Statoil has the option to extend the contract with one to four years on the same terms and conditions. The jack-up rig of the Gusto MSC CJ70 150A design is currently under construction at the Jurong shipyard in Singapore.

The rig is scheduled to be completed at the end of the first quarter 2011. Seadrill will exercise its option to purchase the drilling unit from the Jurong shipyard for approximately $350m, excluding owner furnished equipment, loose drilling equipment, capitalized interest and project management.

Alf Thorkildsen, CEO of Seadrill Management, said: “This assignment strengthens the industrial cooperation between Seadrill and Statoil, benefiting the development of the Norwegian Continental Shelf, bringing a new and advanced drilling unit into the region.

“This is our third consecutive term contract with Statoil within the last four weeks. The three contracts have a total estimated value of approximately $1.8bn, making Statoil one of Seadrill’s prime clients globally.”