Noble Integrator jack-up rig; Source: Noble Corporation

Aker BP gets thumbs-up for hydrocarbon search in North Sea with Noble rig

Norwegian oil and gas player Aker BP has secured a drilling permit for an exploration well in the North Sea off the coast of Norway, which is expected to be drilled this month using one of Noble Corporation’s jack-up rigs.

Noble Integrator jack-up rig; Source: Noble Corporation

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD) has granted a drilling permit for well 24/6-5 in production license 203 to Aker BP. This license was awarded on February 2, 1996, and is valid until February 2, 2032.

The drilling permit comes shortly after the Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) granted the company consent to undertake exploration drilling in the North Sea on the Alvheim Deep prospect.

As the license operator, Aker BP has an ownership interest of 80% while its partner, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, holds the remaining 20% stake. The water depth at the location is around 120 meters.

The spudding of the well 24/6-5 will be undertaken with Noble Corporation’s 2014-built Noble Integrator jack-up rig, which can accommodate 150 people. Capable of working in a water depth of 492 ft, the jack-up’s maximum drilling depth is 40,000 ft.

Aker BP contracted the rig under the frame agreement with Maersk Drilling in 2017 when the Aker BP Jack-up Alliance, encompassing Halliburton, was established. In December 2021, a deal to renew the frame agreement was disclosed.

The Noble Integrator rig won more work with the Norwegian player after the firm entered into drilling and wells alliance agreements in January 2023 with Noble Corporation, Odfjell Drilling, and Halliburton to undertake drilling activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).