Oil and gas services provider Ensco has secured a contract to support Stone Energy’s multi-year deep-water drilling programme in the Gulf of Mexico.
The contract will allow Stone Energy to use the ENSCO 8503 semisubmersible deep-water drilling rig for its programme.
The rig will be modified to include mooring capabilities before the start of the contract, which will initially run for 30 months.
The semisubmersible drilling rig can reach a maximum drill depth of 35,000ft in up to 8,500ft of water.
The contract is expected to start in the second quarter of 2015 at a rate of about $350,000 a day.
Stone Energy has options to extend the contract’s term for an additional year.
The company may reduce the 30-month primary term contract by about six months, subject to notification no later than 31 March 2015.
Stone Energy chairman, president and CEO David Welch said: "We are excited to execute our first Stone-operated multi-year deep-water drilling contract. Over the past five years, with great effort and diligence, we have developed a robust deep-water prospect inventory and the signing of the ENSCO 8503 allows us to further harvest the potential of these prospects.
"This contract will allow Stone to better control the pace of execution of our deep-water drilling plans, which includes both development and exploration projects. We look forward to having Ensco, a premier deep-water drilling contractor, as our partner in this multi-year program."
Ensco CEO and president Carl Trowell said: "We are very pleased to expand our relationship with Stone Energy, a repeat customer of our ENSCO 8500 Series semisubmersibles.
"ENSCO 8503 has an excellent safety and operating record, and we look forward to supporting Stone Energy with their deep-water drilling program."
Stone Energy has stakes in more than 100 lease blocks in the Gulf of Mexico.
A majority of the company’s prospects and projects are located in the northern-Mississippi Canyon and southern-Viosca Knoll regions, approximately 100 miles south-east of New Orleans, Louisiana.