Norway's Statoil has terminated its contract with COSL Offshore Management for the semisubmersible drilling rig COSL Innovator, which it was using on the Troll field in the Norwegian North Sea.
One man died and two more wre injured after a wave hit the rig on 30 December last year. It was being taken off a well in the Troll field as a result of bad weather at the time.
In addition, Statoil has decided to stop drilling operations with a sister rig, COSL Promoter, "when it is safe to discontinue well operations. This is done in order to enable COSL to implement the necessary actions in order to fulfil the requirements of the contract."
Statoil has given little by way of explanation for the move and COSL has said it will seek legal actions to protect its rights and interests if necessary.
Statoil said: “The conditions for terminating the contract signed with COSL Offshore Management have in our opinion been met, and we therefore choose to use our contractual right to terminate the contract,” said Geir Tungesvik, Statoil’s senior vice president for drilling and well.
The firm said the decision may have some short-term consequences for planned drilling activities at Troll, but it would not impact long-term production.
COSL Innovator is one of COSL's three semisubmersible drilling facilities constructed at the Yantai Raffles Shipyard in China. All three had been working for Statoil.
COSL Innovator started its eight-year contract with Statoil on the Troll field in November 2012.
COSL Promoter started work for Statoil in January 2013 under an eight-year contract with Statoil on Troll. The third unit, COSL Pioneer, started a five-year contract with Statoil in August 2011.
COSL's fourth rig, the COSL Prospector, was delivered in late 2014 and had been working in the South China Sea. COSL also operates two accomodation units, COSL Rigmar and COSL Rival.
Troll celebrated its 20th year in production last September. It was discovered by Shell in 1979. Statoil took over as operator in 1996. The field comprises the main Troll East and Troll West structures in blocks 31/2, 31/3, 31/5 and 31/6.
The field, considered to be the one of the largest on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, lies in the northern part of the North Sea, around 65km west of Kollsnes, near Bergen, Norway
Statoil operates the Troll A, B and C platforms with 30.58% interest. Partners are Petoro (56%), Norske Shell (8.10%), Total E&P Norge (3.69%), and ConocoPhillips (1.62%).