Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor cleared to dispatch Odfjell Drilling rig for ops in Norwegian Sea

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has received consent from the country’s offshore safety regulator to use one of Odfjell Drilling’s semi-submersible rigs for drilling activities in the Norwegian Sea.

Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) revealed last week that it had given Equinor consent to use the Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig for the drilling of a pilot hole 6307/1-U-1 JDE in production licence 1058.

The license was granted on 14 February 2020 and is valid until 14 February 2027. Equinor is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 60 per cent while Harbour Energy Norge (40 per cent) is the Norwegian giant’s partner.

According to the Norwegian Environment Agency, the purpose of the well is to investigate the possible presence of shallow gas, reduce uncertainties and gather the necessary data to drill the planned exploration well in a safe manner. The drilling operations were planned to start at the end of April 2023 at the earliest. The estimated duration for the activity is 5 days. 

The Deepsea Stavanger rig received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017. Equinor hired this rig in May 2021 for a firm period of three wells. The rig’s contract with the Norwegian player started in February 2022.

Furthermore, the company added additional wells to the contract for the rig in September 2021March 2022May 2022, at the start and end of July 2022 and in late September 2022. These wells are expected to keep the rig booked into the fourth quarter of 2023.

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.