Photo: Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Vår Energi

Aker BP gearing up to drill North Sea well

Norwegian oil and gas player Aker BP has received consent from Norway’s offshore safety regulator for exploration drilling in the North Sea off Norway, which will be carried out using one of Saipem’s semi-submersible rigs.

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) revealed earlier this week that it has given Aker BP consent for exploration drilling in block 25/4 in the North Sea.

The prospect, Ve, is located in production licence 919, which was awarded on 2 March 2018 and is valid until 2 March 2027. Equinor is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 65 per cent, while other licensees are ConocoPhillips Skandinavia (20 per cent), and ABP Norway (15 per cent).

The water depth at the location is around 119 metres and the drilling operations for the well 25/4-15 will be carried out with the Scarabeo 8 semi-submersible rig.

Back in March 2022, a three-year deal, worth $325 million, was awarded to Saipem for this rig. As disclosed at the time, this contract, which includes two one-year extension options, was scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Scarabeo 8 is a dual derrick deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig capable of working in harsh environments with a dynamic positioning system and enhanced mooring capabilities.

Over the past few months, Aker BP has been putting the wheels into motion to progress some of its oil and gas projects and plans to submit PDOs for several of them by the end of the year.