Transocean Enabler rig; Photo: Transocean

All systems go for Equinor to use Transocean rig for drilling ops

Norwegian state-owned oil and gas giant Equinor has received consent from the country’s offshore safety regulator to deploy one of Transocean’s rigs for exploration activities in the Barents Sea.

Transocean Enabler rig; Photo: Transocean

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) has granted Equinor consent to carry out exploration drilling operations in block 7220/2 in the Barents Sea on the Snøras prospect located in production license 1080, which was awarded on February 14, 2020, and valid until February 14, 2027.

As the operator of the license, Equinor has an ownership interest of 50%, while its partners, Vår Energi and Petoro, hold the remaining 30% and 20%, respectively. The well 7220/2-2 is expected to be drilled in a water depth of 427 meters with the Transocean Enabler rig.

The 2016-built Transocean Enabler semi-submersible rig was constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea. This rig is of GVA 4000 NCS design and can accommodate 130 people. The consent for exploration drilling follows the award of a drilling permit from the Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD).

The semi-sub is currently on an eight-year contract with Equinor that expires on April 1, 2024. However, the rig was awarded a 19-well contract in Norway a few months ago at a day rate of $377,000, adjusted for foreign currency exchange, plus eight-well options.

The rig’s new drilling assignment is also with Equinor at the Johan Castberg field and the total contract value is estimated at $415 million, with the fixed part accounting for $295 million. The new contract will begin between April 1, and July 1, 2024.