ExxonMobil’s contract with the West Alpha semi-submersible is about to reach its expiration date, which could mean some 200 jobs would be lost at North Atlantic Drilling (NADL).
In the meantime, the semi-sub is on a lease to ExxonMobil in Norway until the end of July, for a day rate of US$506,000 (£347,179), Norwegian online newspaper Offshore.no reported.
“Those concerned have been notified and this is a difficult time for us”, North Atlantic Drilling spokesperson Arild Bertnsen told Offshore.no.
Offshore Drilling Job Cuts As Rig Contract Ends
According to Bertnsen, the prospect looks “equally bleak” in the short-term and it should have a deep effect on our staff when the rig goes off contract.
By the end of this year, NADL, the operator of West Alpha, is expected to count on two out of eight rigs operating in Norway, if there are no new contracts in the meantime.
ExxonMobil had plans to drill its first operational well in Norway in four years with a wildcat lined up at the Prince prospect in the North Sea. The US explorer intends to use West Alpha to drill the well in production licence 027, near its Balder and Righorne fields.
North Atlantic Drilling Gets Jurong Extension
Meanwhile, Seadrill North Atlantic Drilling announced a second amendment has been agreed with Jurong Shipyard to extend the standstill period by a further three months to September 2, 2016 for the sixth generation harsh environment semi-submersible drilling rig West Rigel.
With this extension, North Atlantic and Jurong will be able to continue to explore commercial opportunities for the unit and in case, these is no employment secured for the unit, the company and Jurong will form a Joint Asset Holding Company for joint ownership, to be owned 23% by North Atlantic and 77% by Jurong.
A previous agreement had been announced in December last year, between the two companies, for the delivery of West Rigel.