Exploration and production company Wintershall Noordzee has awarded a long-term contract to Dutch drilling contractor Swift Drilling for Swift 10 drilling rig.

The 300ft Gusto MSC SEA-2750 fully automated drilling rig will be used by Wintershall Noordzee to undertake plug and abandonment campaign in Dutch and German sectors of the North Sea.

The contract, which will be effective from this summer, is expected to have duration of up to four years.

Swift Drilling, a part of Van Es Holding, will provide the Swift 10 rig to Wintershall Noordzee for plug and abandonment of offshore wells on the Continental Shelf.

Van Es Holding CEO Erwin Lammertink said: “We’re extremely happy to revive the Swift 10 for Wintershall Noordzee. Together we share the ambition to create a long-term cooperation to P&A wells safe, efficient and economical as one team.

“The cooperation with Wintershall Noordzee aiming at the realization of our shared ambition so far has been enjoyable and the right basis for successful P&A campaign.”

Swift Drilling said that the Swift 10 rig, which is currently located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will be revitalised and restarted following its LTI free campaign for Shell/Nam.

In a press statement, Swift Drilling said: “Both parties see the cooperation as a start of a new era, whereby old wells are plugged and abandoned according to the latest standards and protecting the environment of the North Sea.”

Wintershall Noordzee is a joint venture between Wintershall Dea (50%) and Gazprom EP International (50%).

It operates 15 producing platforms and four subsea installations in the Dutch, English, German and Danish sectors of the North Sea.