's emergency barriers against accidental spills into the sea. As operator .... [+ read more] of the exploration drilling operation, Hydro was ordered to ensure that the evaluation was adequately conducted. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate concluded on Monday that the order had been fulfilled and that exploration drilling could resume. The order to halt drilling was issued on Thursday, in the wake of two accidental spills into the sea, respectively, on 8 and 16 February.

12 Sep 2005

Comprehensive rig contract secures drilling capacity

Together with Statoil, Eni and Shell, Hydro has entered into a contract with Transocean and Smedvig that will boost exploration well drilling capacity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf during the coming years. The contract comprises the hire of three rigs, each for a minimum of three years - nine rig-years altogether. The three rigs are Polar Pioneer and Transocean Arctic .... [+ read more] from Transocean and Smedvig's West Alpha.T "Four companies of this size joining forces to secure the required rig capacity represents a completely new departure," explains Hydro's exploration manager Nils Telnæs. The rigs will mainly concentrate on exploratory drilling, though Transocean Arctic will also be used for production on the Statoil-operated Tyrihans field. All in all, the collaboration will include almost 40 exploration wells, and capacity has been secured for HPHT wells and for drilling in Arctic regions. Transocean Arctic will be replaced by Transocean Leader for a period, so the collaboration has also secured deep-water capacity for drilling in the Norwegian Sea. "With this contract, Hydro will be favourbly positioned to continue developing the Norwegian Continental Shelf, and we will also be able to acquire new licences and drilling assignments in connection with the imminent licencing rounds, TFO 2005 and the 19th round," states Telnæs.

12 Sep 2005

Brage exploration well finished

Hydro has concluded drilling its Idun exploration well on the Brage field in the North Sea. No hydrocarbons were found in the well. The well (31/4-12) was drilled north-east of the Brage field at a sea depth of about 207 meters by the drilling rig, "Deepsea Trym." The goal of the exploration well was to find additional reserves on .... [+ read more] the Brage field. The well was drilled into a prospect of sandstone from the late Jurassic period. Drilling concluded in underlying rock that is part of the so-called Fensfjord formation. The well was drilled to a total depth of 2,200 meters before it was plugged and abandoned.

31 Aug 2005

Charters awarded for 10 rig-years

Three rigs owned by two drilling contractors have been chartered by Statoil on behalf of a partnership which also includes Eni Norge, Norsk Hydro and Norske Shell. Confirming earlier letters of intent, these contracts relate to Smedvig’s West Alpha unit and the Transocean Arctic and Polar Pioneer vessels owned by Transocean. The three-year charter for West Alpha starts in .... [+ read more] the first quarter of 2006, and this rig will primarily be used for exploration. It is currently drilling production wells on Statoil’s Kristin development in the Norwegian Sea. Transocean Arctic has been chartered for about four years from the second half of 2006, and will be used for exploration drilling by the partners. Currently doing field drilling for Statoil on Norne and the Norne satellites in the Norwegian Sea, it is also due to work on Statoil’s Tyrihans project in the same waters. The charter for Polar Pioneer, currently drilling production wells on Statoil’s Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea, will run for about three years from the second quarter of 2006. This rig will primarily be used for exploration work on the Norwegian continental shelf, including the Barents Sea. The collaboration between the four partners is forward-looking and a milestone for operator cooperation on the NCS, according to Arne Tillerli Statoil’s manager for the partnership. He notes that these waters are currently characterised by a tight rig market for exploration and production drilling as well as for well workovers. The partnership model also represents a crucial step towards achieving the industry’s chosen solution for broad operator cooperation. This approach is supported by the Norwegian government through the Kon-Kraft industrial collaboration. “Our rig cooperation will be highly significant for exploration on the NCS over the next two-three years,” says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for NCS exploration at Statoil. “It ensures that the four companies involved have the rig capacity they need for a large part of their drilling programmes.”

25 Aug 2005

Oil and gas discovery near Oseberg South

Hydro has found oil and gas in exploration well 30/9-J-13H in the vicinity of the Oseberg South field. The plan is to convert the well to a production well and link it to the Oseberg South Platform. The discovery was made by the Bideford Dolphin drilling rig on the J-Central prospect. The new discovery is located close to the J-Structure .... [+ read more] where oil and gas production started up in June. In planning the development of the J-structure, Hydro has allowed for a J-Central find and the new discovery to be put into production within a short period of time. The well was drilled at 103 meters below sea level down to a total depth of 2,550 meters. “This find will help boost oil production from J-Structure into Oseberg Sør. Exploration, development and production from smaller deposits around existing production installations are important elements of Hydro’s drive to create maximum value in the Oseberg area,” says senior vice president Jan Arve Haugan, head of the Oseberg-Grane business area in Hydro Oil & Energy. The oil production from Oseberg South amounts to approximately 82.000 barrels per day. Included is the production from the J-Structure, which currently amounts to roughly 11,000 barrels per day. In its efforts to develop Oseberg’s oil and gas resources, Hydro has explored actively for additional resources with the intention of developing oil and gas deposits by linking them up to existing platforms. Oil and gas deposits were proven earlier this year in the B-South formation on Oseberg Sør. The satellite field Oseberg Vestflanken, which is being developed by means of subsea technology connected to the Oseberg Field Center, will come on stream in 2006. A development plan for the Oseberg Delta discovery was submitted to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in July of this year. It is planned to drill further exploration wells in the area, both from floating exploration rigs and as extensions to the fixed platform production wells in the area.

22 Aug 2005

Troll oil discovery

Hydro has proven oil deposits in the Brent formation, the deeper rock types located under the oil and gas producing layers on the Troll field in the North Sea. Hydro regards the opportunities for commercial exploitation of the Brent formation oil as encouraging, given that the find is situated close to existing installations on the Troll field. A well drilled .... [+ read more] under the oil and gas producing formations on the Troll field has proved the presence of additional oil deposits in the Brent formation. Further analyses and delineation drilling must be carried out to obtain secure data regarding the expected volume of additional reserves and recovery rate. A production test of the formation will also be carried out. The well was drilled by the West Venture rig in the area northeast for Troll C platform. The find is the fourth made this year by Hydro as a Norwegian Continental Shelf operator. Previous discoveries were on the Oseberg Sør field and on the Astero and Peon prospects. Hydro currently produces oil and gas from reservoirs in the Sognefjord and Fensfjord formations. The Brent formation, known as a petroleum-bearing reservoir rock-type in other areas of the North Sea, lies 500 meters under these formations. For example, the oil and gas reserves on the Oseberg field are situated in the Brent formation. Hydro currently produces some 260,000 barrels of oil on the Troll B and Troll C platforms. By developing advanced subsea solutions, plus innovative drilling and well technology, Hydro’s petroleum technologists have managed to exploit the extremely thin oil zone on Troll. As of today, 106 production wells have been drilled, of which 36 are multilateral. The well was drilled at a depth of 341 meters and down to 2,055 meters below sea-level. The West Venture rig will now drill a new production well on Troll Oil.

11 Aug 2005

Oil strike near Vigdis

An oil discovery has been made by Statoil in the M5 structure in the Tampen area of the North Sea, which will be produced through the installations on the group’s Vigdis field just to the north. Exploration well 34/7-D-4 H was drilled to a total measured depth of 4,572 metres from Ocean Vanguard, with oil proven in Brent Group rocks .... [+ read more] dating from the Jurassic. To optimise production from the area, a sidetrack was immediately drilled from this well as 34/7-D-4 AH to a total measured depth of 4,400 metres. Plans call for the well to be completed for production by the Borgland Dolphin rig during October before it is brought on stream. “It’s too early to say anything about the size of this discovery,” says Elin Loktu Rosnes, manager for the Tordis/Vigdis subsurface department. “But even minor volumes will be economic to produce since we already have established infrastructure in this area.” The M5 structure lies in production licence 089, where the water depth is around 251 metres. Vigdis has been developed with subsea templates tied back to Statoil’s Snorre A tension leg platform, with wellstream transfer in two pipelines. Operator Statoil has 28.22 per cent of PL 089. Its partners are Petoro with 30 per cent, Hydro 13.28 per cent, ExxonMobil 10.5 per cent, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge 9.6 per cent, Total 5.6 per cent and RWE-Dea 2.8 per cent.

5 Jul 2005

Additional resources to Åsgard

Operator Statoil has completed drilling an exploration well at the Yttergryta prospect on the Norwegian Sea's Halten Terrace. Well 6507/11-8, which lies in production licence 062 around one kilometre east of the Midgard field, was proven to hold gas in sandstones of Jurassic age. It was drilled to a total depth of 2,749 metres below sea level and halted .... [+ read more] in early Jurassic rocks. Due to be completed in 2008, it was drilled as a combined exploration and production well and temporarily plugged. "The well is promising since additional resources were proven in a new structure, thus increasing the hope of further gas finds in the area close to the Midgard field," says Frode Fasteland, acting head of production on the Norwegian continental shelf. "To ensure the quickest possible development, considerable pre-investments have been made, including the installation of a subsea template and preparations for a future gas pipeline to Midgard in advance of the well coming into production." The Stena Don drilling rig drilled the well in a water depth of 297 metres. Statoil is operator for production licence 062 with a 31.1% interest. Other licensees are Total with 24.5%, Hydro (14.7%) and Eni (9.8%).

30 May 2005

Tulipan wildcat spudded

The first exploration well on Statoil’s Tulipan prospect in the Norwegian Sea has been spudded by the Eirik Raude drilling rig. Located in block 6302/6 west of Hydro’s Ormen Lange gas field, this operation is being conducted in 1,250 metres of water and should last for two-three months. Plans call for the wildcat to be drilled to a total .... [+ read more] measured depth of just over 3,000 metres beneath the seabed. “Only 10 deepwater wells have been drilled off Norway until now, so the area is little explored,” says Knut Chr Grindstad, exploration manager for the Norwegian Sea. Statoil intends to drill two more exploration wells in this part of the Norwegian continental shelf during 2005.

13 May 2005

Promising oil find at Fram

A promising oil discovery has been made during exploratory drilling of the Astero prospect North of the Fram field in the North Sea. The exploratory well designated 35/11-13 was drilled to a total depth of 3266 metres with the drilling rig Deepsea Trym. The water depth in the area is 361 metres. “We have found oil and some gas .... [+ read more] in rocks dating from the late Jura period and consider the find to be promising and commercially interesting. This find will make further exploration activities in the Fram area more interesting,” says Lars Christian Alsvik, Director of Development Norway. The drilling of the Astero prospect began on March 18, and the total drilling depth was reached at the end of April. Since then Deepsea Trym has been used for production testing of the find. During testing a production rate of 3,150 barrels per day was achieved. Alsvik emphasises that a final decision has not been made to develop the Astero find. “We will evaluate development solutions in connection with the Fram field and the Troll C platform. At the moment we can’t go into detail about how large the recoverable reserves are in this instance, but the size is significant enough that we are also considering other development solutions,” he says.

3 May 2005

Drilling resumes on Guovca

Eirik Raude has today, 3 May, resumed drilling a wildcat on Statoil’s Guovca prospect in the Barents Sea after a three-week halt, in agreement with the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway. Together with contactor Ocean Rig, Statoil has completed a detailed investigation relating to the accidental discharge of hydraulic oil on 12 April. This incident prompted the group to halt .... [+ read more] drilling by Eirik Raude on its own initiative. The authorities also initiated an inquiry and refused to allow new operations before the discharge and compensatory measures had been reviewed in detail. According to the official investigation, the direct reason why about one cubic metre of hydraulic oil leaked out was the rupture of a hose. The latter should have been replaced, and the inquiry revealed failures in the monitoring system on the rig. Statoil takes a serious view of this incident, which exposed weaknesses in routines and systems, and has initiated a series of measures with Ocean Rig to prevent such incidents in the future. In the review after 12 April, all hoses and systems have been thoroughly checked and the damaged hydraulic hose replaced. Although Statoil believes that the requirement for two barriers was met when the discharge occurred, supply hoses beneath the rig’s cellar deck have been moved up to the deck. To ensure closer monitoring of operations on board, Statoil has reinforced the crew with an additional drilling engineer. The group has also carried out an impact assessment of the discharge, which shows that this limited leak of hydraulic oil has had no effect on the marine environment. “Everyone working for us has an obligation in relation to health, safety and the environment,” says Tim Dodson, senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. “We set very high environmental and safety standards, and it’s up to us to demonstrate that we comply with these.” Statoil has been in close touch with the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway and the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority over the discharge and its investigation. “The measures implemented before drilling resumed have been adopted in close consultation with the authorities,” says Mr Dodson. “By taking these steps, we’re minimising the possibility of future undesirable incidents.”

13 Apr 2005

Drilling on Eirik Raude halted

Statoil has decided to stop all drilling from the Eirik Raude rig, which is drilling the Guovca exploration well in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea. Hydraulic oil was accidentally spilled from the rig yesterday, 12 April, probably caused by a leak from a hydraulic hose. “We take a very serious view of the incident and are now setting .... [+ read more] up a working group with participants from the rig operator Ocean Rig,” says Tim Dodson, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf. "This group will identify short and long-term measures to avoid similar leaks in the future." "The progress of the drilling activity is of secondary importance, and we will take the time we need before we start up again." The Guovca well was spudded on 2 April.

5 Apr 2005

Keppel FELS secures rig order from repeat customer ENSCO

Keppel FELS Ltd, the wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has secured from regular customer ENSCO International Inc (ENSCO) an order to build a KFELS B Class jackup rig for US$ 117.2 million. The rig will be a replacement for ENSCO 64, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. To .... [+ read more] be named ENSCO 108, the rig is due for delivery in the first quarter 2007. It is the sister rig to ENSCO 106, now operating in Australia, and ENSCO 107, which Keppel FELS is expected to deliver in late 2005.

4 Apr 2005

Barents Sea wildcat spudded

A wildcat in the Guovca prospect operated by Statoil in the Barents Sea was spudded on 2 April from the Eirik Raude rig. Statoil had planned to drill the Uranus exploration well in the Barents Sea before Guovca, but had to reprioritise the drilling programme as handover of the rig from Hydro was delayed. Work on drilling and completing .... [+ read more] the well is expected to take 20-30 days. Once Guovca is completed, Eirik Raude will move to the Norwegian Sea for a well on Statoil’s Tulipan prospect in block 6302/6. The rig is then due to return to the Barents Sea during the autumn to drill the Uranus wildcat. “We’ve adopted a number of measures to ensure safety and protect the environment while drilling this well,” explains Ørjan Birkeland, Statoil’s Barents Sea exploration manager. “These include detailed planning and training of personnel in cooperation with the rig contractor and other suppliers.”

