Photo: Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor all set to kick off drilling ops in Norwegian Sea with Odfjell rig

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has received consent from Norway’s offshore safety regulator for exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea, using one of Odfjell Drilling’s rigs.

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) revealed on Monday that it has given Equinor consent for exploration drilling in block 6605/1 in the Norwegian Sea, which covers the wells 6605/1-U-1, 6605/1-2 S and 6605/1-2 A. This comes weeks after Equinor was granted a drilling permit for wells 6605/1-2 S and 6605/1-2 A by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

The prospect, Obelix Upflank, is located in production licence 1128, which was originally awarded on 19 February 2021 and is valid until 19 February 2027. As the operator of the licence, Equinor holds an ownership interest of 70 per cent, while other licensees are Petoro (20 per cent) and Wintershall Dea Norge (10 per cent).

The water depth at the location is around 1,190 metres and the drilling operations, expected to start in November 2022, will be carried out with the Deepsea Stavanger rig, which received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017.

The Deepsea Stavanger rig has been working for Equinor on the NCS since February 2022 thanks to a deal awarded in May 2021 for a firm period of three wells. The Norwegian giant added additional wells to the contract for this rig in September 2021March 2022May 2022, at the start of July 2022, and at the end of July. These wells are expected to keep the rig booked into the third quarter of 2023.

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The 2010-built Deepsea Stavanger rig is a sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible of an enhanced GVA 7500 design. It was designed for operations at water depths of up to 3,000 metres and has a 7,500 mt loading capacity.