Noble Invincible (former Maersk Invincible); Source: Noble Corporation

Aker BP all set to use Noble rig at North Sea field

Norwegian oil and gas company Aker BP has received consent from Norway’s offshore safety regulator to use one of the Noble Corporation-owned rigs for operations on a field located in the North Sea off Norway.

Noble Invincible (former Maersk Invincible); Source: Noble Corporation

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) recently revealed that it had given Aker BP consent to use the Noble Invincible jack-up rig at the Valhall field in the Norwegian sector in the North Sea. Discovered in 1975, the Valhall field is situated in a water depth of 70 metres. The initial plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 1977 and production from the field started in 1982.

While a PDO for a wellhead facility (WP) was approved in 1995 and for a water injection platform (IP) in 2000, a PDO for two wellhead platforms on the northern and southern flanks was approved in 2001. This was followed by a PDO for Valhall redevelopment, which was approved in 2007, and included an accommodation and processing platform (PH) to replace ageing facilities on the field.

In addition, a PDO for Valhall Flank West was approved in 2018 and entails a normally unmanned wellhead platform. Aker BP intends to extend Valhall’s lifespan with the development of the Valhall PWP-Fenris project in the southern part of the North Sea. This development includes a new process and wellhead platform (PWP) bridge connected to the Valhall field centre, and an unmanned wellhead platform on Fenris that will produce through a 50-kilometre pipeline to Valhall PWP. 

The 2014-built Noble Invincible is a Gusto MSC CJ70 X150 MD jack-up rig, designed for year-round operations in the North Sea and featuring the capability to operate onshore power. It can accommodate 179 people. Capable of working in a water depth of 492 ft, the rig’s maximum drilling depth is 40,000 ft.

Previously, Aker BP contracted the rig under the frame agreement with Maersk Drilling in 2017 when the Aker BP Jack-up Alliance, including Halliburton, was established. In May 2022, the Norwegian player hired the rig on behalf of the Ivar Aasen licence for the drilling of three infill wells, which was not part of the deal to renew the frame agreement disclosed on 18 December 2021.

The Noble Invincible rig secured more work with Aker BP after the Norwegian player entered into drilling and wells alliance agreements in January 2023 with Noble Corporation, Odfjell Drilling and Halliburton to carry out drilling activities on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).