Switzerland-based Noble has secured a drilling contract from Statoil for a newbuild ultra-high specification jackup rig for the Mariner field in the UK sector of the North Sea.

Noble said the four year primary term contract has an estimated total value of $655m, including mobilisation.

The company has estimated the delivered costs to be around $690m, including project management, spares and start-up costs.

Under the contract, Noble will construct the ultra-high specification jackup to be a modified version of Statoil’s ‘Cat J’ specification.

The jackup rig, which will have a maximum total drilling depth capacity of 10,000 metres (about 33,000 feet), will be designed to operate in water depths of up to 150 metres (492 feet) in harsh environmental conditions.

The rig can be deployed either as a surface or subsea blowout preventer while drilling wells in tough environments, said the company.

Based on the proven Gusto MSC CJ-70-150 design, the rig will include a number of features designed to further improve its operating capability.

"Noble said the four year primary term contract has an estimated total value of $655m, including mobilisation."

The rig can optimise HSE focus and is suited for operations across a very large platform or in a subsea configuration in the Norwegian sector.

Noble is currently in the final stages of negotiating a contract for the construction of the new jackup.

Noble chairman, president and chief executive officer, David W. Williams, said: "This unit is designed to meet some of the industry’s most stringent operating requirements and supports Noble’s ongoing commitment to increasing the technological and operational capabilities of our fleet."

"Furthermore, constructing this unit for use on a sanctioned project reduces our risk and enhances future shareholder value," Williams added.

Image: The Mariner ultra-heavy oil field is located in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), in the northern North Sea.