30 Mar 2005

BP makes sixth oil discovery in the ultra-deepwater Block 31 Angola

Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) and BP today announced the ‘Ceres-1’ oil discovery in ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. Ceres-1 is the sixth successful discovery BP has drilled in Block 31, following Plutão, Saturno, Marte, Venus and Palas. It is located 32 kilometres south east of the Plutão discovery, and 31 kilometres north west of the Palas discovery announced .... [+ read more] earlier in 2005. Ceres-1 was drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig, the Leiv Eiriksson, in 1,633 metres water depth some 360 kilometres north west of Luanda, Angola and reached a total depth 4,334 meters below sea level. The well tested at a maximum rate of 5,844 barrels of oil a day through a 44/64 inch choke. Further work is ongoing to evaluate the size of the discovery. Sonangol is the concessionaire of Block 31. BP as Operator holds 26.67 per cent. Partners in Block 31 are Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 31) Limited. (25 per cent), Sonangol E.P. (20 per cent), Statoil Angola A.S. (13.33 per cent), Marathon Petroleum Angola, Limited (10 per cent) and TEPA (BLOCK 31), Limited, (a subsidiary of the Total Group) with 5 per cent.

23 Mar 2005

Barents Sea drilling concluded

Hydro has concluded its drilling operation of exploration well 7220/6-1 at the Obelix prospect in the Barents Sea. The well was drilled with the exploration rig 'Eirik Raude' to evaluate a limestone prospect of Carbon and Permian age. Drilling was concluded 1,515 metres below the sea bed. Traces of hydrocarbons were found at the expected reservoir level. Attempts to .... [+ read more] test the samples showed that the hydrocarbons were not producible, and the well will not be tested. 'Eirik Raude' will now move on to drill a further two exploration wells further east in the Barents Sea. The drilling operations in the Barents Sea are being carried out in accordance with stringent environmental requirements imposed by the authorities for oil activities in the area. In spite of two accidental emissions during drilling, the operations at Obelix have not had any damaging effect on the environment.

18 Feb 2005

Will ensure "Eirik Raude" meets demands

Hydro supports and will follow up the Norwegian Petroleum Directorates order and ensure that rig company Ocean Rig conduct a thorough evaluation of spill barriers on the rig "Eirik Raude" before drilling resumes in the Barents Sea. Exploration drilling on the "Eirik Raude" rig was stopped on Wednesday, February 16, after an accidental spill of drilling fluids into the sea. .... [+ read more] ”Hydro will ensure that the drilling rig, "Eirik Raude", meets the authorities and the company’s technical and environmental demands concerning the present drilling operation in the Barents Sea. The company supports the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s wish for an additional inspection of the rig’s spill barriers and will ensure that a thorough evaluation will be carried out before drilling resumes,” says Hydro Oil & Energy, Operations head, Øystein Michelsen. There have been two minor spills from "Eirik Raude" during the present drilling operation in the Barents Sea during the past two weeks. Both discharges consisted mainly of organic, biodegradable matter, and were reported to the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. The spills did not result in any environmental consequences.

17 Feb 2005

Accidental spill from Eirik Raude

An accidental emission from the drilling rig "Eirik Raude" on Wednesday, 16 February, has resulted in four cubic meters of drilling fluid being spilled into the sea. The drilling fluid contains mostly clay and brine. Hydro has informed the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority about the incident, despite the fact the emission is not harmful to the environment. Hydro and the .... [+ read more] company Ocean Rig, Eirik Raude's owner, have done substantial work to avoid spills that can be harmful to the natural environment during current exploration drilling in the Barents Sea. During exploration drilling, a drilling fluid is used consisting mainly of water, clay, salt and other biodegradable components. This emission of four cubic meters of drilling fluid also included approximately 160 kilos of glycol, which is classified as a "yellow" chemical. The company regrets the incident and will work to avoid new episodes. The incident occurred when a large wave disconnected a rubber hose from a riser under the rig. Hydro is now investigating the accident and, together with Ocean Rig, will implement necessary measures to avoid any new spills into the sea.

14 Feb 2005

BP makes fifth oil discovery in the ultra-deepwater Block 31 Angola

Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) and BP today announced the ‘Palas-1’ oil discovery in deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. Palas-1 is the fifth successful discovery BP has drilled in Block 31, following Plutão, Saturno, Marte and Venus. It is located 62 kilometres to the southeast of the Plutão discovery,and in a potentially new development area in the southeast of .... [+ read more] the block. Palas-1 was drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig, the Leiv Eiriksson, in 1,602 metres water depth some 325 kilometres north west of Luanda, Angola and reached a total depth of 3,745 metres below sea level. The well was tested at a maximum rate of 5,330 barrels of oil a day (b/d) through a 40/64ths inch choke. Further work will be needed to evaluate the full extent of the Palas discovery. Sonangol is the concessionaire of Block 31. BP as operator holds 26.67 per cent. Partners in Block 31 are Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 31) Limited. (25 per cent), Sonangol E.P. (20 per cent), Statoil Angola A.S. (13.33 per cent), Marathon Petroleum Angola, Limited (10 per cent) and TEPA (BLOCK 31) Limited, (a subsidiary of the Total Group) with 5 per cent.

8 Feb 2005

Keppel FELS divests its entire interest in rig to ENSCO for US$80 million

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS) has transferred its entire 75% interest in ENSCO Enterprises Ltd II (JVC) to ENSCO Offshore International Company (ENSCO) for a cash consideration of US$80 million. The JVC is part of an alliance agreement with ENSCO to build, own and operate a jackup rig, ENSCO 106, valued at around US$105 million. The agreement .... [+ read more] carries an option for ENSCO to purchase Keppel FELS' entire interest in the rig prior to or upon delivery. The consideration is based on the book value of Keppel FELS’ 75% interest in the JVC. Said Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman & CEO of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M), “Keppel and ENSCO share a win-win relationship that has worked well for both parties. “We are glad that ENSCO has chosen Keppel as its partner of choice to expand their fleet of premium rigs to meet the growing demands in the offshore oil and gas market.” ENSCO 106 is the fifth KFELS B Class jackup to be built and delivered by Keppel FELS. The rig will be deployed to Apache Energy Limited for the North West Shelf field in Australia.

1 Feb 2005

Keppel to build US$125 million jackup for Awilco

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has won an order to build a US$125 million jackup rig, WilCraft, from Awilco AS (Awilco), the offshore arm of The Anders Wilhelmsen Group of Norway. WilCraft, the new KFELS B Class rig, is scheduled for delivery in end December 2006. Mr Alexander .... [+ read more] Krafft, Managing Director of Awilco Drilling, said, “We are expanding our offshore fleet to meet the growing demand for premium jackups. Timing of delivery and the design capabilities of the jackup are most important factors for us. “Awilco has chosen to build the KFELS B Class jackup with Keppel FELS because of their ability to deliver a well built rig with high qualities to meet our needs and requirements.”

31 Jan 2005

Keppel secures US$85 million rig upgrade from repeat customer

Keppel FELS Ltd (Keppel FELS), a unit of Keppel Corporation Limited through Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has secured a contract from Diamond Offshore Services Company, a subsidiary of Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. (Diamond Offshore), to upgrade semisubmersible rig Ocean Endeavor for US$85 million. Completion of the upgrade is scheduled for fourth quarter 2006. Ocean Endeavor will .... [+ read more] be capable of drilling down to 35,000 feet and be fully outfitted for 8,000 feet moored operations, with design capabilities to operate in up to 10,000 feet of water. In addition, the rig will have increased crew quarters to accommodate up to 140 personnel, over 6,000 tons of operating variable deck load and increased usable deck space. Mr Larry Dickerson, President & COO of Diamond Offshore, said, “Keppel FELS comes with a proven track record of consistently delivering complicated upgrades on time and on budget. “We chose their yard because of the expertise and experience they demonstrated in the previous upgrades of our Victory-class semisubmersibles Ocean Baroness and Ocean Rover. “We are pleased to once again be embarking with them on a major rig upgrade.” In recent years, Diamond rigs upgraded or repaired at Keppel O&M yards include Ocean Baroness, Ocean Rover, Ocean America, Ocean Winner, Ocean Sovereign, Ocean Heritage, Ocean Tower, Ocean Warwick, Ocean Spartan and Ocean Spar. Ocean Endeavor is expected to arrive at Keppel FELS in May 2005 for the upgrading.

26 Jan 2005

Snøhvit drilling under way

The first well on Statoil’s Snøhvit development in the Barents Sea is under way from Polar Pioneer, which is due to complete this initial 10-hole drilling phase by spring 2006. On station since 7 December, the rig has about 100 crew in activity at any one time. Drilling has progressed without unintentional discharges or serious incidents. “We’re down to .... [+ read more] the reservoir and taking cores about 2,750 metres down,” explains drilling and well manager Thor Bensvik. “The total depth is due to reach 2,900 metres.” Designated F-2H, this first well will be used to inject carbon dioxide back below ground during the production phase. Some 700,000 tonnes of this greenhouse gas is due to be separated from the wellstream every year and injected into a separate formation to avoid releasing it to the air. That represents a major environmental measure, which will release far less of the carbon dioxide produced from the field than would otherwise be the case. Polar Pioneer is designed to work in Arctic conditions and to meet strict environmental standards, not least in relation to the important fishing industry in the Barents Sea. Water-based mud without environmentally harmful chemicals is being used to drill the Snøhvit wells. And the rig crew are specially trained to comply with strict environmental standards. “We’re putting great emphasis on good planning of the work, and have the natural environment on the agenda every single day,” says Mr Bensvik. The next well is due to be spudded in early February, and will be one of nine producers covered by the first drilling phase. A total of 20 production wells plus the carbon dioxide injector are due to be drilled in three phases, with the second and third of these scheduled for 2011 and 2014 respectively.

21 Jan 2005

Drilling job for Skinfaks and Rimfaks

A contract worth some NOK 550 million for drilling production wells on the Skinfaks and Rimfaks fields in the North Sea has been awarded by Statoil to Transocean. Due to be performed by the Transocean Leader semi-submersible, the work embraces at least three wells and is expected to take about 225 days. In addition, the rig will be used .... [+ read more] for roughly 130 days to carry out jobs on Statoil’s nearby Gullfaks development. All these fields lie in the Tampen area. A total of eight production wells are planned on Skinfaks, which was proven in 2002 and comprises several small reservoirs, and on Rimfaks. The latter has been on stream since 2000 through a tie-in to the Gullfaks A platform. Further development of Rimfaks will improve recovery from this discovery. Scheduled to come on stream in November 2006, the present project involves a tie-back to Gullfaks C via existing infrastructure. The plan for development and operation (PDO) of Rimfaks and Skinfaks was submitted to the Norwegian authorities on 8 December 2004. The Transocean contract is conditional on acceptance by the partners and on approval of the PDO by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. A decision from the latter is expected in February/March.

17 Jan 2005

Keppel FELS to deliver KFELS B class jackup ahead of schedule

Keppel FELS Ltd (Keppel FELS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), today christens its KFELS B Class design jackup drilling rig, designed and built for ENSCO International Inc (ENSCO). Completed within budget, the jackup rig will be delivered to ENSCO ahead of schedule in end January 2005. The rig, ENSCO 106, is .... [+ read more] the first KFELS B Class jackup customised to meet ENSCO’s needs for a larger footprint in the three legs of the jackup. The footprints, which are called the spud cans, are of larger diameters. This gives ENSCO 106 the flexibility to operate in waters where the sea-bed soil conditions are extremely soft. The rig is also equipped with the Rack Phase Differential and Pinion Load monitoring systems. Developed by Keppel Offshore & Marine’s research and development arm, Offshore Technology Development (OTD), these systems assist rig personnel in safe deployment at the drilling location. ENSCO 106 is the fifth KFELS B Class jackup to be completed by Keppel FELS. It is also the fifth jackup that Keppel O&M has built for ENSCO since 1998. ENSCO 106 will be deployed to Apache Energy Limited for the North West Shelf field in Australia.

10 Jan 2005

Upgrades for the Ocean Endeavor

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE:DO) today announced initiation of a major upgrade of the Victory-class semisubmersible Ocean Endeavor for ultra-deepwater service. The modernized rig will be designed to operate in up to 10,000 ft. of water and will be the most capable of the Company's upgraded Victory-class units. The project is budgeted at $250 million including capitalized overhead and interest, spares, .... [+ read more] testing and delivery, mobilization to Singapore, and all other associated expenditures. Delivery is expected in approximately two years. The Ocean Endeavor will be fully outfitted for 8,000-ft. moored operations upon delivery and in certain applications will be capable of deploying a 12-point mooring system. In addition, the rig will have increased crew quarters' capacity, over 6,000 tons of operating variable deck load, and more than twice the useable deck space compared to the design of the previously upgraded Ocean Rover and Ocean Baroness. The Endeavor will employ the same Tripsaver(TM) technology that is at work on the Rover and Baroness, which provides for significant drilling efficiencies. "We have made the decision to move forward on the Endeavor upgrade based upon our confidence in the strength of the market," stated Diamond Offshore President and Chief Operating Officer, Larry Dickerson. "The modernized Endeavor will expand our 5th Generation semisubmersible fleet to four units, enhancing our ability to serve both the exploration and development needs of our customers. The estimated construction cost of this unit is significantly below new-build costs, and the relatively short construction schedule represents a large delivery advantage over new builds." The Endeavor, currently cold stacked in the Gulf of Mexico, will be mobilized to Keppel-FELS Ltd.'s shipyard in Singapore.

4 Jan 2005

First Statoil well off Venezuela

The first wildcat to be drilled by operator Statoil in block 4, part of the Plataforma Deltana area of the Venezuelan continental shelf, was spudded on 1 January from the Sovereign Explorer rig. This Ballena 1-X well is the first of three which the group is committed to drilling in this region off the east coast of the Latin American .... [+ read more] country. If it proves successful, Statoil is considering drilling one to three appraisal wells before a possible field could be declared commercial. The group is the sole licensee for block 4, which was awarded in February 2003 and covers about 1,435 square kilometres with water depths of 200-800 metres. Statoil is also a partner in two other Venezuelan production licences, holding 15 per cent of the land-based Sincor heavy crude project in the Orinoco Belt and 27 per cent of the LL 652 oil field in Lake Maracaibo.

