Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Vår Energi

Aker BP getting ready to spud North Sea prospect with Saipem rig

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.

Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Vår Energi

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) revealed on Wednesday, 15 February 2023, that it had given Aker BP consent for exploration drilling in block 25/2 in the North Sea.

The prospect, Øst Frigg Beta, is located in production licence 873, which was awarded on 10 February 2017 and is valid until 10 February 2026. Aker BP is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 47.7 per cent, while its partners, Equinor, and Lotos Exploration and Production Norge, hold the remaining 40 and 12.3 per cent interest, respectively.

The water depth at the location is around 110 metres and the drilling operations for the well 25/2-24 S will be carried out with the Scarabeo 8 semi-submersible rig, which was hired on a three-year deal, worth $325 million, in March 2022. This consent also covers the drilling of pilot hole 25/2-U-12 and three optional side tracks: 25/2-24 AY1, 25/2-24 AY2 and 25/2-24 B.

Scarabeo 8 is a sixth-generation dual derrick deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig capable of working in harsh environments with a dynamic positioning system and enhanced mooring capabilities. This rig can accommodate 140 people and its maximum drilling depth is 35,000 ft.