Deepsea Aberdeen rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor gets clearance to dispatch Odfjell rig for drilling ops in North Sea

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

Deepsea Aberdeen rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) has given Equinor consent for the use of the Deepsea Aberdeen rig for production drilling, completion, and exploration drilling at the Svalin field, covering wells 25/11-H-2 YH and 25/11-H-1 H/AH.

Located in the central part of the North Sea, six kilometers southwest of the Grane field, in a water depth of 120 meters, the Svalin field was discovered in 1992, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 2012. The field is developed with a multilateral well drilled from the Grane platform (Svalin M), and with a subsea facility tied into Grane (Svalin C). The production started in 2014.

Equinor added additional wells to the Deepsea Aberdeen rig’s backlog in May 2023, which was enabled by the contract Odfjell and the Norwegian energy giant entered into in November 2020, following a letter of intent from October 2020. The original contract for the rig covered a scope of fifteen firm wells with an estimated duration of 2.5 years, plus nine optional wells. The rig received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in February 2021.

The new wells, which will be drilled on the Svalin field – starting in 4Q 2023 – have an estimated duration of 174 days, extending the Deepsea Aberdeen rig’s firm backlog into 2Q 2025. Equinor also has the opportunity to exercise further wells under the optionality mechanisms contained in the contract.

The 2014-built Deepsea Aberdeen is a harsh environment semi-submersible, dual derrick rig of enhanced GVA 7500 design. It is capable of working at water depths of up to 3,000 meters. It has eight mooring lines and can accommodate 157 people. With 7,500 mt loading capacity in all operating conditions, the rig’s drilling depth capacity is 10,670.