Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor gets ready to spud North Sea pair in June

Norwegian state-owned oil and gas giant Equinor has secured a drilling permit from the country’s authorities for two exploration wells in the North Sea off the coast of Norway. These drilling activities are expected to be undertaken using one of Odfjell Drilling’s rigs in June 2024.

Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD) has granted Equinor a drilling permit for two wildcat wells 35/10-14 S and 35/10-14 A in production license 1185, awarded on February 17, 2023, and valid until February 17, 2029.

As the operator of the license, Equinor has an ownership interest of 40%, while its partners, Vår Energi, Sval Energi, and Aker BP, each hold 20%. These wells are expected to be drilled with the Deepsea Stavanger rig, which received an acknowledgment of compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017.

After the Norwegian energy giant hired the rig in May 2021, the contract started in February 2022. Equinor added several additional wells to the deal, including the extension that came in May 2023. These wells were expected to keep the rig booked into the first quarter of 2024.

The 2010-built Deepsea Stavanger rig is a sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible of an enhanced GVA 7500 design. The rig is capable of working at water depths of up to 3,000 meters and can accommodate 157 people. The rig’s drilling depth capacity is 10,670 meters.

Equinor recently handed out drilling-related contract extensions to Shelf Drilling for a jack-up rig involved in drilling operations at the Gudrun field, and to ArcherKCA Deutag Drilling Norway, and Odfjell Operations for work on 19 platforms offshore Norway. 

The Norwegian player has also been accelerating decarbonization by setting the stage to curb carbon emissions from the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) by 160,000 tons of CO2 per year with onshore power.