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 $421m. Statoil has an option to extend the contract from three to four years by 1 November 2010. The value of the contract will then increase to about $553m. 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 $394m. 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.
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.