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

Aker BP gets all-clear to deploy Noble rig at North Sea oil & gas 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) revealed on Monday, 6 March 2023, that it had given Aker BP consent to use the Noble Invincible jack-up rig at the Edvard Grieg field in production license 338.

Located in the Utsira High area in the central North Sea, 35 kilometres south of the Grane and Balder fields, the Edvard Grieg field was discovered in 2007, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 2012. The field is developed with a fixed installation with a steel jacket and full process facility, and it utilises a jack-up rig for drilling and completion of wells.

The production started in 2015 and the field receives power from shore through the area solution for the Utsira High. The total P2 reserves for Edvard Grieg are currently estimated at 379 million barrels of oil equivalent, compared with the 186 million estimated when the plan for development and operation was approved. 

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 that the drilling contractor 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).

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As reported at the end of February 2023, nine of Noble’s thirteen jack-ups are contracted, and 55 per cent of total available jack-up days across the firm’s fleet are contracted throughout 2023. The company’s $1 billion jack-up backlog is heavily weighted to the Noble Integrator and Noble Invincible rigs’ commitments under the Aker BP alliance.