8 Dec 2004

Discovery on UKCS

ChevronTexaco has reported a significant oil and gas discovery in the Rosebank/Lochnagar structure on the UK continental shelf (UKCS), where Statoil holds a 30 per cent interest. Located on the Atlantic Margin, close to the boundary between the UKCS and the Faroese sector, this strike was made with well 213/27-1Z in 1,100 metres of water. Drilling was carried out .... [+ read more] by the West Navigator in the Faroe-Shetland Channel to a total measured depth of 3,607 metres, and completed on 30 August. No testing was done. ChevronTexaco and its partners plan to drill additional wells to appraise the size of this discovery. "We are very optimistic about the significance of this discovery to Statoil," reports Gregory Himes, vice president for global exploration for the former Soviet Union and Europe, in the International Exploration & Production business area. "We hope this discovery will lead to further exploration success in the UK and Faroes." Rosebank/Lochnagar lies in licence P1026, which embraces blocks 213/26 and 213/27. Statoil took a decision to farm into this licence in January 2004. Prior to drilling the discovery, the partnership applied for and was awarded interests in the five blocks surrounding the prospect during the 22nd round. Statoil has a 30 per cent interest in all five blocks. In addition to operator ChevronTexaco, with 40 per cent, and Statoil, partners in the licence are OMV with 20 per cent and Dong with 10 per cent.

18 Oct 2004

Drilling contract awarded to Dolphin AS

Hydro has signed a letter of intent with the rig company Dolphin AS on the drilling of up to nine wells in the Norwegian continental shelf. The estimated value of this contract is around NOK 800 million. The agreement applies to the drilling rig Bideford Dolphin, which shall complete drilling on the Oseberg field in addition to drilling up to .... [+ read more] seven wells in the Fram field. Start-up is planned for May 2005, and the drilling programme is expected to last for 19 months. The contract includes options for up to 24 months after the completion of the programme. Hydro has made the reservation that the agreement is conditional on the approval of the development plans for the Fram Øst field by the licence partners and the authorities in the spring of 2005.

14 Oct 2004

Rig charter awarded

A one-year charter worth some NOK 350 million for the Ocean Vanguard drilling rig has been placed by Statoil with US contractor Diamond Offshore. “It will primarily be used for exploration in the North Sea and the Halten Bank area of the Norwegian Sea,” says Tor Gunnar Gloppen, rig deployment manager in Statoil’s rig management unit. “This charter involves .... [+ read more] a formalised drilling rig collaboration between four operator companies.” Ocean Vanguard is currently drilling for Eni off mid-Norway, with this assignment scheduled for completion by the end of the year. The rig is then due to make a brief yard stop before being ready to start drilling for Statoil in the New Year. Its first assignment will be to drill two exploration wells in the Tampen area of the North Sea, on the Gullfaks and Vigdis fields respectively. Registered in the Marshall Islands, Ocean Vanguard was built at Brevik in Norway in 1982 and is a third-generation rig. It has been designed to drill to a maximum depth of 7,600 metres (25,000 feet) in waters up to 450 metres (1,500 feet) deep. According to Mr Gloppen, Ocean Vanguard is the only Diamond Offshore rig operating off Norway at the moment.

12 Sep 2004

Hydro extends rig contract on Troll

West Venture was hired in 2000 to drill production wells on the Troll field. The development of advanced drilling and well technology has contributed to Troll Oil now being the highest oil producer on the Norwegian continental shelf, with a daily production level of around 400,000 barrels. Today Hydro produces oil from 101 wells on the Troll field, 28 of .... [+ read more] which are three-branch wells. These help have lower drilling costs and allow greater recovery of the oil reserves. Hydro is planning to have two drilling rigs in activity on Troll Oil in the near future to keep up high production and value creation from the field.

12 Sep 2004

NOK 600 million contract awarded to Odfjell Drilling

As operator on behalf of several licences, Norsk Hydro Produksjon a.s has awarded Odfjell Drilling a contract for the utilization of the semisubmersible drilling unit Deepsea Delta. The contract value without options is approximately NOK 600 million. Deepsea Delta will drill an exploration well, a sidetrack in the Vale field, and will also be used for development drilling on Oseberg .... [+ read more] Vestflanken. The contract, which is scheduled to commence in the third quarter of 2004, will cover a well programme of approximately 18 months duration and may be extended with six options of six months. The contract award is subject to approval by the licence owners.

8 Sep 2004

Selling West Navigator stake

A letter of intent has been concluded by Statoil covering the sale of its 50 per cent interest in the West Navigator deepwater drill ship to Smedvig of Stavanger. The agreed purchase price is USD 175 million. Under the agreement, Smedvig will receive Statoil’s share of cash flow from the vessel from 1 May 2004. “Ownership of mobile drilling .... [+ read more] units is not defined as part of our core business,” says project manager Arne Wyller Christensen at Statoil. “We have accordingly evaluated the sale of our interest in West Navigator, and recent market developments have helped us to secure an acceptable price for our holding.” Current charters held for the drill ship provide it with employment until the fourth quarter of 2007. The agreement is conditional on board approval.

12 Aug 2004

Barents Sea permit sought

An application for an emission permit to drill on the Uranus prospect in the Barents Sea has been submitted by Statoil to the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority (SFT). This exploration well will be second in the most environment-friendly drilling campaign ever conducted on the Norwegian continental shelf. Statoil’s request for a permit is accompanied by an environmental risk analysis and .... [+ read more] emergency response plan for the operation. The application is based on the principles enshrined in the recent impact assessment for offshore operations in the northern Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea. These require the well to be planned with no discharges to the sea except with the hole section for surface casing – in other words, the topmost 400 metres. Discharges in the latter case will consist largely of natural substances such as salt and clay. But it will be necessary to emit about two kilograms of pipe dope, a small portion of which is characterised as environmentally harmful. Since the amount is so small, this is considered acceptable. The well will utilise water-based mud, and drill cuttings are to be shipped to land. Statoil’s application relates to the 7227/11-1S wildcat in production licence 202, which is due to be spudded in early 2005 after Norsk Hydro has finished a wildcat on the Obelix prospect. Both operators will use Eirik Raude in the Barents Sea. One of the world’s most modern and advanced drilling rigs, it is designed for safe operation in harsh-weather areas. Statoil has devoted considerable efforts, in cooperation with other players in the region, to reaching the goal of zero discharges.

24 May 2004

Oil find in Linerle

An oil discovery has been made by Statoil in its Linerle prospect north-east of the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea. Knut Chr Grindstad, exploration manager for the Halten/Nordland cluster in Harstad, says it is too early to say anything about the volume or type of oil in the deposit. "We've previously discovered oil in the nearby Falk structure, .... [+ read more] and Linerle underpins our strategy to realise a collective development of these parts," says Mr Grindstad. But the Falk oil has a higher density than average, and preliminary analyses indicate that the oil in Linerle is also heavier. An assessment will now be made to see whether a profitable development is feasible. "And there could be more oil in this sequence of finds in the Norne area," adds Mr Grindstad. It was recently resolved to submit a plan for development and operation of Svale and Stær, two other oil discoveries near Norne. There will however still be available capacity on the Norne production ship after this development. The West Navigator drill ship began exploratory drilling on 30 April, and this was completed on 23 May. Linerle is located in block 6608/11 in production licence 128 (the Norne licence). Statoil is operator, with Eni, Hydro, Petoro and Shell/Enterprise as partners.

12 May 2004

Eirik Raude for the Barents Sea

A charter worth around NOK 340 million covering use of the Eirik Raude drilling rig in the Barents Sea has been awarded by Statoil to owner Ocean Rig. Due to run for an estimated 155 days, this contract has been placed on behalf of the licensees in three exploration areas. Statoil plans to operate one well each in areas .... [+ read more] G and F, while Hydro intends to drill one in area C. ”We’ve opted for Eirik Raude because it’s among the most suitable vessels for the job,” explains Tor Gunnar Gloppen in the rig management unit of Exploration & Production Norway. ”It’s big, new and built to work in environmentally-sensitive arctic waters. Over the past couple of years, it’s operated off Canada in areas with weather just as tough as in the Barents Sea.” Statoil and Hydro signed a letter of intent with Ocean Rig in April on drilling the three wells, but the rig to be used has only now been clarified. Plans call for the first well to be spudded in late autumn. Eirik Raude will also do a minor job for Hydro on the Troll field in the North Sea before moving to the Barents Sea. The Troll work is included in the charter’s overall value.

30 Apr 2004

Linerle wildcat spudded

A first exploration well has been spudded by Statoil on its Linerle prospect close to the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea today, 30 April. Located within block 6608/11 in production licence 128, this wildcat lies roughly 20 kilometres north-east of Norne. “The Linerle prospect has a potential to contain oil,” says Knut Chr Grindstad, exploration manager for the .... [+ read more] Halten/Nordland cluster. “It belongs to a sequence which also includes the Svale and Falk structures, where recoverable oil deposits have already been proven.” Being drilled from the West Navigator drill ship, the well is expected to take about 20 days to complete.

29 Mar 2004

BP announces Chumbo discovery in deepwater Angola

Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) and BP today announced the Chumbo 1 oil discovery in the deepwater Block 18, offshore Angola. This was the second discovery in 2003 and eighth overall in the block. The Chumbo-1 well was drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig, the Leiv Eiriksson, in 1,600 metres water depth some 200 kilometres off the Angolan .... [+ read more] coast. The well flowed at a rate of 1,080 barrels per day in a test undertaken to evaluate the oil formation. Further work will be needed to evaluate the full extent of the Chumbo 1 discovery, that lies some 10 kilometres to the south south- west of the Platina–1 oil discovery in the same block. Block 18 was awarded in the middle of 1996 by Sonangol to Amoco as Operator and Shell, with a 50 per cent equity each. Following the merger between BP and Amoco in 1999, BP now manages the interest formerly held by Amoco.

29 Mar 2004

BP makes seventh discovery in Angola's Block 18

Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) and BP today announced the ‘Cesio 1’ oil discovery in the deepwater Block 18, offshore Angola. This was the first of two exploration wells which BP drilled in Block 18 in 2003. The Cesio-1 well was drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig, the Leiv Eiriksson, in 1600 metres water depth some 170 kilometres .... [+ read more] off the Angolan coast. Further work will be needed to evaluate the full extent of the Cesio 1 discovery. It lies some 25 kilometres to the south-west of the planned Greater Plutonio development. Block 18 was awarded in the middle of 1996 by Sonangol to Amoco as Operator and Shell, with a 50 per cent equity each. Following the merger between BP and Amoco in 1999, BP now manages the interest formerly held by Amoco.

11 Mar 2004

Drilling on Norne

A letter of intent on chartering the Transocean Arctic rig to work the Norne field and two of its satellites in the Norwegian Sea has been awarded by Statoil to drilling contractor Transocean. Placed on behalf of the partners in production licence 128, the assignment is due to last for about 19 months from 1 July and will be worth .... [+ read more] NOK 700 million. Transocean Arctic’s first job will be a sidetrack on Norne itself, before moving on to drill seven-eight production and injection wells on the Svale and Stær satellites. These two fields are being developed with subsea installations tied back to the Norne production ship. The contract with Transocean is conditional on approval of the plan for development and operation of the Norne satellites by the licence partners and the Norwegian authorities.

8 Mar 2004

AMFELS delivers jackup rig to Perforadora Central

AMFELS Inc, the US subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has delivered an ultra premium KFELS B Class jackup drilling unit, named Tonala, to Mexican Owner, Perforadora Central SA de CV. Upon the delivery of the rig, Tonala is starting a contract with Petroleos Mexicanos in the Bay of Campeche (PEMEX). Since the introduction .... [+ read more] of the KFELS B design into the market in 2000, four such rigs have been completed, with four more currently on order. This represents above 60% of the total number of similar rigs on order worldwide during the same period.

19 Feb 2004

Keppel FELS sells three rigs for US$55 million

Further to the announcement on 18 February 2004, Keppel FELS Ltd (Keppel FELS) has signed an agreement to sell three rigs to a drilling services company for a cash consideration of US$55 million, payable upon delivery expected in end May 2004. The three rigs, the ENSCO 55 jackup and ENSCO 23 and ENSCO 24 platform rigs, are part of .... [+ read more] the consideration for the construction of a new rig for ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO). “Apart from the sale, we are expected to upgrade and refurbish one of the rigs, the ENSCO 55, in one of our shipyards,” said Mr Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Keppel FELS’ parent company, Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M).

18 Feb 2004

Keppel FELS signs rig construction agreement with ENSCO

Keppel FELS Limited has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated (ENSCO) to construct a KFELS B class jackup rig. The consideration is US$55 million in cash and three rigs, the ENSCO 55 jackup and ENSCO 23 and 24 platform rigs. The new high performance premium jackup rig, due for delivery in late 2005, .... [+ read more] will be named ENSCO 107. It is a repeat order of BIGFOOT, the ENSCO 106, which Keppel FELS is currently building with scheduled completion by year-end. This transaction is subject to execution of a definitive vessel construction contract and required US regulatory approvals, expected to be satisfied by March 2004. Keppel FELS is entering into a separate agreement with another drilling services company for the sale of the three ENSCO rigs. Further information about the sale will be announced in due course. Mr Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) said, “These agreements showcase the win-win business partnership we have with our valued customers. “Our ability to package total solutions to meet the needs of our customers is a key to our success.”

12 Feb 2004

Transocean Leader chartered

A 15-month charter worth some NOK 600 million has been awarded by Statoil to rig contractor Transocean for its Transocean Leader drilling unit. The group also has an option to extend the hire period to cover an additional well with an estimated duration of 90 days, which would add NOK 110 million to the value of charter. According to .... [+ read more] Tore Lea, head of rig management in Statoil, the whole charter period is secured against an obligatory work programme. However, the sequence of prospects to be drilled has not been finally clarified. Due to start work for the group in May, the semi-submersible is currently located in the UK. It will be modified to prepare for operation on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Transocean Leader is a fourth-generation Aker H-4.2 unit, built in 1987 to work on the NCS. Statoil chartered it most recently in 1999 for use on the Statfjord satellites in the North Sea.

29 Jan 2004

Keppel FELS divests interest in rig for US$95 million

Keppel FELS Limited (KFELS) has divested its entire 75% interest in ENSCO Enterprises Limited (JVC) for US$95 million in cash, to ENSCO Offshore International Company (ENSCO), a subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated. Net gain from the disposal is US$13 million (S$22 million) or 2.8 Singapore cents per Keppel Corporation share. The JVC is part of an alliance agreement with .... [+ read more] ENSCO to build, own and operate a jack-up rig, ENSCO 102. The agreement carries an option for ENSCO to buy KFELS’ interest in the rig. ENSCO elected to exercise the option, which was set to expire in May 2004, and has become sole owner of the ENSCO 102. Mr Tong Chong Heong, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited, said, “Keppel FELS remains focused on designing and building rigs and other offshore platforms. The Keppel Offshore & Marine group will continue to leverage our strengths to offer innovative and quality solutions to our customers.” Currently on charter to Shell in Malaysia, ENSCO 102 is a premium jackup based on the KFELS MOD V A class design, capable of working in water depths of up to 400 feet in environments such as South East Asia and the Gulf of Mexico.

