Askeladden rig; Source: Equinor

Equinor receives nod for North Sea drilling ops

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 a KCA Deutag Drilling-managed rig.

Askeladden rig; Source: Equinor

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) recently gave Equinor consent for exploration drilling in block 33/12 in the North Sea. The prospect, Solan Ludvig, is located in production licence 050 B, which was awarded on 11 August 1995 and is valid until 30 June 2036. As the operator of the licence, Equinor holds an ownership interest of 51 per cent, while its partners, Petoro and OMV Norge, hold 30 and 19 per cent, respectively. 

The water depth at the location is around 137 metres and the drilling operations at the well 33/12-N-4 AH will be carried out with the Askeladden rig, which started drilling for Equinor on the Gullfaks field offshore Norway in late March 2018 with the goal of providing new production from old wells.

Back in 2013, Equinor, and its license partners in Gullfaks and Oseberg area, acquired two rigs – named Askepott and Askeladden – while Samsung Heavy Industries and KCA Deutag got contracts for the construction and operation.

At the time, arrangements were made for these rigs to be owned by the Gullfaks and Oseberg licensees, but operated by a drilling contractor. The initial operation contract was for a period of eight years with the option to extend by 4×3 years.

These two Cat J rigs are tailored to the conditions in the North Sea and specially designed to perform drilling operations on subsea development solutions in addition to conventional surface drilling from fixed platforms.