Photo: Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Vår Energi

Aker BP cleared to drill wildcat well in North Sea

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Aker BP a drilling permit for a wildcat well in the North Sea offshore Norway.

The well 16/1-35 S is targeting a prospect named Styggehøe, located in the production licence 1141. The licence is operated by Aker BP with a 70 per cent interest while the remaining 30 per cent interest is held by Equinor.

The well is scheduled to be spud this month, using Saipem’s Scarabeo 8 rig. Aker BP awarded a drilling contract worth $325 million to Saipem in March 2022. The three-year contract was scheduled to start in 4Q 2022. The contract also includes the option of two one-year extensions and encompasses potential upsides among which are a performance bonus scheme and a mechanism of rate adjustment to market rates from the third year onward.

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Scarabeo 8 is a Saipem semi-submersible drilling rig able to work in harsh environments. It is a dual derrick deepwater unit with a dynamic positioning system and with enhanced mooring capabilities.

Aker BP has also already secured consent from the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to use the Scarabeo 8 rig to drill this wildcat well. The water depth at the site is 108 meters.

Aker BP has been busy this year making progress with some of its projects and, as a result, it will submit PDOs for several oil and gas projects by the end of the year.