The Newfoundland and Labrador offshore will welcome a new drill rig to the area when Statoil brings in the semi-submersible West Aquarius.
Statoil announced Monday it will use the West Aquarius, part of the Seadrill fleet of rigs, as a means to move forward with exploration work in the province’s offshore.
“We have ambitious exploration targets offshore Newfoundland, and securing rig capacity is essential for reaching those targets,” stated Geir Richardsen, head of exploration for Statoil in Canada, in a news release Monday.
“We look forward to putting this rig’s capabilities into action.”
The West Aquarius was built in South Korea in 2009 and has most recently been used in Southeast Asia.
It can operate in harsh environments, up to 3,000 metres water depth and has been taken on as an assignment from ExxonMobil Deepwater Rig Ltd.
The West Aquarius will be used to drill a series of three exploration wells in late 2012. Two of the wells will be in the Flemish Pass Basin and the third in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin.
“I am pleased that the company has acquired future rig capacity as exploration activity is a key component of Statoil’s ambitions to become a producing operator offshore Newfoundland,” said Kjell Magnus Myge, head of procurement for Statoil in Canada.
With operations in 37 countries around the world, the company has two main offices in North America — in Houston, Texas, and Calgary, Alberta — but also maintains offices in other cities, including St. John’s.