Transocean Enabler rig; Credit: Jan Arne Wold/Equinor

Equinor all set to kick off drilling ops with Transocean rig

Norwegian state-owned oil and gas giant Equinor has received consent from the country’s offshore safety regulator to embark on production drilling/completion and drilling of exploration segment with one of Transocean’s rigs in the Barents Sea.

Transocean Enabler rig; Credit: Jan Arne Wold/Equinor

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) has granted Equinor consent to carry out these drilling operations at the Johan Castberg field in the Barents Sea with the Transocean Enabler semi-submersible rig, which was constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea.

The 2016-built rig, which is of GVA 4000 NCS design and can accommodate 130 people, has been on a drilling assignment with Equinor for years. The latest 19-well contract was awarded a few months ago and comes with eight-well options. The total contract value is estimated at $415 million, with the fixed part accounting for $295 million.

Located in the Barents Sea, 100 kilometers northwest of the Snøhvit field in a water depth of 370 meters, the Johan Castberg field consists of three discoveries: Skrugard, Havis, and Drivis, proven between 2011 and 2013. These discoveries will be developed together, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in June 2018.

The development concept for the project entails a production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel with additional subsea solutions, including 18 horizontal production wells and 12 injection wells. The production at the field is scheduled to start in 2024.

Related Article

The start-up of the project, previously anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2022, got bumped to 4Q 2024 due to delays and cost overruns.