ExxonMobil has awarded a contract to Odfjell Drilling covering a rig destined to operate offshore eastern Canada next year.

The supermajor and Equinor have been the most active drillers in Newfoundland & Labrador in recent years, with the US giant earlier this year abandoning an exploration probe on the Hampden prospect.

ExxonMobil’s contract covers the charter of Seadrill’s Hercules — formerly the West Hercules — semi-submersible, for which Odfjell now provides marketing and management services.

The contract is due to begin in the second quarter of 2023 and run for a firm period of about 135 days.

The supermajor has also secured an approximate 60-day extension option.

The semisub recently completed a two-well campaign offshore Newfoundland for Equinor and is currently en route to Norway.

It is due to arrive in Bergen next month after which Odfjell will take over the rig’s management.

Odfjell Drilling chief executive Kjetil Gjersdal said: “Since signing the management agreement with SFL [Seadrill] for Hercules [in May], we have worked hard to facilitate the rig being deployed on contract and are very pleased by today’s announcement.

He added that this contract represents the first time that Odfjell has worked in “the key harsh environment market of Canada”.

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