Go-ahead for Norwegian oil & gas firm to kick off drilling ops with Transocean rig

Norway’s oil and gas company OKEA has received consent from the country’s offshore safety regulator for exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea, using one of Transocean’s semi-submersible rigs.

Transocean Endurance rig; Source: Songa Offshore

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) recently gave OKEA consent for exploration drilling in block 6407/9 in the Norwegian Sea. The prospects, Springmus East and Garn West South, are located in production licence 093, which was awarded on 9 March 1984 and is valid until 9 March 2024.

OKEA holds an ownership interest of 44.56 per cent and acts as the operator of the licence, while its partners are Petoro (47.88 per cent) and M Vest Energy (7.56 per cent).

The consent covers wells 6407/9-SME and GWS. The water depth at the location is around 279 metres (SME) and 266.6 metres (GWS). These wells will be drilled with the Transocean Endurance rig.

The 2015-built Transocean Endurance is a semi-submersible CAT D rig of GVA 4000 NCS design. It can accommodate 130 people. The rig’s maximum drilling depth is 27,887 ft. It was constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea.

Originally, it received the Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in 2016 when it was called Songa Endurance. Following a change in rig ownership, Transocean applied for a new AoC and changed the name of the rig to Transocean Endurance. The new AoC was received in July 2019.

This rig has a multi-well plug and abandonment assignment lined up in Australia, which is expected to start in January 2024.