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Oil companies Statoil and Eni have awarded Bristow a contract for one search and rescue (SAR) helicopter and one transport helicopter in Hammerfest.

Both the Sikorsky S-92 helicopters would be used for production, development and exploration operations in the assets situated at Barents Sea.

The transport helicopter can be converted to an SAR based on the requirement.

Each contract has an initial period of five years, as well as an option for an extension of up to three years.

Statoil intends to use the contracts for the Johan Castberg field, subject to an investment decision by the end of this year.

The helicopters are scheduled to be used for drilling operations on the Snøhvit field and support Statoil’s exploration operations in the Barents Sea.

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The contract will start from September next year.

Statoil Joint Operations Support senior vice-president Philippe Mathieu said: “These long-term contracts mean that Hammerfest will be an important helicopter base for us for many years to come.

“Hammerfest has the infrastructure and expertise to provide efficient helicopter services, and of particular importance, the helicopter base is close to our operations in the Barents Sea.”

"These long-term contracts mean that Hammerfest will be an important helicopter base for us for many years to come."

The helicopters are equipped with best available technology (BAT) for safe offshore operations, while the SAR helicopter will be installed with newly developed night vision goggles (NVG) and other search technologies to improve its rescue capability.

Statoil chief procurement officer Pål Eitrheim said: “The contract has been awarded following great interest and good competition in the market.

“At the same time, the cooperation with Eni means that we can use the helicopter resources efficiently, and maintain a sound helicopter service from Hammerfest, with transport and search and rescue capacity.”

Bristow Group specialises in providing industrial aviation services including maintenance and training worldwide.

Image: The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter. Photo: courtesy of Morten Sundt.