The contract, signed on 16 September, also covers the supply of personnel to operate the rig.

Burgan focuses on providing drilling and maintenance services to oil and gas companies. It was set up in 1970 and listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in December 2005.

KOC expects to hit its 3 million-barrel-a-day (b/d) oil production capacity target by the end of 2008, following a multi-billion-dollar field modernisation programme (MEED 13:6:08).

The state-run firm has also confirmed plans to boost production to more than 1 billion cubic feet a day of gas in the future, almost six times the current output.