Photo: Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor gets the all-clear to spud North Sea well

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

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) revealed this week that it has given Equinor consent for exploration drilling in block 16/2 in the North Sea. This comes weeks after Equinor was granted a drilling permit for well 16/2-23 S by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

The prospect, P-Graben, is located in production licence 265, which was awarded on 27 April 2001 and has been extended until 27 January 2037. As the operator of the licence, Equinor holds an ownership interest of 42.62 per cent, while other licensees are Petoro (30 per cent), Aker BP (20 per cent), and ABP Norway (7.38 per cent).

The water depth at the location is around 110 metres and the drilling operations, expected to start in December 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 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.

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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.