North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., in which Seadrill has a 75 percent ownership, has taken delivery of the new harsh environment jack-up drilling rig, West Elara from Sembcorp Marine’s Jurong Shipyard in Singapore. The rig is expected to depart Singapore on August 11 and arrive at Westcon Shipyard in Ølen, Norway in early October in order to undertake final contract preparation activities. The West Elara is expected to begin operations for Statoil on a five- year contract during late November 2011.
The West Elara is the first of two Gusto MSC CJ70 150A rigs to be constructed for North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. The rig is an advanced, ultra large, harsh environment, high specification drilling unit, specifically built for Norwegian requirements and matching the specifications of the largest jack-up drilling units in the world. The unit can operate in water depth up to 150 meters with a higher variable deck load and a higher operating efficiency than earlier generation jack-ups. The size of the unit allows for additional opportunities in terms of logistics, well testing and early production.
Alf C. Thorkildsen, Chief Executive Officer in Seadrill Management AS and Chairman of North Atlantic Drilling Ltd, said, “We are pleased to take delivery of the West Elara, the first of two new ultra large and harsh environment jack- ups to be added to the North Atlantic Drilling fleet. We look forward to seeing this new and advanced drilling unit operating on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, creating growth for North Atlantic Drilling ahead of its listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange, increasing our presence in this key region and further strengthening our relationship with Statoil, one of our most important customers.”
August 9, 2011