27 Jan 2004

Drilling on South Pars

The first well in phases six-eight of Iran’s South Pars gas development in the Persian Gulf has been spudded by Statoil as operator for the offshore part of this project. Each of the 30 producers embraced by the programme will be drilled to a measured length of about 4,000 metres. The Rani Woro rig arrived at the drilling location .... [+ read more] on 25 January and spudded the day after. “That’s initiated an important new phase in the South Pars development,” says well manager Per Haaland in Statoil’s project team. Chartered by Statoil in 2003 for up to three years, Rani Woro is owned by Indonesia’s PT Apexindo Pratama Duta in Jakarta. Iran’s Pars Oil & Gas Company (POGC), which is in overall charge of the whole South Pars development, has a five-year contract with Japan Drilling Company. This covers the charter for Sagadrill 2, which is being chartered on to Statoil for up to three years. The first of three jackets for the wellhead platforms covered by phases six-eight was installed on the field on 5 January, and the other two are currently being completed. Rune Mordal, project manager for platform construction, confirms that the second jacket is due to be transported to the field in late January or early February. Sagadrill 2 is scheduled to spud its first well as soon as jacket number two has been installed.

19 Jan 2004

Transocean Searcher to Åsgard

Rig contractor Transocean Offshore has received a letter of intent from Statoil covering a charter for the Transocean Searcher drilling and completion unit, initially worth some NOK 300 million. Due to be placed by the Åsgard licence in the Norwegian Sea, this job involves drilling three wells through the new Q subsea template on the Smørbukk South deposit. Currently working .... [+ read more] on Statoil’s Sleipner fields in the North Sea, Transocean Searcher is due to mobilise on Smørbukk South during the first half of this year.

12 Dec 2003

Cong well abandoned

Statoil Exploration Ireland has completed exploratory drilling in the Cong prospect off north-west Ireland without success. The exploration well has been plugged and abandoned. Drilling was carried out by the Sedco 711 semi-submersible rig on contract from Transocean. The well data will now be analysed to ascertain whether further exploration of the area would be worthwhile. The Cong prospect .... [+ read more] is located in the Slyne basin. Statoil is operator with a 49.9 per cent interest. The other licensees are Shell E&P Ireland (35.1 per cent) and Murphy Ireland Offshore (15 per cent).

24 Nov 2003

BP announces third ultra-deepwater discovery off Angola

Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) and BP today announced the 'Marte' oil discovery in the ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. This is the fourth exploration well BP has drilled in Block 31, and the third successful discovery following the Plutão and Saturno discoveries, which lie some 20 to 25 kilometres from Marte. BP plans to drill one further exploration .... [+ read more] well, Vénus-1, in this area this year. BP is currently exploring various development concepts. The proximity of Marte to Plutão and Saturno makes a joint development likely, however, further work will be required to define the scope of any subsequent development. The Marte-1 well was drilled in a water depth of 2,000 metres some 175 kilometres off the Angolan coast, and reached a total depth of 4,193 metres below sea level. It flowed at 5,200 barrels a day during testing. Block 31 and its operatorship was awarded in 1999 by Angola's state oil company Sonangol to BP with a 26.67% equity together with its partners Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 31) Limited 25%, Sonangol, E.P. 20%, Statoil Angola A.S.13.33%, Marathon Petroleum Angola Block 31 Limited 10% and EPA (Block 31) Ltd (a member of the Total group of companies) 5%.

26 Sep 2003

Hydro makes new oil discovery in the North Sea

Norsk Hydro, operator of Production Licence 036 Outside (Heimdal), has completed the drilling of exploration well 25/4-9 S. The well proved a 65-metre oil column. The well was drilled to a total depth of 2270 metres below the surface of the sea, ending in tertiary rock. The oil column was proven in the Heimdal link, which was the main target. .... [+ read more] The discovery, wich is expected to contain approx. 3-5 million Sm3 oil, is now being evaluated by Hydro, the operator for the production licence. The well was drilled by the drilling installation Deepsea Delta. The well will be permanently plugged, and the drilling installation will leave the area during the course of the next few days.

13 Aug 2003

Drilling on Alpha North

Drilling began on the first production well on the Statoil-operated Alpha North satellite in the North Sea's Sleipner West field in the early hours of 13 August. A gas and condensate field, Alpha North is to be developed with three or four wells and a subsea production system. The Transocean Searcher rig will be performing the drilling, which is .... [+ read more] expected to take about a year, reports Turid Eikebu Alfsen, head of the Sleipner drilling and well completion department. "The drilling programme has been well planned and builds on earlier experiences from Sleipner West," says Ms Eikebu Alfsen. Alfa North will be tied back to the Sleipner T gas treatment platform via an 18-kilometre pipeline. The gas which is rich in carbon dioxide will be passed through the T platform’s separation plant where the carbon dioxide is removed and pumped into the Utsira aquifer via the Sleipner A platform. The gas is then exported to Europe. Sleipner West is the only field in the world with such a separation plant. Technically recoverable reserves in Alpha North are put at roughly 13 billion cubic metres of gas and about 32 million barrels of condensate. The field is due to start producing on 1 October 2004. Statoil has 49.5 per cent of Alpha North, with ExxonMobil holding 32.24 per cent, Total 9.41 per cent and Norsk Hydro 8.85 per cent.

5 Aug 2003

First Kristin producer spudded

The first production well for Statoil’s Kristin development in the Norwegian Sea, which was spudded on 3 August, faces very challenging reservoir conditions. With a pressure of 910 bar and a temperature of 170°C, this field ranks as the most extreme on the Norwegian continental shelf in terms of these two parameters. ”We’ve given great weight to using in-house .... [+ read more] experience and expertise in meeting these challenges and doing the job in a safe and secure manner,” says drilling operations head Severin Longva. ”Experience has also been secured from other companies, and we’ve prepared a special high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) manual. ”Eighty people in key positions on the Scarabeo 5 drilling rig and at the operations office have taken a Kristin-specific HPHT course.” Owned by Saipem, the rig arrived on 1 August to start preparations for drilling and completing the first well, designated 6406/2-S-3H. It has been chartered for 36 months. A total of 12 wells are due to be drilled and completed on the gas and condensate field before production starts on 1 October 2005. Four subsea templates installed on Kristin will be tied back to a floating production platform. Plans call for the use of two rigs to drill the producers, with West Alpha scheduled to arrive later this year. Apart from Statoil, with 46.6 per cent, the Kristin licensees are Petoro with 18.9 per cent, Norsk Hydro 12 per cent, ExxonMobil 10.5 per cent, Norsk Agip nine per cent and Total three per cent.

1 Aug 2003

Duster on Graspett

A wildcat on Statoil’s Gråspett prospect in the Norwegian Sea has been completed without encountering signs of oil. Drilled on behalf of production licence 128, covering blocks 6608/10 and 6608/11, the well lies 175 kilometres off northern Norway and three kilometres north-east of Statoil’s Norne field. It was drilled in 374 metres of water to a total measured depth .... [+ read more] of 2,750 metres below sea level and terminated in Jurassic rocks. No hydrocarbons were found in the relevant sandstones. Statoil has previously made discoveries in the Stær, Falk, Lerke and Svale structures in the same area, but none of these is large enough to support a stand-alone development. “The Gråspett wildcat has played its part in clarifying the resource position around Stær and Svale,” explains section manager Roger Inge Johansen in the Halten/Nordland cluster. “Failure to make a discovery with this well does not affect assessments of developing these finds and tying them back to the Norne production ship.” In addition to Statoil, with 40.455 per cent, partners in PL 128 are Petoro with 24.545 per cent, Norsk Hydro 13.5 per cent, Norsk Agip 11.5 per cent and Shell/Enterprise 10 per cent.

28 Jul 2003

BP announces second ultra-deepwater discovery off Angola

Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola (Sonangol) and BP today announced the Saturno oil discovery in the ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. This is the third exploration well BP has drilled in Block 31, and the second successful discovery following the Plutao discovery announced last September. The Saturno-1 was drilled by the semi-submersible drilling rig, the Leiv Eiriksson, in 1,804 .... [+ read more] metres water depth some 170 kilometres off the Angolan coast and reached a total depth of 4,707 metres below sea level. Further work will be needed to evaluate the full extent of the Saturno discovery. It lies some 14 kilometres to the north-east of the Plutão discovery. Saturno flowed at 5,000 barrels a day during tests. Block 31 and its operatorship was awarded in 1999 by Angola's state oil company Sonangol to BP with a 26.67% equity together with its partners Esso Exploration and Production Angola (Block 31) Limited 25%, Sonangol, E.P. 20%, Statoil Angola A.S.13.33%, Marathon Petroleum Angola Block 31 Limited 10% and EPA (Block 31) Ltd (a member of the Total group of companies) 5%.

25 Jul 2003

Keppel to deliver new generation semi-submersible rig to Maersk

Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited (Keppel O&M) will deliver a new generation semi-submersible rig to Maersk Contractors two weeks ahead of schedule in mid August 2003. The rig was named LIDER in a ceremony that was attended by more that 1000 guests at Caspian Shipyard Company (CSC) in Baku, Azerbaijan yesterday. Mr Tage Bundgaard, President of Maersk Contractors, .... [+ read more] said, “We are proud of this new highly advanced rig. We fully expect LIDER to prove its state-of-the-art capabilities during the upcoming contract with Exxon Azerbaijan and other operators in the Caspain region. Caspian Shipyard Company has proved to be a very proficient rig constructor and we hope that this will be the first of many Maersk rigs to be working in the Caspian Sea.” LIDER will be contracted to Exxon Azerbaijan Operating Company LLC and Chevron Overseas Petroleum Azerbaijan Limited for a three-year drilling programme.

21 Jul 2003

Completed well in J10 prospect

As operator of exploration and production license 195 in the North Sea, Hydro has concluded drilling exploration well 35/8-5 S in the so-called J10 prospect. The well was drilled south-west of the western Norwegian city of Florø at a sea depth of 370 meters. It was drilled to a total depth of 3,803 meters below the sea’s surface into rock .... [+ read more] from the Mid-Jurassic period. The well showed traces of hydrocarbons in rock from the Upper Jurassic period, which was the primary goal of the drilling operation, but the find is considered non-commercial. The well results are presently being evaluated by Hydro. The drill rig Deepsea Delta has concluded drilling, plugged the well and is now proceeding to the Hydro-operated Tune field to do well intervention and completion work. Hydro owns a 40 percent stake in PL 195, followed by Petoro with 35 percent and RWE DEA at 25 percent.

18 Jul 2003

Drilling on Graspett

A wildcat has been spudded on Statoil’s Gråspett oil prospect in the Norwegian Sea, and should take about a month to complete. The well is being drilled from Stena Don on behalf of the partners in production licence 128. Gråspett lies in block 6608/10 close to Statoil’s Norne field. The group has previously found oil in the nearby Stær, .... [+ read more] Falk, Lerke and Svale structures, but none of these is large enough to support a stand-alone development. “We’re considering various solutions for phasing the finds into the Norne production ship,” explains Knut Chr Grindstad, vice president for exploration in Halten/Nordland. “One option is to link them in a cluster with a shared tie-in to the vessel. We have hopes for the Gråspett wildcat, where a discovery would strengthen the prospects for such a solution.” Preliminary plans call for well 6608/10-10 to be drilled to a total depth of 2,800 metres. In addition to Statoil with 40,455 per cent, the partners in PL 128 are Norsk Hydro with 13.500 per cent, Norsk Agip 11,500 per cent, Shell/Enterprise 10 per cent and Petoro 24,545 per cent.

23 Jun 2003

Spudded on Ellida

The first wildcat on Statoil’s Ellida – or Grip High – prospect in the Norwegian Sea was spudded in about 1,200 metres of water on 20 June by the West Navigator drill ship. Located in block 6405/7, allocated in May 2002 as part of Norway’s 17th offshore licensing round, it lies 60 kilometres north of Norsk Hydro’s Ormen Lange development. .... [+ read more] “We’re looking for gas in this well,” explains Kent Høgseth, exploration manager for the deepwater part of the Norwegian Sea. He adds that the wildcat is being drilled in a little-explored part of the continental shelf, and that the prospects of making a find are therefore a little uncertain. The well is expected to take 2.5 months to complete. Operator Statoil has a 30 per cent interest in production licence 281, with ConocoPhillips holding 10 per cent and Norske Shell, BP and Petoro 20 per cent apiece.

30 May 2003

Keppel delivers another newbuild on time to PT Apexindo

Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) has successfully delivered a posted submersible drilling barge on time to Indonesian drilling contractor PT Apexindo Pratama Duta Tbk. Yani Rig 104, a newbuild order, was delivered to PT Apexindo within a short span of 7.5 months. She is the third of three posted submersible drilling barges to be delivered to the client. .... [+ read more] Yani Rig 104 sails off today to join her sisters, Raissa and Maera 101 in the inshore Tunu field, Balikpapan in East Kalimantan for TotalFinaElf Indonesia. Said Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman and CEO of Keppel O&M, “PT Apexindo has been growing their fleet of drilling barges to cater for shallow draft in the mangrove swamp areas. We are privileged to be able to take part in their expansion plans. “This is the third barge we’ve delivered. I believe Yani Rig 104, together with her sisters, will add further value for our customer.”

22 May 2003

Wildcat on Verdandi

The first exploration well on Statoil's Verdandi prospect in block 16/1 of the North Sea was spudded today, 22 May. The block lies about 25 kilometres south-west of Norsk Hydro's Grane field. "We are primarily looking for oil in this well," says Øivind Dahl-Stamnes, sector manager in the exploration Norway business cluster. He adds that there is much uncertainty .... [+ read more] about the possibility for a discovery in Verdandi, as is always the case in new prospects. The drilling operation is being performed by the Borgland Dolphin rig and is expected to take one month. As operator, Statoil is carrying out the drilling on behalf of licence 167. The licensees are Det norske oljeselskap (20 per cent) and Statoil (80 per cent). The block was awarded in the 13th licensing round in 1991.

