Odfjell Drilling has secured a NOK1.5bn ($175m) contract from Germany based oil and gas producer Wintershall to deploy its semi-submersible Deepsea Stavanger for production wells drilling on the Maria field in the Haltenbanken area on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.


Under the contract, Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig which will be used by Wintershall to drill six wells on the Maria Field starting from April 2017.

The contract, which also has provision for additional wells, comes on heels of approval of the NOK15.3bn ($1.85bn) plan for development and operation (PDO) for the Maria field by the Norwegian Petroleum and Energy Ministry to Wintershall.

Wintershall Maria project director Hugo Dijkgraaf said: "Maria is a major subsea development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and this is only the second major rig contract signed in 2015."

Wintershall and Odfjell will work closely to drill three production wells in each of two subsea templates in the Maria field.

Work under the contract is scheduled to commence on 1 April 2017 and would last for 574 days.

Odfjell Drilling CEO Simen Lieungh said: "This contract is an important addition to Odfjell Drilling’s order backlog and increases the company’s earnings visibility during a challenging market cycle."

"We have secured a very efficient rig on highly competitive terms that will help us to maximise value from the Maria field," Dijkgraaf added.

The Deepsea Stavanger rig is currently serving BP in Angola as part of a contract, which is scheduled to expire in November.

Located about 20km east of the Kristin field and about 45km south of the Heidrun field in the Halten Terrace , the Maria field is scheduled to commence production in 2018.

Wintershall Norge operates the field with 50% stake while Petoro owns 30% interest. Centrica Resources (Norge) holds the remaining 20% stake in the field.

Image: Maria oil field is located about 20km east of the Kristin field. Photo: courtesy of Wintershall Holding GmbH.