Deepsea Yantai rig; Source: CIMC Raffles

Deepsea Yantai rig cleared to drill in North Sea for Neptune

Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), has given its consent to Neptune Energy for exploration drilling in the North Sea using the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible drilling rig.

Deepsea Yantai rig; Source: CIMC Raffles

The PSA said on Wednesday that the consent was for two exploration wells, designated 34/4-15 S and 34/4-15 A, in block 34/4.

According to the offshore regulator, the prospect named Dugong is located in production license 882 in a water depth of 331 meters.

Neptune is the operator of the license with a 40 per cent interest. Its partners are Idemitsu, Concedo, and Petrolia NOCO with a 20 per cent stake each.

The Deepsea Yantai semi-sub is expected to work on the two Dugong wells between 44 and 90 days.

The rig is owned by Odfjell Drilling and built at the CIMC Raffles yard in China. It was completed in 2016.

To remind, the Deepsea Yantai, formerly named Beacon Atlantic, was hired by Neptune Energy for up to 16 wells offshore Norway back in March 2019.

Odfjell Drilling then employed more than 200 personnel in Norway for work on the Deepsea Nordkapp and Deepsea Yantai semi-submersibles, which joined the company’s fleet.

The most recent consent for the use of the Deepsea Yantai was given to Neptune Energy in early December 2019.

The consent was for 35/9-15 and 35/9-15A wells which belong to production license 153 in blocks 35/9 and 36/7.

Work on the well was scheduled to begin in December 2019 and was estimated to last for at least 56 days.

In related company news, Neptune Energy last month kicked off its Fenja drilling campaign following the spud of the first well and drilled a dry well near the Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea.