Aberdeen-based oil company Talisman Sinopec Energy UK has agreed a £290million deal with US firm Transocean to use its Sedco 712 drilling rig.
Projects the rig will be used on include the £1.6billion Montrose Area Redevelopment (MAR) project about 140 miles east of Aberdeen.
It is one of the most significant North Sea developments in recent years and the first of its kind to be launched since the UK Government’s introduction of brownfield tax allowances last year.
Yesterday’s rig deal was unveiled in the same week that engineering firm Subsea 7 said it had signed a £188million contract with Talisman Sinopec to instal a six-mile bundle of pipelines at the MAR project.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey, who was in the Granite City yesterday to welcome the deal, said: “A substantial amount of Talisman Sinopec’s £1.6billion investment has been won by UK companies, creating or sustaining around 2,000 skilled jobs across the country.”
The project will link existing fields with two undeveloped areas, Cayley and Shaw, and will develop about 100 million barrels of new reserves, with production expected to start in 2016.
Talisman Sinopec chief executive Geoff Holmes said: “It is a strong and clear signal of our intentions this year to significantly upscale our North Sea activities, investing in the sector and supporting the wider UK economy.”