Niko Resources has signed a four-year charter contract with a subsidiary of Diamond Offshore, a deepwater drilling contractor.

The $700m-plus contract has an option of one additional year and will commence between 1 June and 15 August 2012.

The rig Ocean Monarch will be deployed for exploration activities across Niko’s exploration portfolio, reports your oilandgasnews.

The rig is a fifth-generation semi-submersible vessel capable of operating in water depths up to 10,000ft and a drilled depth of up to 35,000ft.

Canada-based independent oil and gas operator Niko has stake in 16 production-sharing contracts (PSCs) in Indonesia.