Photo: Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Equinor sets its sights on Norwegian Sea wildcat

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has secured a drilling permit from the country’s authorities for a wildcat well located in the Norwegian Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) informed on Wednesday that the well 6507/8-11 S will be drilled using the Deepsea Stavanger rig.

The drilling programme for the well entails the drilling of an exploration well in production licence 124, which was originally awarded on 28 February 1986 and has been extended until 28 February 2025.

Equinor is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 35 per cent, while other licensees are ConocoPhillips Skandinavia (27.91 per cent), Petoro (27.08 per cent) and Vår Energi (10 per cent).

The drilling operations are expected to start in September 2022 with the Odfjell Drilling-owned Deepsea Stavanger rig, which received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017.

Back in May 2021, Equinor awarded a contract for a firm period of three wells with an expected duration of four months to the Deepsea Stavanger rig. As a result, this rig became the third one from Odfjell’s fleet to join Equinor, along with its sister units Deepsea Atlantic and Deepsea Aberdeen.

The Deepsea Stavanger is a sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible of an enhanced GVA 7500 design, which started its contract with Equinor on the NCS  in February 2022.

Equinor also added additional wells to the contract for this rig in September 2021, March 2022, May 2022, at the start of July 2022, and at the end of last month. These wells are expected to keep the rig booked into the third quarter of 2023.

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The 2010-built Deepsea Stavanger rig is designed for operations at water depths of up to 3,000 metres and has a 7,500 mt loading capacity.