Statoil cancels West Hercules rig contract with Seadrill

Statoil ASA has cancelled a contract with Seadrill Ltd. for the West Hercules semisubmersible drilling rig. The contract was to expire in 8 months on Jan. 31, 2017. Seadrill said it will receive a lump-sum payment of about $61 million plus reimbursement for costs associated with rig demobilization.

The rig has been on contract with Statoil since Jan. 31, 2013. For the past 18 months, it has been involved in an exploration campaign offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.

Statoil said the original plan was for the rig to move to the Norwegian Sea for a drilling campaign that was to start around July 1 in the Aasta Hansteen license (OGJ Online, Jan. 8, 2013).

But in fall 2015, it was decided to postpone Aasta Hansteen production startup for 1 year until the last half of 2018. The field drilling program also was postponed in part because Statoil said “it is not preferable to complete the wells too early before production startup.”

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