Stone to lease Ensco 8503 deepwater rig

Stone Energy Corp., Lafayette, La., has agreed to lease the Ensco 8503 dynamically positioned deepwater drilling rig for Stone’s multiyear deepwater drilling program in the Gulf of Mexico.

The rig, which will be modified to include mooring capabilities prior to the commencement of the contract, can reach a maximum depth of 35,000 ft in as much as 8,500 ft of water.

The primary contract term is for 30 months and is expected to commence during second-quarter 2015 at a rate of $350,000/day. The contract permits Stone to exercise options to extend the term up to an additional 12 months, or reduce the 30 month primary term contract by up to 6 months.

“We are excited to execute our first Stone-operated multiyear deepwater drilling contract,” said David Welch, Stone chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “This contract will allow Stone to better control the pace of execution of our deepwater drilling plans, which includes both development and exploration projects.”

The company in April discovered oil in the deepwater Cardona South well on the gulf’s Mississippi Canyon Block 29 (OGJ Online, Apr. 28, 2014).

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