Aug. 10 (UPI) -- A $68 million agreement puts a deep water rig on patrol offshore Norway for nine months starting in February, the companies involved said Thursday.
Odfjell Drilling, trading on the Oslo exchange, announced a contract with Aker BP for the lease of its Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig. The deal puts the rig at "various locations" in the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea for nine months starting in February.
"The contract with Aker BP is an important opportunity for Odfjell Drilling to demonstrate its continued exceptional track record and develop a relationship with potentially one of Norway's largest oil companies," CEO Simen Lieungh said in a statement.
The agreement is an indication that exploration and production trends are recovering after dropping off during the weak market that prevailed for most of last year. One of the first companies out of the gate with second quarter results, Aker BP reported production of 145.3 million barrels of oil equivalent, an increase of 14.8 percent from the previous quarter.
The company said it expects to produce between 135 million barrels of oil equivalent and 140 million barrels of oil equivalent per day for all of 2017, an upward revision of about 5 percent. About half of the 18 billion barrels of oil equivalent yet to be discovered in Norwegian waters are in the Barents Sea.
Odfjell Drilling said its rig would move over to Aker BP's hands after German energy company Wintershall completes its contract at the Maria field offshore Norway. Wintershall estimates the Maria field holds about 180 million barrels of oil equivalent and most of that exists as oil.