Oil operator Xcite Energy has secured the 'Rowan Norway' jack-up drilling rig for its operations in the Bentley oilfield in the UK North Sea.

Xcite Energy Resources, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xcite Energy, signed an extension to a binding letter of intent with British American Offshore, part of Rowan Companies, for the N-Class ‘Rowan Norway’ jack-up rig.

The LOI has been extended by mutual consent to 31 January 2011 with no amendment to the existing termination fee payable by Xcite Energy Resources in the event it does not enter into a definitive agreement by this date.

The N-class rig is a harsh environment, deep water jack-up unit, designed and built for simultaneous drilling and production.

The agreements in place call for a six-well initial drilling program covering 240 days and the deal carries a $2.5m termination fee.