Cairn granted drilling permit for North Sea well

  • Exploration & Production

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Capricorn Norge, a subsidiary of Cairn Energy, a drilling permit for a wildcat well in the North Sea.

Island Innovator; Source: Island Drilling

The 35/8-7 S well will be drilled from the Island Innovator drilling rig. Capricorn has already secured a safety consent from the country’s offshore safety watchdog to use the rig for this well.

The drilling program for the well relates to the drilling of a wildcat well in production license 880, which contains the Duncan prospect. Capricorn is the operator with an ownership interest of 60 percent. Other licensee is Edison with an ownership interest of 40 percent.

The area in this license consists of part of block 35/8. According to the NPD, the well will be drilled about eight kilometers west of the Vega field.

The production license 880 was awarded on February 10, 2017 (APA 2016). This is the first well to be drilled in the license. Operations are expected to begin in March or April 2020 and last from 42 to 60 days.

As for the rig, the Island Drilling-owned Island Innovator is a 6th generation semi-submersible drilling rig of a Global Maritime GM4000 type, built by the COSCO Shipyard in China in 2012. The rig was designed to operate in water depths up to 1,200 meters on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and worldwide harsh environments.

Island Drilling and Capricorn signed the contract for the Island Innovator rig back in November 2019. The two companies agreed that the rig would drill one well on the Duncan prospect and two optional wells.

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