Venture in dispute over drillship fees

Russian state-owned company Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka is trying to re-negotiate an agreement for use of the drillship Deep Venture.

Offshore staff

OSLO -- Russian state-owned company Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka is trying to re-negotiate an agreement for use of the drillship Deep Venture.

Venture Drilling AS is paying the company a bareboat hire rate of $21,000/day for use of the vessel, under an agreement signed in 2005. The drillship is contracted to work for Maersk Oil Angola through January 2011 at a rate of $495,000/day.

According to Venture, Arktikmorneftegazrazvedja and Russia’s State Property Agency have now determined that the bareboat agreement was entered into before market rates increased. Therefore they do not carry the necessary approvals from the Russian authorities.

The Russian contractor has approached Venture in an attempt to renegotiate the agreement, including re-delivery of the drillship in 2011. But Venture counters that the bareboat agreement is regulated by Norwegian law, and has threatened legal action if necessary to protect its interests in the Deep Venture.

06/12/2009

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