Seadrill, an offshore deepwater drilling company, has received a letter of award from Total E&P UK for the deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig West Phoenix on the UK Continental Shelf.

The letter of award represents a multi-well contract with an estimated three-year contract period, and the contract value is approximately $488m. Commencement of the assignment is scheduled for January 2012, in direct continuation of the present contract with Total E&P Norge.

West Phoenix is a sixth generation DP3 semi-submersible drilling rig equipped with full dual capacities enabling enhanced drilling performance, Seadrill said.

Alf Thorkildsen, CEO of Seadrill Management, said: “We are pleased to report another long term contract for one of our harsh environment drilling units. The new contract reinforces our strong relationship with Total and expands our operational footprint for mobile drilling units to include the UK Continental Shelf.”