TRONDHEIM, Norway -- Det norske oljeselskap has contracted Aker Drilling’s harsh-environment semisubmersible Aker Barents for a two-year period from July 2012 to July 2014. The company’s current rig contracts expire in 2012. This new charter will give Det norske sufficient capacity for its Norwegian deepwater and Barents Sea operations for the next four years. The contract carries an option for a further two years.
Det norske says it will attempt to satisfy its drilling needs in more mature areas of the continental shelf by chartering rigs on a well to well basis, or by participating in consortia.
The company adds that it intends to participate actively in Norway’s 21st licensing round, and having access to rigs to drill in areas covered by that round is critical to bidding for the most promising prospects.Aker Barents can operate in deep waters and in the Barents Sea, Det norske says, pointing out that access to these types of rigs is very limited.
In recent years, Det norske has had up to three rigs under contract at the same time off Norway. The Bredford Dolphin’s contract expired in 2010, while the contract for the Songa Delta is due to expire in 2012.