11 Apr 2003

Transocean to drill on Snøhvit

A letter of intent worth some NOK 700 million has been signed by Statoil and Transocean for drilling and completion work on the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea. The contract with Transocean covers drilling and commissioning of the ten wells in phase one of the development on the Snøhvit and Albatross fields. The Polar Pioneer rig will carry .... [+ read more] out the work, which is due to start in the autumn of 2004. The work should be finished in the spring of 2006, reports Thor Bensvik, manager for drilling and well operations for Snøhvit. "Following a full round of tenders, we concluded that the Polar Pioneer rig was best suited for this job, and that Transocean had the best commercial bid," says Mr Bensvik. The letter of intent has been signed subject to the approval of the partners in the Snøhvit licence.

19 Feb 2003

Lerke well completed

A wildcat drilled by Statoil on the Lerke prospect near its Norne field in the Norwegian Sea failed to encounter hydrocarbons in the main reservoir. However, oil was found in other parts of this formation. Statoil plans to investigate its quantity and production properties over the coming six months. That will establish whether these resources are commercially recoverable, reports .... [+ read more] Knut Chr Grindstad, exploration vice president for Halten/Nordland. “We’re disappointed by this result,” admits Mr Grindstad, who is based at Statoil’s north Norwegian exploration office in Harstad. “But we still believe that we can develop the other Norne satellites profitably with a subsea development tied back to the main field’s production ship.” He emphasised that Statoil will go ahead with its plans to drill a wildcat on the Gråspett prospect west of Lerke. The latter lies between the Svale and Stær discoveries, which were made in the spring of 2000 and the spring of 2002 respectively. Deepsea Bergen drilled the 6608/10-9 well on Lerke to a total measured depth of 2,400 metres. Statoil has a 40.45 per cent interest in the prospect, with Petoro, Norsk Hydro, Agip and Shell/Enterprise as its partners.

3 Feb 2003

Dolphin dispute resolved

An amicable solution has today, 3 February, been reached between Statoil and Dolphin in the dispute over responsibility for cost overruns in connection with the modification of the Borgland Dolphin drilling rig. The settlement entails Statoil paying Dolphin NOK 75 million in compensation. Dolphin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fred. Olsen Energy. Statoil and Dolphin are pleased to .... [+ read more] be able to put this dispute behind them and focus instead on further cooperation.

29 Jan 2003

Nnwa confirmation off Nigeria

An appraisal well drilled by Statoil in block 218 off Nigeria has confirmed that the gas reservoir in the Nnwa structure extends into the neighbouring block 219 operated by Shell. A successful production test was carried out in this Nnwa-2 well, which was plugged last November. The field was discovered with the Nnwa-1 wildcat in 1999, while Shell has .... [+ read more] earlier made a find with its Doro-1 well in block 219. Transocean Sedco Energy spudded Nnwa-2 last July in 1,191 metres of water. Drilled to a planned depth of 4,984 metres, the well encountered hydrocarbons in several reservoir levels. Nnwa-2 lies 180 kilometres south-west of Port Harcourt, 6.5 kilometres north-west of the Nnwa discovery well and 10.4 kilometres north-west of Doro-1. The partners in the two blocks have earlier signed a memorandum of understanding with the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and the national authorities. This agreement covers a feasibility study for a possible joint development of Nnwa and Doro. Being led by Statoil, this investigation is due to be completed by the end of 2003. The size of the structure makes it necessary to conduct further appraisal work in order to characterise Nnwa/Doro fully. Statoil has a 53.85 per cent interest in block 218, with ChevronTexaco as its partner.

24 Jan 2003

Drilling the Lerke prospect

A wildcat has been spudded by Statoil on the Lerke prospect in the Norne area of the Norwegian Sea on 23 January. Expected to take about two months to complete, this well is being drilled between the Svale and Stær discoveries. These were made in the spring of 2000 and the spring of 2002 respectively. The hope is that .... [+ read more] Lerke contains oil, reports Roger Inge Johansen, Statoil’s exploration manager for the area. “A possible discovery could be integrated with Svale and Stær in a subsea development tied back to our Norne production ship,” he explains. With a solution of that kind, production could get under way in 2005. Designated 6608/10-9, the well is due to be drilled by Deepsea Bergen to a total measured depth of 2,380 metres.

17 Dec 2002

Dry in Blåmeis

No hydrocarbons were encountered with an exploration well drilled by Statoil on the Blåmeis prospect in the Norne area of the Norwegian Sea. “This well was drilled in a prospect with a large oil potential, but which was also regarded as high risk,” says Roger Inge Johansen, exploration manager for the area. “So the result wasn’t very surprising. But .... [+ read more] we’re disappointed all the same.” The 6608/11-3 wildcat was drilled in production licence 128, about 15 kilometres east of Statoil’s Norne field, with the aim of proving oil in Jurassic sandstones. Drilling terminated at a depth of roughly 2,000 metres, in Triassic sediments. PL 128 embraces blocks 6608/10 and 11, where earlier discoveries include Stær, Svale and Falk as well as Norne. The well was drilled by Stena Don in 21 days – about a week faster than planned. “This rig has once again done a very efficient job, and the operation was implemented without accidents to people or material assets,” says Mr Johansen. The results of this well will have no impact on the future exploration programme in the Norne area. Two new wildcats have been approved by the licensees. They will be on the Lerke and Gråspett prospects, and are due to be spudded in the first half of 2003.

11 Dec 2002

Solsikke well dry

Hydro has finished drilling its Solsikke well in the Norwegian Sea without finding hydrocarbons. Solsikke lies on license 253 in the Norwegian Sea some 200 kilometers off the north-west coast of Norway at a sea depth of about 1,800 meters. Exploration well 6403/10-1 was drilled by the rig "Scarabeo 5" to test out a geological model in the western .... [+ read more] part of the Møre Basin. The well was drilled as planned to a total depth of 3,400 meters into a section of rock from the Cretaceous Age. "The drilling operation's two targeted main reservoir intervals were both penetrated. No mobile hydrocarbons were proven in the well," the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said in press release on Wednesday. When total depth is reached, the exploration well will be permanently plugged and abandoned.

8 Dec 2002

Bideford Dolphin lifts anchor

The drill rig Bideford Dolphin finished production well work Friday on the Tordis field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The well was secured and the vessel departed the field. As planned, Bideford Dolphin traveled directly to the repair yard. A new crack was discovered on the rig. Four stand-by vessels assisted Bideford Dolphin with anchor handling .... [+ read more] activities. There were 58 personnel aboard Bideford Dolphin on Friday morning. Most of the crew was later demobilized and flown ashore. A total of 20 personnel remained onboard while the rig was towed to the repair yard.

3 Dec 2002

Drill platform Bideford Dolphin temporarily out of operation

Hydro and rig company Dolphin AS have decided to temporarily take the drilling platform "Bideford Dolphin" out of operation after small cracks were discovered in the hull. The platform was operating on the Tordis field where it has been drilling a production well. "Bideford Dolphin" is securing the well and will head for land as quickly as possible for inspection .... [+ read more] and repairs. It was on Monday, Dec. 2, that Dolphin AS discovered the two cracks of five and seven centimeters long, respectively, in the structural framework of the vessel's hull. There is no danger to the platform's integrity and load capacity. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has been informed of the decision to take the drilling rig temporarily out of operation.

26 Nov 2002

Wildcat spudded on Blåmeis

The first exploration well on Statoil’s Blåmeis prospect in the Norwegian Sea was spudded on 26 November by Stena Don, and is expected to take about a month to complete. This structure is thought to contain oil, reports Knut Chr Grindstad, exploration vice president for the Halten/Nordland cluster in the north Norwegian port of Harstad. Blåmeis is close to .... [+ read more] the group’s existing Norne field, in an area where Statoil has already found oil in a series of structures named after birds – Stær (Starling), Falk (Falcon) and Svale (Swallow). None of these discoveries is large enough to support a stand-alone development. Statoil is accordingly considering various options, which include coming up with technology that could make it easier to tie back small finds to Norne’s production ship. Developing these discoveries as a cluster will also improve their economics. The Norne vessel is due to go off plateau in 2003, and needs additional oil to maintain production levels. Great expectations are attached to the Blåmeis wildcat. Mr Grindstad says that a possible oil discovery could also be tied back to Norne. Should the most optimistic hopes be borne out by the well, however, the field could become a stand-alone development. Possible Blåmeis oil is expected to be heavier than Norne crude, but this will not be known until drilling has been completed and its results analysed. Plans call for the well to be drilled to a depth of about 2,000 metres.

22 Nov 2002

Fast forward on Dolly

A recently-completed exploration well on Statoil’s Dolly prospect in the North Sea was drilled more rapidly than usual with the aid of innovative technology. The well path passes through a Brent formation prospect – parts of which lie more than 2,500 metres below sea level – in the form of a curve. After initially descending vertically, it angles out, .... [+ read more] becomes gently horizontal and then ascends at an angle of 106 degrees. This approach is not unusual for production wells, but the Dolly wildcat is one of the first exploration wells drilled by Statoil to use the method. The group utilised a Powerdrive drilling machine developed by Anadrill Schlumberger for the operation. Computer controlled, this unit can drill longer stretches at a time and thereby reduces the time required. It has previously been deployed by Statoil on some of its North Sea fields. “Viewed purely in terms of drilling technology, it’s all the same whether you’re drilling a producer or a wildcat,” explains Bengt Beskow, exploration manager for the Tampen area in Exploration & Production Norway. “When we’re looking for supplementary oil on the fringes of mature fields, in satellites or in new areas like the Dolly prospect, however, we must try to rationalise drilling operations.” He notes that two other recent Statoil exploration wells, in the Ole and Dole structures west of Gullfaks satellite Rimfaks, utilised new methods. The Dolly wildcat was drilled from Deepsea Trym, and a project team is now working to evaluate results from the well – which encountered hydrocarbons.

24 Oct 2002

Keppel’s yard in US delivers jack-up rig to ENSCO on time and on budget

Keppel’s yard in Brownsville, Texas, AMFELS Inc. has successfully delivered on time and on budget, a KFELS MOD V “B” class ultra premium jack-up drilling unit to a subsidiary of ENSCO International Incorporated. ENSCO 105 is the second MOD V “B” new generation deep-well drilling rig that has been completed. The total cost of construction and outfitting for the .... [+ read more] ENSCO 105 was in excess of US$100 million (S$175m), of which work performed by AMFELS formed a major portion.

23 Sep 2002

Drilling on Tyrihans South

Statoil spudded an appraisal well on the Tyrihans South find in the Norwegian Sea on 21 September. The Stena Don semi-submersible rig is carrying out the drilling, which is expected to take about one and a half months. “We hope to prove additional oil and gas reserves on Tyrihans South,” reports Knut Christian Grindstad, vice president in the Halten/Nordland exploration .... [+ read more] unit in Harstad. Gas and oil have already been proven in Tyrihans South and North respectively, in 1983 and 1984. The blocks in which these finds have been proven lie in production licences 073 and 091, and are situated 40 kilometres south of the Asgard field. Water depth is about 285 metres. The well on Tyrihans South will be drilled to between 3,000 and 4,000 metres depth. “We consider Tyrihans to be an Åsgard satellite, and are contemplating direct subsea tie-back to existing infrastructure on Åsgard,” confirms Mr Grindstad. Timing of the development will depend on available capacity in the infrastructure and the solution chosen for the sale of the gas. Licensees in production licence 091 are operator Statoil with 55 per cent, Norsk Hydro (33) and ExxonMobil (12). Licensees in production licence 073 are operator Statoil with 54.67 per cent, TotalFinaElf (33.33) and Norsk Hydro (12). Stena Don is one of the world’s most modern drilling rigs. Its features include dynamic positioning, which maintains the correct position without the use of anchors. The rig arrived on Tyrihans from an operation on the Statoil operated Norne field. It will also drill the first exploration well on the Blameis structure east of the Norne field later this autumn.

23 Aug 2002

Dolphin charter terminated

A charter with rig contractor Dolphin for the Byford Dolphin drilling unit has been terminated by Statoil. “Safety on this rig does not meet contractual requirements, and new measures adopted after a fatal accident on 17 April have not been satisfactorily followed up,” says Henrik Carlsen, executive vice president for Exploration & Production Norway. Although the termination takes effect .... [+ read more] immediately, operations on Byford Dolphin will be wound down in a safe way. The charter originally ran until 8 October.

23 Aug 2002

Solsikke drilling delayed due to strike

Exploration drilling on the Solsikke license in the Norwegian offshore sector has been delayed one month due to a recent oil services workers strike that upset drilling rig schedules. The Solsikke license was awarded to Hydro in concession round 16 in 2000. The prospect is considered one of the most interesting in the Norwegian oil sector and may hold enormous .... [+ read more] volumes of natural gas. The Solsikke license consists of four blocks. One of them will be drilled by the drilling rig "Scarabeo 5" at the start of October. The block, located some 100 kilometers west of the Ormen Lange gas field, has a record deep water deth of 1,700 to 1,800 meters. This summer's five-week long, recently settled oil services workers strike by the Norwegian Oil and Petrochemicals Workers Union (Nopef), as well as important tasks on the Tampen offshore license in the North Sea have contributed to delaying the start of exploration drilling on Solsikke to the first half of October.

22 Aug 2002

Drilling contract for Alpha North

Statoil and Transocean have entered into a new agreement for the use of the Transocean Searcher drilling rig on the Alpha North satellite in the North Sea's Sleipner West field. The contract comprises drilling and completion of three wells on the Alpha North structure, which will be tied back to the Sleipner A platform. Operations are expected to last for .... [+ read more] 270 days. The value of the contract is estimated at over NOK 200 million, excluding options. Plans call for the Transocean Searcher to start drilling work in the summer of 2003 once the rig has finished work on the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea. Alpha North is due to begin producing gas and condensate on 1 October 2004.

5 Jul 2002

Scarabeo 5 to Kristin

On behalf of the Kristin licensees in the Norwegian Sea, operator Statoil has entered into an agreement with Saipem SpA for the hire of the Scarabeo 5 drilling rig for 36 months. The total value of the contract is NOK 1,280 million. "Scarabeo 5 has the capacity to perform both drilling and completion operations and is a good rig .... [+ read more] for Kristin," reports Bengt Rasmussen, drilling manager on Kristin. The rig will however require some upgrading and a five-year class certificate before commencing drilling operations on 1 April 2003. Scarabeo 5 was built in Italy in 1990 and has been operating on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) since delivery from the shipyard. The pressure and temperature are both higher on the Kristin gas and condensate field than on any other field to be developed on the NCS. There has therefore been an increased focus on health, safety and the environment in the bidding process. The licensees in Kristin are Statoil with 46.6 per cent, Petoro (18.9 per cent), Norsk Hydro (12 per cent), ExxonMobil (10.5 per cent), Agip (9 per cent) and TotalFinaElf (3 per cent).

