Northern Offshore, Ltd. (Oslo Bors: NOF.OL) reported on May 5 that upon completion of the third well of a five-well drilling program for VietGazprom offshore Vietnam, the drillship Energy Searcher underwent an inspection that identified repairs needed to the ship's hull prior to the rig returning to drilling operations. The company intends to move the rig to Singapore to make the necessary repairs. Although preliminary and subject to further inspection in the shipyard, the company estimates downtime for the rig of at least six to eight weeks, including transit to and from the yard. Cost estimates will be prepared once the final scope of work has been defined.
During the period the rig is in transit to Singapore, commencing on or around May 5, 2010, and under repair, the VietGazprom contract continues at zero dayrate. Upon completion of the repairs, the rig is expected to return to Vietnam to resume drilling operations under the contract.