Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Aker BP gearing up to drill North Sea wildcat

Norwegian oil and gas player Aker BP has secured a drilling permit from the country’s authorities for an exploration well in the North Sea off Norway. The drilling work is expected to be carried out using one of Odfjell Drilling’s rigs.

Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) disclosed on Tuesday, 30 May 2023, that it had granted Aker BP a drilling permit for the well 30/11-15. The programme for this well entails drilling a wildcat well in production licence 035, which was awarded on 14 November 1969 and is valid until 31 December 2023. Aker BP is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 50 per cent, while its partner, Equinor, holds the remaining 50 per cent interest.

The well is expected to be drilled in June 2023 with the Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig, which received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017. Equinor hired this rig in May 2021 for a firm period of three wells. The rig’s contract with the Norwegian player started in February 2022.

Furthermore, the company added additional wells to the contract for the rig in September 2021March 2022May 2022, at the start and end of July 2022, September 2022, and in May 2023. These wells are expected to keep the rig booked into the first quarter of 2024.

The 2010-built Deepsea Stavanger rig is a sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible of an enhanced GVA 7500 design. It is capable of working at water depths of up to 3,000 metres. It has eight mooring lines and can accommodate 157 people. The rig’s drilling depth capacity is 10,670.