Another offshore drilling rig has been terminated by oil major Statoil, as the slump in both the drilling sector and the global oil price continues to bite.
The latest offshore driller to be cut is Seadrill’s West Hercules, a semi-submersible that had been working Statoil’s Aasta Hansteen field, bringing the tally of rigs to be terminated early from Seadrill’s fleet to two this year.
The move reinforces the current austere outlook on the offshore drilling rig, with rig contracting activity at its lowest, a situation that is not expected to change soon.
Another Drilling Rig Terminated By Statoil
The West Hercules rig had been originally contracted for drilling in Norway with North Atlantic Drilling. The rig had been on contract with the Norwegian major since 31 January 2013 and had been carrying out an exploration campaign offshore Newfoundland in Canada over the past 18 months.
The original plan was for the Aasta Hansteen licence to take over the rig in the second quarter of this year, for a drilling campaign to be start in July. However, Statoil has decided to postpone the start-up of the field until the second half of 2018, which has also delayed the field’s drilling programme.
Seadrill will receive a payment of approximately US$61 million (£42.04 million), as well as cost associated with the demobilisation of the rig.
Seadrill Drilling Rigs
This is the second notice of termination received by Seadrill this year. Earlier this month, the company received a similar communication from ExxonMobil, for its West Capella drillship. The rig was expected to perform work at the Usan field in Nigeria.
Seadrill has eight other working rigs, with two contracts set to expire in 2017 and two in 2018.
This new termination comes to prove the offshore drilling industry is still struggling and Seadrill is not the only company to be in this position. In fact, Noble, Ocean Rig, Transocean and Pacific Drilling have all faced recent contract cancellations.
West Hercules Rig
The West Hercules is an ultra deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig, delivered in 2008 by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Okpo Shipyard in South Korea.
The Hercules has been designed with the capacity to operate in a maximum water depth of 9,850 feet (3,002 m) and drill to a maximum depth of 32,800 feet (10,000m).