Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor getting ready to embark on North Sea drilling ops with Odfjell rig

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

Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) has granted Equinor consent for exploration drilling in the North Sea for wells 15/3-13 S and 15/3-13 A. These exploration activities will enable the Norwegian energy giant to spud the Brokk prospect, which lies in a water depth of 110 meters.

This prospect is located in production licenses 025 – valid until September 10, 2032, and operated by Equinor (36%) with Vår Energi (25%), OMV Norge (24%), and Repsol Norge (15%) as partners – and 187, which is also valid until September 10, 2032, and operated by Equinor (36%) with the same partners.

The wells will be drilled by Odfjell Drilling’s Deepsea Stavanger rig, which received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017. Equinor hired this rig in May 2021 and the rig started the contract in February 2022. While the Norwegian player added several additional wells to the contract, the latest one came in May 2023. These wells are 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.