Statoil gives nod to use of one of the world’s biggest rigs

April 16 (UPI) — An award for drilling in Norwegian waters from one of the nation’s biggest companies shows the sector is closely knit, a contractor said Monday.

Odfjell Drilling said it signed a conditional letter of intent with Norwegian major Statoil for an 18-month drilling contract using its Deepsea Altantic rig.

“The contract is another important milestone for Odfjell Drilling in maintaining a close relationship with one of our key clients on the Norwegian Continental Shelf,” CEO Simen Lieungh said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate gave Statoil consent to move the Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig to a section of the North Sea to tap into a prospect awarded to the company in 1985. The well is considered a wildcat, an area not known previously to contain hydrocarbons, and it’s the nineteenth well to be drilled in this particular area.

Statoil started using the company’s Deepsea Bergen drill ship in February.

Odfjell has worked alongside Statoil on its mega Johan Sverdrup oil field. The multi-billion dollar investment could be producing as much as 660,000 barrels of oil per day by 2022. After unveiling nearly $3 billion in contracts for the project, Statoil said Johan Sverdrup would continue to spin value into the Norwegian energy sector.

The Deepsea Atlantic rig is among the largest in the world. Drilling could begin during the first quarter of 2019.