14 May 2002

Two finds on Tampen

Operator Statoil has proven gas condensate and light oil in two wells drilled close to the Gullfaks and Statfjord fields in the North Sea. Exploration well 33/12-8S was drilled in the Dole prospect, while well 33/12-8A was drilled in the Ole prospect. Both wells lie in production licence 152. Hydrocarbons were proven in Middle Jurassic rocks in the wells. Due .... [+ read more] to similarities with the Rimfaks and Gullveig producing fields, the wells were not production tested. Well 33/12-8S was drilled to 3,350 metres below mean sea level, and 33/12-8A was drilled to 3,369 metres. The latter was temporarily abandoned and will come on stream at a later stage. Both wells were drilled with the Borgland Dolphin rig. “We have started a project to evaluate potential tie-back points for the new finds. If they are profitable, we expect them to produce from 2004,” reports Bengt Beskow, exploration manager for the Tampen area. The finds lie about 16 kilometres from both the Statfjord B platform and the Gullfaks A platform. The distance between Ole and Dole is around 1,700 metres. Two development alternatives are being evaluated. The finds could be tied back via subsea templates on the Gullfaks South satellite field and then on to Gullfaks C, or they could be tied back to the Statfjord B platform. Statoil will be the sole operator for the Tampen area when the group takes over Snorre, Visund, Vigdis and Tordis from Norsk Hydro on 1 January 2003. The group therefore wants to search for and develop small finds in the area in order to extend production from the Tampen platforms. The licensees in production licence 152 are Statoil (58.89 per cent), Petoro (30 per cent) and ExxonMobil (11.11 per cent). Statoil has entered into an agreement to take over ExxonMobil’s stake with effect from 1 January 2002. The agreement is expected to be approved by the authorities before the summer.

10 May 2002

First well on Angola Block 34 dry

The first exploration well drilled on Block 34 offshore Angola has been completed and no hydrocarbons were found. The N'Demba 1 exploration well - spudded March 24 and drilled at a water depth of 1,731 meters by drillship "Deepwater Discovery" - did not encounter hydrocarbons but revealed valuable data for further exploration of the block, the operator Sonangol P&P said .... [+ read more] in a statement. The consequences of the well are still under evaluation. Several other prospects have been identified within the 6,000 km2 block and the Contractor Group will now consider possible targets for well number two. Block 34 partners include operator Sonangol P&P (20 percent), Norsk Hydro (30 percent), Phillips (20 percent), Petrobras (15 percent) and Shell (15 percent). Hydro is designated Technical Assistant on Block 34. Hydro's part in the exploration of Block 34 will be funded by approximately NOK 300 million in the second quarter 2002.

19 Apr 2002

Oil find near Norne

An oil discovery has been made by Statoil in the Stær structure close to the group’s Norne field in the Norwegian Sea. The find could contribute to a unitised development of several reservoirs in the area. Its commerciality will now be assessed. Stær lies about three kilometres north-east of the Norne production ship, and its oil quality is similar to .... [+ read more] that in the other field. “This is particularly interesting because we’ve previously made discoveries in the Svale and Falk structures,” says exploration manager Roger Inge Johansen in the Halten/Nordland business cluster. “Stær is accordingly very important for achieving a unitised development of finds in the Norne area.” Exploration well 6608/10-8 in production licence 128 was drilled vertically from the Stena Don rig to a total measured depth of 2,660 metres, and terminated in early Jurassic rocks. A sidetrack, 6608/10-8A, was also drilled 600 metres out from the vertical well to clarify the size of the field. This had a total measured depth of roughly 2,600 metres below the seabed. Stena Don has also been chartered to drill a well in the Blåmeis structure east of Norne this summer.

5 Apr 2002

Exploration well on Tampen

The Borgland Dolphin drilling rig is drilling an exploration well for Statoil south of the Gullfaks satellite Gullveig in the Tampen area of the North Sea. Well 33/12-8S is being drilled in production licence 152, which lies in the Dole structure about four kilometres south of the Gullveig field. If a find is made, a sidetrack to the south into .... [+ read more] the neighbouring Ole structure may be an option, reports Eirik Graue, project manager for the drilling. The purpose of the well is to prove hydrocarbons in the Brent and Statfjord reservoirs; the former lies 2,600 metres below the seabed while the latter lies 600 metres deeper. Plans call for drilling to be completed by the beginning of May. Statoil’s exploration programme in the area includes a well in a structure named N7-Dolly, about four kilometres north of Gullveig. Plans call for this well to be drilled in late autumn.

3 Mar 2002

New find in Oseberg Sør area

Norsk Hydro has found oil in exploration well 30/9-20S in the Oseberg area some 130 kilometers west of Bergen, Norway. The discovery may be phased into the Oseberg Sør (South) platform. "We will now evaluate the results and see if it's possible to recover the oil in connection with the development of the J structure in the Oseberg Sør area," .... [+ read more] says Hydro director of the Oseberg business unit Øystein Michelsen. "We will present further plans next year." The oil was proven in a sandstone layer. Core samples have been taken and thorough logging and testing have been done. The well, drilled by Transocean Arctic at a sea depth of 101 meters and total well depth of 3,072 meters, is now plugged and abandoned.

21 Dec 2001

Taking over Stena Don

Statoil has taken over the new drilling rig, Stena Don. The five-year operations contract with the Stena Drilling shipping company is thereby realised. Stena Don has received the approval of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and Statoil, and is today, 21 December, leaving the Offshore & Marine shipyard in Sandnes en route to the Halten Bank. To begin with the rig .... [+ read more] will be operating in the Norne area, and the first well will be drilled on the Stær prospect. The rig should be in position on the field on Monday. This rig is one of the most modern drilling rigs in the world. It has a dynamic positioning system, which means that it can hold its position without the use of anchors. It can therefore be moved quickly from one drilling location to another without the risk of coming into conflict with subsea facilities.

20 Dec 2001

Searcher heading for Mikkel

Operator Statoil has awarded Transocean the contract to drill and complete wells on the Mikkel field in the Norwegian Sea. The contract, which includes the drilling and completion of three wells, is valued at around NOK 150 million, reports Kjell Herigstad, special adviser in the production services unit. The work will be carried out from the Transocean Searcher rig starting .... [+ read more] in September 2002 and is expected to take 140 days. The Mikkel field lies 37 kilometres south of the Åsgard field, where Transocean Searcher has been carrying out drilling and completion operations since 1996. Statoil is exercising its option in the Åsgard drilling contract to extend the work to include the Mikkel field.

13 Dec 2001

New oil find in Visund area

Norsk Hydro has found oil in two separate zones while drilling exploration well 34/8-12 S in the Visund South prospect in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. "We've made two interesting finds of light oil/condensate in rock dating from between the middle and early Jurassic Age," said Hydro project manager Jan Reidar Johnsen. "Because we've found hydrocarbons in .... [+ read more] two separate zones, we're optimistic about making more discoveries in the area. Meanwhile, additional exploration and delineation drilling is needed to determine whether the area can be commercially produced." Well 34/8-12 S was drilled by the Transocean Arctic rig to 3,160 meters vertical depth and completed in rock from the Triassic Age. Visund South lies in an area between the Visund, Gullfaks and Snorre field. The well was not tested and is now plugged. The shareholders in development and production license 120 are: Norsk Hydro (operator) with 29 percent, TotalFinaElf at 11 percent, Conoco 13 percent, Petoro 16.9 percent and Statoil 30.1 percent.

30 Nov 2001

Dolphin to Sigyn

yford Dolphin is now heading for the ExxonMobil-operated Sigyn field in the North Sea. The original plan was to use this drilling rig to plug a well on the Statoil-operated Mikkel field. The rig came adrift during the tow in the Norwegian Sea on 22 November. Weather conditions have been bad on the Halten Bank, and to avoid further .... [+ read more] delays Statoil decided to reassign the rig to the Sigyn field so as not to hold up the work there. The work on Mikkel is not so critical and will therefore be carried out later. Byford Dolphin is travelling at two-three knots. If everything goes according to plan the rig will arrive on the Sigyn field on 1 December, whereupon Statoil will drill and complete three production wells on assignment from ExxonMobil. Byford Dolphin will remain in block 16/7 until the end of June 2002, reports Torfinn Hellstrand, drilling and well analysis supervisor. Sigyn will be tied back to the Statoil-operated Sleipner East field. Plans call for Sigyn to come on stream in the first quarter of 2003. The licensees in Sigyn are ExxonMobil with 40 per cent, Statoil (50) and Norsk Hydro (10).

23 Nov 2001

Towline attached to ri

The Byford Dolphin drilling rig is under tow again in the Norwegian Sea after a hawser was passed on board at 06.15 today, 23 November. It will now be towed as soon as practicable to Statoil’s Mikkel field on the Halten Bank, which is where the rig was headed when the original towline was lost yesterday morning. Weather conditions .... [+ read more] in the area have improved considerably since yesterday evening. The wind has slackened considerably, according to reports from Byford Dolphin.

22 Nov 2001

Rig adrift in Norwegian Sea

The Byford Dolphin drilling rig has been adrift in the Halten Bank area of the Norwegian Sea since it escaped from a tow at 07.30 today, 22 November. This unit was on its way to plug a well on Statoil’s Mikkel field. All 71 crew on board are in good condition, and the position is not considered critical. Weather .... [+ read more] in the area is reportedly poor, with snow flurries and high seas. Waves have a significant height of 7.7 metres. The rig has its own propulsion machinery, and is moving under control at a speed of 1.3 knots between the Draugen and Njord platforms. Its course does not present any risk of collision with nearby installations. The first priority is to get new towlines on board the rig. Anchorhandlers Northern Chaser and Pacific Banner are shadowing it. In addition, anchorhandler Northern Crusader is on its way from Kristiansund in mid-Norway. Several other vessels and helicopters are also standing by. A search and rescue (SAR) helicopter normally stationed on Statoil’s Heidrun platform is ready to take off at short notice from the Ørland airfield. The joint rescue coordination centre for southern Norway has mobilised a Sea King helicopter from Ørland to Shell’s Draugen platform. Standby ships are also available in the area, with Strihauk near Byford Dolphin and Ocean Sky between Draugen and Njord. Skandi Stord is between Heidrun and Åsgard.

22 Nov 2001

Rig still adrift

Efforts to get a new towline aboard the Byford Dolphin drilling rig, adrift in the Norwegian Sea, will start early tomorrow morning, 23 November, or as soon as the weather permits. Weather conditions in the Halten Bank area, where the rig lost its tow at 07.30 today, should have improved by then. Byford Dolphin is still drifting southwards under .... [+ read more] its own limited engine power. It has passed the Draugen and Njord fields, well clear of their installations. “The 54 crew on board are all fine,” reports Harald Mortensen, Statoil's drilling superintendent. “They’re sleeping, working and eating normally, and their mood is good.” There have been snow flurries and high seas in the area today. But weather forecasters say the wind is likely to slacken in the morning hours. Anchorhandlers Northern Chaser and Pacific Banner are shadowing the rig, and a third ship – Northern Crusader – is due to arrive around midnight. Additional vessels and helicopters are on standby. Byford Dolphin had 71 people on board when it lost the tow this morning. Seventeen have since flown ashore by helicopter as part of the regular crew change, but no new personnel replaced them. The rig was on its way to Statoil’s Mikkel field to plug a well.

22 Oct 2001

Stena Don heading north

Statoil will use the state-of-the-art drilling rig Stena Don on the Halten Bank when the rig is handed over from Stena Drilling this autumn. The rig will be used to drill exploration and production wells in the area in the course of next year. Stena Don’s first assignment will be to drill an exploration well in the Stær prospect near .... [+ read more] the Svale find. The drilling programme for the rig has only been clarified for the first year, but Statoil plans to contract Stena Don for five years. The rig will also be used for maintenance of subsea wells, reports Arne Jacobsen, project manager in the rig management unit in Exploration & Production Norway. The contract is an important step in the modernisation of Statoil’s rig portfolio: This rig represents a new generation of drilling and completion rigs. It has a dynamic positioning system, which means that it can hold its position without the use of anchors. It can therefore be moved quickly to a new location without the risk of coming into conflict with subsea equipment,” says Mr Jacobsen. Stena Don was named in a ceremony at the Offshore & Marine yard in Sandnes on Saturday 20 October.

2 Oct 2001

Dry well in Skuld

Operator Statoil has completed an exploration well in the Skuld prospect in production licence 265 in the North Sea without finding oil or gas. Production licence 265 with blocks 16/2 and 16/3 was awarded to Statoil and the partners in last year’s North Sea licensing round. The blocks lie directly south of the Balder and Grane fields, which are operated .... [+ read more] by ExxonMobil and Norsk Hydro respectively. The purpose of well 16/2-2 was to test the hydrocarbon potential of the Tertiary rocks in the Skuld prospect. The well was drilled to a depth of 1855 metres below sea level with the drilling rig Byford Dolphin. Water depth in the area is 120 metres. Morten Sola, acting sector manager for the North Sea, reports that the licensees in licence 265 are committed to drilling two wells. The results from the first well will be evaluated before it is decided where to locate the next, he says. One well has been drilled earlier in block 16/2 – in 1967 in production licence 001. Exxon was operator at the time, and traces of hydrocarbons were found. Statoil has a 30 per cent stake in the production licence. The state’s direct financial interest has 30 per cent, ExxonMobil has 25 per cent and Enterprise Oil has 15 per cent.

28 Sep 2001

More oil in Siri

Operator Statoil has found more oil in the Siri field on the Danish continental shelf. Appraisal well 5604/20-7 is now being production tested via the Siri platform. Well SCA-7, as it is called, has produced at a provisional rate of 23,270 barrels of oil per day. When it comes on stream, the well will produce around 10,000 barrels of oil .... [+ read more] per day. The total production from Siri will thereby increase by about 30 per cent – to around 40,000 barrels of oil per day. The appraisal well was spudded after oil was proven in another well, Siri-4, in Palaeocene sandstone layers in an area east of the field. SCA-7 was drilled as a horizontal well to a total length of 6898 metres from mean sea level. Statoil has applied to the Danish authorities for approval of SCA-7 as a production well when the test production is complete. The licensees in Siri are Statoil (40 per cent), Enterprise Oil (20 per cent), DONG (20 per cent), Phillips (12.5 per cent) and Denerco (7.5 per cent ).

