Photo: Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor getting ready to spud North Sea well in December

Norway’s state-owned energy giant Equinor has secured a drilling permit from the country’s authorities for an appraisal well in the North Sea off Norway. The drilling work is expected to be carried out using one of Odfjell Drilling’s rigs.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) confirmed on Monday that it has granted Equinor a drilling permit for the wellbore 16/2-23 S. The programme for this well entails the drilling of an appraisal well in production licence 265, which was awarded on 27 April 2001 and has been extended until 27 January 2037.

Equinor is the operator of the licence with 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 drilling operations, expected to start in December 2022, will be undertaken by the Deepsea Stavanger rig, which 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 as well as at the end of 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, which received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017, 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.