A 16-month, $16 million (including options) contract to service new Statoil Snøehvit production platforms in the Barents Sea has been awarded to Norsk Helikopter.
Services will begin in October, with Norsk providing one de-iced Super Puma to carry passengers and a SAR-equipped Super Puma Mk 2 on 24-hour offshore search-and-rescue standby. Both helicopters will be based at Hammerfest, in northern Norway.
Although winter conditions in the Barents Sea, which lies to the North of Norway, can be unpredictably fierce, commercial director Geir Tynning told AIN that the helicopters can still offer 97- to 98-percent dispatch reliability. “Normal transit altitude is 500 feet over the water. Additional exploration drilling in the Snøehvit area will begin by the end of the year. Four exploration wells are planned for Statoil and Norsk Hydro, so this is a potential growth area for us.”
Norsk will take delivery of two new Sikorsky S-92s in November. The Bergen, Norway-based aircraft are expected to start operations for Statoil before year-end.