Norway-based Statoil ASA (STO) has inked a contract with Maersk Drilling for leasing a brand new jackup rig to be employed in the Dagny field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). The rig belongs to the CJ-70 class and is the third of this type to be constructed in the shipyard of KeppelFels in Singapore at a cost of approximately $605 million. The contract is for a term of four years with two one-year options.  

Earlier in 2012, Statoil and its partners had selected the concept of a fixed processing platform for linking the gas to the Sleipner field while liquids were transferred by ship. Prior to finalizing on any investment decision, the chosen solution will have to pass various design studies to ensure its quality.

The final decision is anticipated by year-end 2012 or early 2013. Per the plans, production drilling is expected to begin by mid 2015. The first oil is estimated by the end of 2016, as the installation of the platform is likely to be completed by mid 2016. Pre-drilling is likely to enhance the productivity of Dagny.

Dagny field is located about 30 kilometers north of Sleipner with Eirin field situated 9 kilometers from Dagny. Statoil's key developments in the region comprise Dagny and Eirin, which are estimated to contain recoverable oil and gas reserves of 300 million barrels jointly.

The company expects to invest about NOK25-30 billion for the development of both Dagny and Eirin fields. The reservoir reaches a depth of about 3,500 meters with a water depth of about 120 meters.

Per the initial shareholdings in the Dagny licenses -- PL029, PL029B, PL048 and PL303 - Statoil, ExxonMobil Corporation (XOM), Total SA (TOT) and Det norske oljeselskap ASA hold 58.5%. 33%, 6.5% and 2%, respectively.

Statoil's continuous efforts to build a strong resource portfolio are aimed at increasing production through increased exposure to large energy resources with a long reserve life.

Statoil holds a Zacks #3 Rank, which is equivalent to a Hold rating for a period of one to three months. Longer term, we maintain our Neutral recommendation on the stock.

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Tickers in this Article: STO, TOT, XOM

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