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Ocean Rig Drillship to Drill for Chariot Offshore Namibia

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Chariot Oil & Gas Limited, the Africa focused independent oil and gas exploration company, has, together with its partner Enigma Oil & Gas (Pty) Limited, reached an agreement with Ocean Rig UDW Inc. to use the Ocean Rig Poseidon drillship for drilling of the Kabeljou (2714/6-1) well on the Nimrod prospect, offshore Namibia.

The drillship is expected to arrive on location in July 2012, after its current contract expires. The drilling operations will commence shortly after the arrival.

The Nimrod prospect is located in the Orange Basin in Southern Block 2714A where Chariot has a 25% equity interest. The Kabeljou well is expected to take approximately 2 months to drill. The drilling location is 77 km offshore Namibia in 360 metres of water with an estimated total drilling depth of 3,100 metres true vertical depth subsea (“TVDss”).

This is the second well to be drilled in Chariot’s 4 to 5 exploration well programme offshore Namibia.

Paul Welch, CEO of Chariot, commented:

“We are very pleased to be advancing with our drilling programme and eagerly anticipate the spud of the Kabeljou well with our partners. Nimrod is one of the biggest prospects due to be drilled worldwide this year and we look forward to being able to update the market with further news on this hugely significant well in due course.”

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Ocean Rig Corcovado Starts Drilling Offshore Brazil

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Ocean Rig UDW Inc., a global provider of offshore deepwater drilling services, today announced that on May 15, 2012,  its Ocean Rig Corcovado drillship completed the general testing of equipment as required by Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras.

The drillship has now commenced revenue-generating drilling operations in Brazil. The Ocean Rig Corcovado will stay with Petrobras for three years on a contract worth approximately $650 million.

This is the second Ocean Rig’s drillship under a contract with Brazil’s state controlled Petrobras. The company’s Ocean Rig Mykonos drillship had started drilling offshore Brazil in March this year under a similar contract.

Ocean Rig’s drillships are based upon the Saipem 10K design, and built by a proven shipyard, Samsung Heavy Industries. They are a successful and well proven design complete with full dual derrick enhancements to ensure optimal operational efficiency.

The company owns and  operates 9 offshore ultra deepwater drilling units, comprising of 2 ultra deepwater semisubmersible drilling rigs and 7 ultra deepwater drillships, 3 of which remain to be delivered to the company during 2013.

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Cyprus: Ocean Rig Receives LoA for its UDW Drillship

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Ocean Rig UDW Inc., a global provider of offshore deepwater drilling services, headquartered in Cyprus, today announced that it has received a Letter of Award for its ultra deepwater drillship “Ocean Rig Olympia”, from a major oil company.

The Letter of Award is for a three- year contract for drilling offshore West Africa, with an estimated backlog of approximately $652 million. The Letter of Award is subject to completion of definitive documentation and receipt of regulatory approvals. The  contract is expected to commence in direct continuation of the Ocean Rig Olympia’s  existing contract in West Africa. The customer would have the option to extend the  contract for two periods of one year each, with the first option exercisable within one  year from the commencement date under the drilling contract, and the second option  exercisable within one year after the date of exercise of the first option.

With this latest fixture, Ocean Rig no longer has any rigs available in 2012.

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Statoil, ExxonMobil Strike Gas Off Tanzania

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Statoil and partner ExxonMobil confirmed that the Zafarani-1 well in Block 2 offshore Tanzania has encountered indications of natural gas in a good quality reservoir.

Drilling operations are still on-going and it is too early to give any indication of size and commerciality, Statoil said in a statement.

The well was spudded in early January 2012 and drilling operations are expected to take up to a total of 3 months to complete.

The well is being drilled by the drill ship Ocean Rig Poseidon and is located some 80 kilometers off mainland Tanzania.

It is the first exploration well that has been drilled in the license which covers an area of approximately 5,500 square kilometers. The water depth at the well location is 2,582 meters and the well itself is planned to reach a total depth of 5,150 meters.

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Statoil operates the license on Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and has a 65% working interest with ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Tanzania Ltd. holding the remaining 35%.

Statoil has been in Tanzania since 2007 when it was awarded the license for Block 2.

TPDC is pleased about these preliminary results and is eagerly awaiting further information on this operation,” says Yona Killaghane, Managing Director of TPDC.

The final assessment of what has been encountered will be released at a later stage once drilling operations have been completed and the well results fully analyzed, Statoil said.

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Brazil: Petrobras Agrees Contracts for 26 Drilling Rigs

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Petrobras, the state-controlled Brazilian oil giant, announces the result of the negotiation with Sete Brasil and Ocean Rig, which had submitted offers for the charter and operation of drilling rigs to be manufactured in Brazil.

A source close to the matter told Reuters that Petrobras would pay an aggregate $76.3 billion over 15 years to lease the rigs.

The Company approved the contract for 21 offline rigs with Sete Brasil, at an average daily rate of US$ 530 thousand and the contract for 5 dual activity rigs with Ocean Rig, at the average day rate of US$ 548 thousand, both for a 15-year term.

All units, which have local content requirements ranging from 55% to 65%, are to be delivered within 48 to 90 months, according to the schedules established in the contracts. The project includes the construction of new shipyards in the country and the use of existing infrastructure.

The contract also includes the possibility of reducing average daily rates if PIS/COFINS exemption is granted and depending on the final financing conditions agreed between the companies and the Brazilian Development Bank – BNDES. Petrobras expects to reduce the average daily rates to US$ 500 thousand for the Sete Brasil contract and to US$ 535 thousand for the Ocean Rig contract. These amounts may suffer further reductions if the parties detect and agree to mechanisms that reduce operating costs.

With these contracts, the Company completes the plan to contract 28 drilling rigs to be built in Brazil to meet the demands of the long-term drilling program, primarily for use in pre-salt wells. Based on the conditions submitted by the companies and on the current demand for the development of future projects, the Company chose to take advantage of the negotiated conditions and contract five additional which were not originally planned.

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Pacific Scirocco Drillship Begins Work in Nigeria

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Pacific Drilling, a growing offshore drilling company that provides global drilling services to the oil and natural gas industry through the use of ultra-deepwater drillships announced today that the Pacific Scirocco drillship commenced operations offshore Nigeria on December 31, 2011.

The drillship is contracted for an initial one-year term to a subsidiary of a French oil and gas giant, Total S.A. The contract further provides for options, to be exercised at the client’s discretion, which could result in up to four additional years of contract term.

The Pacific Scirocco is an upgraded Dual Activity Samsung 12000 design dynamically-positioned drillship capable of operating in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drilling wells 40,000 feet deep.

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South Korea: Samsung Heavy Receives Order to Build Drillship for Ocean Rig

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Samsung Heavy Industries , the world’s second-largest shipbuilder, said on Thursday that it had received an order worth 659.8 billion won ($612.3 million) to build a drillship for Ocean Rig .

The shipper exercised the option for an additional ship under a deal with Samsung on April 19, Samsung said in a statement.

The Korean shipyard added that it would deliver the vessel by end-October, 2013.

By Ju-min Park(Reuters)

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