FTSE 250-listed upstream oil and gas resource operator Ophir Energy and FTSE 100-listed BG Group have extended the Deepsea Metro I drillship contract for a further 18 months to facilitate continuous drilling in Tanzania and Kenya.
In an operational update issued on Thursday, Ophir Energy reported that it had secured a drilling rig and executed a letter of agreement for a rig share assignment with BG Group for the continuation of its 2013-2014 East African offshore drilling programme.
The Deepsea Metro I (DSM-1) drillship is currently being used by the Ophir-BG Group Joint Venture in Tanzania and Ophir Energy reported that the contract, which had been due to expire in June, had been extended for a further period of at least 18 months.
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By extending the DSM-1 contract, Ophir said that the parties would save on the cost of mobilising a drillship from another region, thereby reducing the drilling effective day rate.
Nick Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Ophir Energy, commented: "We are very pleased to secure the extension of the Deepsea Metro I drillship, which has already been operating safely, efficiently and successfully for the Ophir-BG Group joint venture for 17 months."
"This will provide continuous exploration and appraisal activities in Tanzania through 2013 and 2014 and, in particular, enables us to plan for tests of the outboard prospectivity of block 1 and block 7 in September and November 2013 respectively."
Ophir Energy's share price was up 1.38% to 398.10p at 08:55 and BG Group's share price was up 1.39% to 1,201p at 08:56 on Thursday.
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