Photo: Maersk Invincible jack-up rig; Source: Maersk Drilling

All systems go for Aker BP to deploy Maersk rig on North Sea field

Norwegian oil and gas company Aker BP has received consent from Norway’s offshore safety regulator to use one of Maersk Drilling-owned rigs for drilling operations on a field located in the North Sea off Norway.

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) reported last Friday that it has given Aker BP consent to use the Maersk Invincible rig for drilling activities on the Ivar Aasen field. In addition to completion of wells 16/1-D-13A and 16/1-D-9C, this consent includes plugging, geological side steps, side step drilling and completion of well 16/1 D-8 A/B/C/D.

Ivar Aasen; Source: Aker BP
Ivar Aasen; Source: Aker BP

Maersk Invincible is an ultra-harsh environment CJ70 XLE jack-up rig, designed for year-round operations in the North Sea and featuring the capability to operate onshore power. It was delivered in 2016 and is currently operating for Aker BP offshore Norway.

Aker BP contracted this rig under the frame agreement with Maersk Drilling from 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 is not part of the deal to renew the frame agreement that the drilling contractor disclosed on 18 December 2021.

While announcing the deal for the Ivar Aasen drilling campaign, Maersk Drilling revealed that the Maersk Invincible rig was scheduled to complete a special periodic survey as well as implement hybrid, low-emission upgrades similar to the ones previously installed on Maersk Intrepid and Maersk Integrator, before starting the contract at Ivar Aasen.

Located in the northern part of the North Sea, 30 kilometres south of the Grane and Balder fields, the Ivar Aasen field lies at a water depth of 110 metres. It was discovered in 2008, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 2013. The development of the field comprises a production, drilling and quarters (PDQ) platform with a steel jacket and a separate jack-up rig for drilling and completion. The production at the Ivar Aasen field started in 2016.

Ivan Aasen area Source Aker BP
Ivan Aasen area; Source: Aker BP

According to Aker BP, the oil and gas from this field are transported to the Edvard Grieg platform for final processing. Afterwards, the oil is exported to Grane Oil Pipeline, which is connected to the Sture terminal while the gas is exported in a separate pipeline to the British shelf.

While Ivar Aasen receives power from the Edvard Grieg platform, Aker BP outlined that it will receive power from shore this year from the Johan Sverdrup platform. The field’s recoverable reserves are estimated at over 200 million barrels of oil equivalents.