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Chevron on the lookout for a tender assist rig

US supermajor hunting for deep-water semisub unit for drilling at Block 14 off Angola

US supermajor Chevron is seeking a semi-submersible tender assist rig to carry out a drilling campaign running for at least two years at its operated Block 14 off Angola.

Drilling contractors said that Chevron is looking for a deep-water rig that will operate at the Tombua-Landana field under a two-year firm contract. The deal is set to include an option for another two years of work.

Drilling is expected to start at the end of next year or in 2019 with work set to take place at the Tombua-Landana compliant piled tower in 1200 feet of water, and possibly also at Chevron's Benguela-Belize compliant tower which hosts out put from the Lobito-Tomboco subsea satellites.

The tender has drawn participation from specialists such as UK-headquartered Seadrill, which is offering the West Vencedor, Malaysia’s SapuraKencana Drilling, which is offering two rigs — SKD Jaya and SKD Esperanza — and Energy Drilling offering the Edrill 3.

The West Vencedor has been working for US oil company ConocoPhillips off Indonesia in the South Natuna Sea since 2016. Medco Energi has since acquired ConocoPhillips' ownership interests in the South Natuna Sea and has assumed responsibility for the drilling contract for the rig.

In May this year, Medco exercised two of a potential seven optional wells for the unit which is expected to keep it busy until next month.

The SKD Java is currently stacked after completing a contract for development drilling for UK supermajor BP at Trinidad & Tobago in April last year.

The SKD Esperanza has been working for Anglo-Dutch giant Shell on an 18-month drilling campaign with options for extension for up to another 18 months at the Malikai deepwater project off Malaysia.

Energy Drilling’s Edrill 3 is now warm stacked at Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry’s Guangzhou facilities after having been completed in 2015. The rig was ordered in 2013 by Energy Drilling.

Chevron produced first oil from the $3.8 billion Tombua-Landana compliant tower in 2009, with the project expected to reach production rates of 100,000 barrels per day from recoverable resources at the two fields that were estimated at 350 million barrels. The 200,000-bpd capacity BBLT project produced first oil back in 2006.

Chevron is the operator of Block 14 with a 31% interest. Partners include Angolan state oil company Sonangol on 20%, Italy's Eni with 20%, France's Total alongside Japan's Inpex with 20% and Portugal's Galp Energia with 9%.

Meanwhile, Energy Drilling is believed to have had the contract extended for its second tender rig Edrill 2 from June to Feb 2019 for continued drilling at PTTEP’s Zawtika project off Myanmar.

PTTEP has also extended the contract for Energy Drilling's first rig Edrill 1 for another two years from October, having completed three years of work for the operator, also at Zawtika.