Offshore driller Seadrill has secured a firm contract for one well and one drill stem test with Statoil for the West Saturn drillship in Brazil.
According to Statoil’s statement on Thursday, the exploration drilling with the Seadrill rig will be done in the BM-S-8 license in the Santos basin offshore Brazil, which contains parts of the Carcará pre-salt oil discovery.
The agreement includes two contracts where Seadrill Offshore will provide the drillship West Saturn and Seadrill Serviços de Petroleo Limitada will provide services on board.
The contract also includes a number of option wells to be drilled in blocks where Statoil has license and operatorship. Statoil can exercise these options based on the results of the firm exploration program and may deploy the West Saturn across its Brazilian assets, given regulatory approval.
West Saturn is expected to start operations between December 1, 2017 and March 1, 2018. The backlog for the firm portion of the contract is expected to be approximately $26 million.
Under the contract, Statoil intends to drill the independent Guanxuma prospect.
The West Saturn will be upgraded with a managed pressure drilling (MPD) system which is expected to be utilized as part of the upcoming work scope. The Saturn represents the fifth unit managed by Seadrill equipped with MPD equipment.
The West Saturn is a 6th generation ultra-deepwater drillship, built in 2014 and equipped to drill in water depths of up to 12,000 feet (3600 meters).
“Clearly it is not a given that we find what we hope for, but if we are successful Guanxuma could be another significant discovery in this highly prolific basin,” said vice president for exploration in Brazil, Ana Serrano Onate.
Following the Guanxuma well, Statoil plans to perform a drill stem test on the Carcará discovery.
“Testing the Carcará discovery will provide important information for developing the field. In addition, Statoil is evaluating its options for the Northern open area licensing round, expected in October 2017,” said Anders Opedal, country manager for Brazil.
Earlier this week, Statoil announced an agreement that will increase the company’s interest in the BM-S-8 licence from 66% to 76%.