Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

All systems go for Equinor to kick off drilling ops with Odfjell rig

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has received consent from the country’s offshore safety regulator to use one of Odfjell Drilling’s semi-submersible rigs for drilling activities in the Norwegian Sea.

Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) revealed on Wednesday, 16 August 2023, that it had given Equinor consent to use the Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig for the drilling of the well 6307/1-2 JDE in production licence 1058. This comes a week after the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) gave Equinor a drilling permit for a wildcat well 6307/1-2.

The license was granted on 14 February 2020 and is valid until 14 February 2027. Equinor is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 60 per cent while Harbour Energy Norge (40 per cent) is the Norwegian giant’s partner.

The prospect, JDE, is expected to be spud in August 2023. The water depth at the site is 312 metres and the drilling operations are estimated to take 36 days. The Deepsea Stavanger rig 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 giant started in February 2022. 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 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 metres.