18 Sep 2001

Drilling on Skuld

Statoil has commenced drilling exploration well 16/2-2 in the North Sea with the Byford Dolphin rig. The purpose is to determine whether there is oil or gas in the Skuld prospect. Skuld lies directly south of the Balder and Grane fields, which are operated by ExxonMobil and Norsk Hydro respectively. The well will be drilled in tertiary layers to .... [+ read more] a total depth of 1,900 metres. Drilling will take three to four weeks, reports Morten Sola, acting sector manager for the North Sea. The Skuld well is being drilled in production licence 265, which was awarded to Statoil and its partners in last year’s North Sea licensing round. Operator Statoil has a 30 per cent stake in the licence. The other partners are the state’s direct financial interest (30 per cent), ExxonMobil (25 per cent) and Enterprise Oil (15 per cent). Byford Dolphin recently finished drilling an exploration well for Statoil in the B prospect near the Sleipner area in the North Sea.

18 Sep 2001

Duster in the B prospect

Statoil has finished drilling exploration well 24/12-4 near the Sleipner area in the North Sea without finding oil or gas. The B prospect lies in block 24/12 of production licence 204, which was awarded in 1996. One well has previously been drilled in the block. On that occasion small amounts of oil were proven. Morten Sola, acting sector manager .... [+ read more] in the unit new areas North Sea reports that the well has provided useful information about the area: “We will now consider further activity in light of the results from this well and the find that was made in the previous one.” Licence 204, which consists of blocks 24/9, 11 and 12, lies halfway between the Statoil-operated Sleipner fields and TotalFinaElf’s Frigg field on the border with the British continental shelf. Operator Statoil has a 35 per cent stake. The state’s direct financial interest has 30 per cent, whilst the other licensees are Amerada Hess (20 per cent) and Enterprise Oil (15 per cent).

31 Aug 2001

Byford drills the B prospect

The drilling rig Byford Dolphin has commenced drilling an appraisal well near the Sleipner area of the North Sea. The purpose of the well is to test the hydrocarbon potential in the B prospect in block 24/12. “We hope to make a large enough oil find that can be developed later,” reports sector manager Øivind A Dahl-Stamnes in the .... [+ read more] new areas, North Sea unit. The well is being drilled in production licence 204. The licence, which consists of blocks 24/9 and 24/12, was awarded in the 15th licensing round in 1996. The blocks lie half-way between the Statoil-operated Sleipner fields and TotalFinaElf’s Frigg field on the border with the UK continental shelf. A well was previously drilled in the licence, 24/12-3S. A small oil find was made there, but the proven reserves were not large enough to warrant a development. The well currently being drilled, 24/12-4, will test Palaeolithic sandstone layers. It will be drilled to a total depth of around 2,300 metres and is expected to be finished in the middle of September. Statoil is operator for the licence with a 35 per cent stake. The other partners are Petoro (30 per cent), Amerada Hess (20 per cent) and Enterprise Oil (15 per cent).

28 Aug 2001

Find in Gudrun well

Statoil has proven hydrocarbons in an exploration and appraisal well in the Gudrun structure in the Sleipner area of the North Sea. Well 15/3-7 was drilled in the eastern section of the structure. Hydrocarbons were encountered in Middle and Upper Jurassic sandstone intervals. The well was not production tested, but core samples were retrieved and extensive information was collected. .... [+ read more] “The results of the drilling will now be evaluated in terms of the potential reserves in Gudrun and in the rest of block 15/3,” reports Kjersti Seim, acting exploration manager for the area. Gudrun was found through two exploration wells drilled in 1975 and 1979, when oil, gas and condensate were proven. The reservoir turned out to be complicated with high pressure and high temperature, and the reserves were not sufficiently quantified. Well 15/3-7 has been a cooperation project between the licensees in production licences 025 and 187. BP is operator in 187 and Statoil in 025. Statoil has also been operator for the drilling. The licensees in licence 025 are Statoil with 46.8 per cent, BP (25 per cent), TotalFinaElf (18.2 per cent) and Norsk Hydro (10 per cent). The allocation in licence 187 is BP (25 per cent), Statoil (65 per cent) and Norsk Hydro (10 per cent).

21 Aug 2001

Drilling in record time on Åsgard

By using a rotary steerable drilling tool with mud motor, Transocean Winner recently drilled a well in record time on the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea. This is the first time on the Norwegian continental shelf, and only the second time in the world, that the PowerDrive drilling tool from Schlumberger has been used in conjunction with a mud .... [+ read more] motor. The Transocean Winner rig took just three and a half days to drill a 12¼ inch section to the top of the reservoir on the Åsgard field. Normally it would take seven and a half days to drill the 2,150-metre section. The day rate for drilling operations on the rig is around NOK 2 million. A motor was included to achieve a higher rate of penetration (ROP). When directional changes are made with the motor during conventional drilling, ROP is a quarter of that achieved with the new system. The production well was drilled on Smørbukk, which is a hard, deep, high temperature structure. "Not only do drilling operations take less time with the new system, it can also be used for more technically challenging wells," reports Rune Skotvold, lead drilling engineer in Åsgard resource development. He believes that rotary steerable drilling combined with mud motor may be the future on Åsgard, but adds that needs vary a great deal from one field to another. The system is best suited to the most demanding fields, says Mr Skotvold.

20 Aug 2001

Stena Don coming to Sandnes

The drilling rig Stena Don, which has been contracted by Statoil, is en route from the Kværner shipyard in Warnow, Germany, to the Offshore & Marine yard in Sandnes. The newbuilding left Warnow on Saturday 18 August, and will take around 7 to 10 days to complete the journey. Stena Don will be fitted with bow propellers and be .... [+ read more] tested in the Gands Fjord near Sandnes, south of Stavanger. Statoil has entered a five-year contract with Stena Drilling and expects the rig to be handed over sometime in the autumn. It has not yet been decided where the rig will operate. The rig is being transported on a barge until it has cleared the Øresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark. It will then be taken off the barge and towed to Sandnes, reports project manager Arne Jacobsen in Statoil's rig management unit. Stena Don is one of the latest generation of rigs. It is equipped with dynamic positioning and will not get in the way of flowlines or pipelines. The rig will therefore be very efficient, adds Mr Jacobsen. Stena Don can be used for most operations within exploration and production drilling, including well maintenance. It has been constructed to operate in winter conditions in northern waters.

8 Aug 2001

Rig move from Norne to Svale

Yesterday, 7 August, the drilling rig Borgland Dolphin was moved 10 kilometres from the Norne field in the Norwegian Sea to the Svale structure. “We are going to retrieve some measuring instruments that were left in the first well, 10-6,” reports Kjell Sirnes, project manager for Svale. At the same time, Statoil will test the production properties in the .... [+ read more] reservoir and confirm the reserves. If the test is successful and the volumes are confirmed, the plan is to develop the reservoir. The Svale structure was proven in May 2000. The field may be developed as a satellite tied back to the production ship on the Norne field. Both Norne and Svale lie in production licence 128, about 175 kilometres off northen Norway. Rig operations on Svale are estimated to last three to four weeks. Borgland Dolphin will then return to Norne to prepare a well for seawater injection.

20 Jul 2001

Oil find near Kristin

Oil has been found by Statoil with exploration well 6506/11-7 in the M structure of production licence 134B, about 10 kilometres north of its Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea. “This discovery is important for understanding and developing the area,” says Ørjan Birkeland, manager of the Halten/Nordland exploration sector. “It’ll also be significant for future exploration.” Saipem’s Scarabeo .... [+ read more] 5 drilled the well to a total depth of 4,942 metres below sea level in 356 metres of water, and encountered oil under high pressure in Jurassic sandstones. More than 100 metres of cores have been retrieved, and extensive logging carried out. A production test of the discovery recovered light oil from two different reservoir levels. The well was spudded on 15 January, and the rig is due to leave the site at the end of July. Apart from Statoil, with 48 per cent, licensees in the acreage are Agip (30 per cent), Norsk Hydro (12 per cent) and TotalFinaElf (10 per cent). See the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's press release (in Norwegian only).

12 Jul 2001

Historic first for Faroes

Statoil Faerøyene AS started drilling the Longan well off the Faroe Islands yesterday, 11 July. This is the first well ever to be drilled off the Faroes. Rolf Magne Larsen is senior vice president for international exploration. "It is an honour to be a party to the opening of a new area for oil and gas exploration," says Rolf .... [+ read more] Magne Larsen. "This is an important development for the Faroes and its people." The Longan well is located in the Atlantic Margin area, stretching from Western Ireland to Norway, where Statoil holds substantial exploration acreage. The water depth for this operation exceeds 900 metres. "We have used Statoil's extensive experience as an operator in the North Sea in our preparations for the drilling. We therefore feel confident that the operations will be efficient and have minimal impact on the environment," says Mr Larsen. Statoil Faerøyene is drilling the Longan well on licence 003, which was awarded to the company by The Ministry of Petroleum of The Faroe Islands in August 2000. The prospect is located 130 kilometres south-east of the Faroes, close to the UK continental shelf. The rig used for the Faroese drilling is the semi submersible Sovereign Explorer. Statoil Faerøyene is operator and holds 35 per cent of the licence. The other partners in the licence are Phillips Petroleum Europe Exploration (30 per cent), Enterprise Oil Exploration (20 per cent) and Veba Oil & Gas Faroes (15 per cent).

29 Jun 2001

Duster off Ireland

Statoil Exploration Ireland has completed exploratory drilling of the Sarsfield Prospect off Ireland without finding any hydrocarbons. The well has been plugged and abandoned. Initial findings indicate that the Sarsfield Prospect does not contain reserves of oil or gas. Sarsfield is located in the Porcupine Basin, about 170 kilometres west of County Kerry. Over the coming months Statoil Exploration .... [+ read more] will analyse the data from the well to determine whether further exploration will be carried out in this area. Having completed drilling, the Transocean rig Sovereign Explorer is now on its way to the Faroes. According to Egil Endresen in Statoil Exploration Ireland, these results are disappointing. "But we were always cautious with our outlook. We have obtained valuable drilling data which we will study in the coming months to ascertain if further exploratory drilling in the area is an option at some future date", says Mr Endresen. Statoil Exploration is committed to the Irish continental shelf and has interests in seven licences. The Atlantic Margin, which stretches from off western Ireland to northern Norway, is one of the most important areas in the group's international exploration operations. Statoil Exploration Ireland holds a 42 per cent interest in Sarsfield and is operator on behalf of its partners Chevron, Conoco, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana Petroleum.

29 May 2001

Oil find in Svale

Statoil has proven oil in an appraisal well drilled in the Svale structure in the Norwegian Sea. The find confirms previous reserve estimates and can strengthen the case for development of this reservoir. Project manager for Svale, Kjell Sirnes, says that the intention of the well, which proved oil in a Jurassic sandstone layer, was to help determine the extent .... [+ read more] of the reservoir and its flow properties. “We’ve taken core samples and carried out extensive logging of the well. The results, which will be available in one month, will form the basis for a new evaluation of the reserves in the structure,” he says. The Svale structure was proven in May 2000. Plans calls for the development of Svale as a satellite linked to the production ship on the Norne field. Well 6608/10-7 was drilled by the Borgland Dolphin rig. The Norne field and the Svale structure lie in production licence 128, about 175 kilometres off the coast of mid-Norway.

22 May 2001

Irish well spudded

The first exploration well on the Sarsfield prospect west of Ireland has been spudded by Statoil from Transocean’s Sovereign Explorer rig. Expected to take about 52 days to complete, the well lies in the Porcupine basin about 170 kilometres off County Kerry and in 650 metres of water. Doing the work on behalf of Statoil Exploration Ireland, Sovereign Explorer arrived .... [+ read more] off the Republic recently after completing an assignment in North African waters. The Sarsfield well ranks as the first to be drilled by Statoil on the Irish continental shelf since 1997. According to Egil Endresen, managing director of Statoil Exploration Ireland, the operation forms part of the group’s commitment to the Atlantic Margin. Extending from west of Ireland to northern Norway, this area is one of the most important for Statoil’s international exploration operations. Results from the well are expected in the autumn, once all the analyses have been completed. Statoil Exploration Ireland has a 38 per cent interest in Sarsfield, with Conoco, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana as its partners.

22 May 2001

Giant leaves Yme

Mærsk Giant, the jack-up rig which has served as the production platform on Statoil’s Yme development, left this North Sea field yesterday, 21 May. In operation on Yme since production began in 1996, it is now under tow to Esbjerg in western Denmark for conversion to new assignments. Work on shutting down the field and removing its installations is .... [+ read more] on schedule, reports operations vice president Sissel Moldskred. The Maersk Jutlander drilling rig is due to arrive at the end of this week to plug the four production wells on the Yme Beta structure. Following this work, which is expected to take about 60 days, a specially-equipped vessel will remove the remaining seabed structures. The loading buoy left by departed storage tanker Navion Saga is also due to be taken away during the summer. Once all the equipment has been recovered, a final inspection will be made to ensure that the area being relinquished can be used for other operations. Stand-by vessels will remain on the field until all the seabed equipment which could cause problems for fishing activities is removed.

10 May 2001

Drilling on Gudrun

The West Alpha drilling rig has started drilling an exploration and appraisal well on the Gudrun field in the North Sea. “The purpose is to prove sufficient amounts of oil, gas and condensate to develop the Gudrun find,” says Lars Jan Jaarvik, exploration manager for the Troll/Sleipner area. The find has been localised in block 15/3, about 45 kilometres north .... [+ read more] of the Sleipner East field. Gudrun was found through two exploration wells drilled in 1975 and 1979, when oil, gas and condensate were proven. The reservoir turned out to be complicated with high pressure and high temperature, and the reserves were not sufficiently quantified. Well 15/3-7 is a project in cooperation between the licensees in production licences 025 and 187. Statoil is the operator in PL 025, and is also operator for the drilling. BP has joined as a new partner in PL 025 and it is also the operator in PL 187. The well is to be drilled to a total depth of 4,800 metres. Middle and Upper Jurassic sandstone intervals will be assessed. The operations are planned to be completed at the beginning of August. Statoil has a 46.8 per cent share in PL 025, BP has 25 per cent, TotalFinaElf has 18.2 per cent and Norsk Hydro has 10 per cent.

25 Apr 2001

Small find in Gullfaks area

Statoil has proven hydrocarbons in an exploration well in the Gullfaks area of the North Sea. The find is currently not considered to be commercial. The well was drilled in block 34/10, production licence 050B, in a separate structure roughly 10 kilometres south-west of the Gullfaks field. Eirik Graue, who was project manager of the well, says that a .... [+ read more] thin hydrocarbon zone with good properties was proven. This was most probably oil, but the well was not production tested. Measurements of the pressure in the reservoir, however, provided promising information, both in respect of this find and with a view to future exploration in the area. “Even though the find is probably not commercial this time, the volumes may be large enough to justify a sidetrack from a nearby template in the future,” he says. The rig Transocean Wildcat completed the drilling in 48 days, well ahead of schedule. Total vertical depth was 3,220 metres, but the well track has a total length of 5,725 metres, travelling diagonally and partly horizontally through Jurassic, Triassic and Cretaceous rocks. Statoil is the operator in production licence 050B and has an 18 per cent interest. The other partners are the state’s direct financial interest (SDFI) with 73 per cent, and Norsk Hydro with nine per cent.

10 Apr 2001

Parallel drilling on Glitne

Time and money have been saved on Statoil’s Glitne development in the North Sea by completing the wells in parallel rather than sequentially. When working on four producers and an injector on the field, Byford Dolphin departed from the normal one-at-a-time approach by drilling all the upper parts first and then the lower sections. “The licensees have probably saved NOK .... [+ read more] 30-35 million with this procedure,” says Gunnar Sund, manager for drilling and well operations on Glitne. The wells have now been completed and are being readied for production. Testing of the producers started this weekend. Production ship Petrojarl 1 will bring the field on stream in July, with an expected producing life of roughly 30 months. Once Byford Dolphin has completed its work, anchors for Petrojarl 1 will be set and flexible risers prepared for retrieval from the seabed and connection once the ship is in place.

6 Apr 2001

Drilling west of Kristin

Transocean Arctic has started drilling an exploration well in the Erlend structure five kilometres west of the Kristin field on the Halten Bank. The purpose of the drilling is to prove gas and condensate in the northern part of the Erlend structure. The well is being drilled in production licence 257, which was awarded in the 16th offshore licensing round. .... [+ read more] The total depth will be around 5000 metres, and the work is estimated to take 76 days. A minor gas find was previously made in the southern part of the structure. Exploration drilling is also taking place in the M-prospect twelve kilometres north of the Kristin field. Plans call for the Scarabeo 5 rig to complete this drilling at the end of April. The licensees are considering developing the Kristin field with a production platform fully equipped with processing facilities for gas and condensate. Such a solution provides maximum flexibility with regard to linking up to other deposits in the area. Sector manager Ørjan Birkeland in Halten/Nordland exploration says that the results from these wells will have an impact on the long-term development of this part of the Halten Bank. Arrangements will be made for any finds to be hooked up to the Kristin platform. The aim is to present the plan for development and operation to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in June this year.

5 Apr 2001

West Epsilon leaving Sleipner

The work of moving the drilling rig West Epsilon from Sleipner West in the North Sea to the Elf operated Frøy field in the Frigg area has begun. Statoil will sublease the rig, which has finished drilling the production wells on Sleipner West. The contract with Elf is for 280 days. There then remains about one year of the hire .... [+ read more] contract with rig owner Smedvig. West Epsilon has been specially adapted to operate on the well head platform Sleipner B on the Sleipner West field. Before the rig leaves the field, the derrick will be skidded back from Sleipner B on to West Epsilon. The rig will then be jacked down to sea level. The legs will be released from the seabed before the rig is towed ashore by two tugs. Both operations set strict requirements to weather conditions. On land, the rig will be prepared for the assignment on the Frøy field, which has a similar well head platform to Sleipner West. Statoil will carry out an turnaround on both Sleipner West and Sleipner East when West Epsilon is moved. The turnaround came into effect on Saturday 31 March. According to installation manager Einar Holmemo on Sleipner A, it will last eight days on Sleipner East (the A platform) and nine days on Sleipner West (T and B platforms). One of the major tasks is to replace the flare nozzles on the flare booms on Sleipner A and Sleipner T with new nozzles.

30 Mar 2001

Ready to spud well 1000

The drilling rig Borgland Dolphin is ready to start drilling exploration well number 1000 on the Norwegian continental shelf some time this weekend. The well will be drilled on the Svale field near Norne in the Norwegian Sea. Appraisal well 6608/10-7 in production licence 128 will be drilled on behalf of the operator Statoil. Drilling is scheduled to take 55 .... [+ read more] days. Sector manager Roger Inge Johansen at the Harstad office of Exploration & Production Norway says that the objective is to survey the chemical composition in the water zone and confirm the reserves in the Svale field. In order to clarify this, it is necessary to drill quite deep into the reservoir, towards the areas where the oil comes into contact with water. Project manager for Svale, Kjell Sirnes, says that depending on the results of the drilling, the licence group will consider submitting a plan for development and operation at the end of the year. The plan is to develop the deposits as a satellite linked to the production vessel on the Norne field. Production could start towards the end of 2003, provided that the authorities give their approval. Statoil has a 40 per cent share in production licence 128. The other licensees are the state’s direct financial interest (25 per cent), Norsk Hydro (13.5 per cent), Norsk Agip (11.5 per cent) and Enterprise Oil (10 per cent).

8 Mar 2001

Drilling off Ireland

Statoil plans to drill the first exploration well on the Sarsfield prospect on the Irish continental shelf sometime this spring. Drilling will be carried out by the rig Sovereign Explorer, which will arrive at the field in May. The Sarsfield prospect lies in the Porcupine Basin west of Ireland. Drilling will take place in licence no 8/95 at a .... [+ read more] water depth of around 650 metres. Other partners in the exploration licence include Conoco UK, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana Petroleum. Statoil has chosen Fenit harbour on the west coast of Ireland as the base to provide support for the rig in connection with drilling. According to Egil Endresen, head of Statoil’s exploration off Ireland, the main reason Fenit was selected was because the harbour lies near the field and is well developed. Statoil will be able to utilise the existing infrastructure at the harbour. Statoil has previously drilled one exploration well on the Connemara field in the Porcupine Basin. Results showed that it was not profitable to develop that field.

7 Mar 2001

Duster in the Barents Sea

Statoil has finished drilling an exploration well on the Delta structure south east of the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea. The well was dry. The purpose of the drilling was to prove oil in the Jurassic sandstone of the Delta structure in block 7121/5. This would strengthen the possibilities of a profitable development of the petroleum resources in the .... [+ read more] Snøhvit area. Drilling was carried out by Transocean Arctic to a total depth of 2265 metres below sea level and terminated in rock of the Triassic period. Only traces of oil and gas in the Jurassic and Triassic sandstone layers were proven. “The result was disappointing, and the possibility of developing the petroleum resources in the Snøhvit area has been weakened,” says Erik Henriksen, exploration manager for the Barents Sea. Statoil has collected around 60 metres of core samples and the well has been logged extensively. Statoil is the operator for production licence 110 in block 7121/5, about 120 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest. Production licence 110 is one of seven licences in the coordinated Snøhvit area.

20 Feb 2001

Drilling on the Danish shelf

Statoil will drill a well on the Stine prospect on the Danish continental shelf. Stine lies about seven kilometres east of the Statoil operated Siri field off Esbjerg. According to technical consultant Albert Johnsen, oil has already been proven in the area. Statoil now wants to determine if the find is profitable enough to develop. The drilling rig Noble .... [+ read more] George Sauvageau has been hired to drill the well. Drilling, which will start in the middle of May, is estimated to last 20 days. If it is proven that the find is commercial, the plan is to drill a further well. This will be a production well on Siri or Stine, depending on the outcome of the initial well. If it is commercial, the oil will be produced from the Siri platform. Stine is in the same licence as Siri. The partners are Statoil (40 per cent), Dansk olie- og naturgas (20 per cent), Enterprise (20 per cent), Phillips (12.5 per cent) and Denerco (7.5 per cent).

19 Feb 2001

Drilling new well in the Barents Sea

Statoil has commenced drilling a new exploration well in the Delta structure in block 7121/5 south east of the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea. Transocean Arctic began drilling in the structure, which lies 120 km north west of Hammerfest, on 16 February. This is the same rig that recently found oil and gas for Statoil on production licence 202 .... [+ read more] in the North Cape basin. Drilling is important to clarify the oil potential in the area around Snøhvit, says Erik Henriksen, who is in charge of exploration in the Barents Sea. The purpose of the drilling is to determine whether there are hydrocarbons in sandstones from the Jurassic period. The plan is to drill to a total depth of 2184 metres, whilst the water depth at the drilling site is 345 metres. The licensees in Snøhvit intend to send a plan for development and operation (PUD) to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in summer 2001. An important part of this work is to evaluate alternative solutions for profitable development of the petroleum resources in the Snøhvit area, says Mr Henriksen.

5 Feb 2001

Transocean Wildcat rig repairs

The Transocean Wildcat rig, which is currently drilling for Statoil, will be taken to land for repairs following the discovery of cracks in a number of diagonal bracings. The cracking was revealed during an internal inspection by rig owner Transocean Sedco Forex at the end of last week. Due to leave the Gullfaks field in the North Sea on .... [+ read more] Tuesday 6 February, the Aker H-3 semi-submersible will arrive at the Hanøytangen yard near Bergen the next morning. Repairs are expected to take 14 days. The rig had just finished drilling well 34/10-13H in the Rimfaks reservoir when the damage was discovered. Plans to move the rig to drill an exploration well on the Gullfaks field have been postponed, says Hermod Johansen, manager for resource utilisation in Gullfaks satellites. Transocean Wildcat was also brought to land for repairs last November, after cracks were found in the horizontal bracings, during an annual routine inspection by Det Norske Veritas. According to Mr Johansen, the damage discovered now is in an area not examined during the last workover.

2 Feb 2001

New find in Barents Sea

Statoil has found oil and gas in production licence 202 in the North Cape Basin, roughly 130 kilometres north-east of Norway's North Cape. The exploration well was drilled in a structure close to a salt diapir, a model not previously explored in the Barents Sea. In 288 metres of water, the well was drilled to a total depth of .... [+ read more] 2,824 metres below sea level. The find was proven in Triassic sandstone. According to Erik Henriksen, sector manager for the Barents Sea area, it is too early to comment on recoverable resources. Drill rig Transocean Arctic has taken about 100 core samples and extensive logging of the well has been carried out. Further tests are continuing and the data collected will be analysed to determine the size of the find. Statoil is assessing whether appraisal wells should be drilled. Operator Statoil has a 25 per cent share in the licence. The other licensees are the state's direct financial interest (SDFI) with 30 per cent, Amerada Hess (25 per cent) and Norsk Hydro (20 per cent).

29 Jan 2001

Drilling north of Kristin

An exploration well is being drilled for Statoil by Scarabeo 5 north of the group’s Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea. Targeted at a separate structure in the 134 B licence, this operation aims to check whether gas and condensate are present. It is due to take 96 days to reach a depth of 5,000 metres. “The results of .... [+ read more] this well could be significant for further development of Kristin,” comments sector manager Ørjan Birkeland. Before the Saipem-operated rig laid a course for the Norwegian Sea, it was upgraded to drill for Statoil and Shell in structures with high temperature and pressure. Shell is due to use the unit later on a well which has similarities with the current operation.

30 Aug 2000

Azeri President inaugurates jack-up rig

His Excellency Mr Heydar Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, inaugurated the new Keppel FELS-built jack-up rig in Baku, Azerbaijan on 29 August 2000. At the same ceremony, the rig was named Qurtulus, which means salvation or revival in Azeri. The rig will be formally delivered to Transocean Sedco Forex in early September, some two months ahead .... [+ read more] of contracted schedule. It is the first new rig of international standard to be completed in the Caspian Sea and enters the market at a time when the Caspian Sea is facing a severe shortage of such drilling rigs.

14 Feb 2000

Keppel FELS delivers ENSCO 101 to ENSCO

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), Keppel FELS Energy & Infrastructure Ltd’s wholly-owned subsidiary engaged in offshore construction, conversion and repair, has delivered ENSCO 101 to ENSCO Offshore International Company (ENSCO). Keppel FELS undertook the engineering and construction and provided the rig’s marine equipment. The total value of the rig is estimated to be around US$150 million. Said Mr Carl .... [+ read more] Thorne, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of ENSCO International Inc, at the christening ceremony of the rig on 14 February 2000, "We are very happy with the on time and within budget delivery of ENSCO 101. We were confident of Keppel FELS’ capabilities given their track record in the offshore drilling construction industry and they have certainly lived up to their reputation." "The success of ENSCO 101 is the result of the excellent teamwork displayed by the Keppel FELS and ENSCO project teams over the past two years. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with ENSCO on this rig, which is one of our most successful designs," commented Mr Choo Chiau Beng, Chairman/Managing Director of Keppel FELS Energy & Infrastructure Ltd. ENSCO 101 is an enhanced Keppel FELS Mod V Jack-Up Drilling Rig designed and built to operate in water depths of up to 350 feet in harsh environments and up to 450 feet in more benign environments.

24 Sep 1999

Keppel FELS completes US$10 million repair

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), the offshore arm of Keppel FELS Energy & Infrastructure Limited, has completed a US$10 million contract to repair Tam Dao, a jack-up drilling rig from Vietnam-Russian joint venture company, Vietsovpetro. Tam Dao, an MSC CJ 50 design rig, was built by Keppel FELS in 1988. It has since been operating well in Vietnam and .... [+ read more] giving the owner/operator good commercial returns. The last repair of the rig done by Keppel FELS was in 1992. Said Mr Tong Chong Heong, Executive Director of Keppel FELS, “We are pleased to have taken on this project with our long-time client, Vietsovpetro, with whom we have worked since the late ‘80s when we delivered Tam Dao to them. This project highlights Keppel FELS’ capability in providing value-added jobs like repair in addition to construction and conversion for the offshore market.” Under the contract, Keppel FELS overhauled the rig’s main generators, repaired its blowout preventer (BOP) units and jacking structures. Keppel FELS also replaced some of the rig’s drilling equipment and refurbished its existing derrick. The rig’s electrical, piping, automation and electronic systems were also repaired. Drydock works which include complete painting of the hull have been carried out.

21 Sep 1999

Keppel FELS delivers Galaxy III to Santa Fe

Keppel FELS Limited (Keppel FELS), a subsidiary of Keppel FELS Energy & Infrastructure Ltd, has delivered Galaxy III to Santa Fe International Corporation (Santa Fe). Keppel FELS undertook the engineering and construction while the rig's drilling equipment was furnished by Santa Fe. The total value of the rig is estimated to be around US$179 million. The rig .... [+ read more] was christened in Singapore on 18 September 1999 and will depart shortly for the North Sea, where it will be working in the UK's North Sea sector for BP-Amoco.