The Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig

Green light for Equinor to use Odfjell rig on Gullfaks

Equinor has received safety consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to use the Deepsea Atlantic rig on the Gullfaks field located offshore Norway.

The Deepsea Atlantic drilling rig (Photo: Marit Hommedal/Equinor)

The offshore safety agency said on Thursday it had given its consent to Equinor to use the rig for production drilling on the Gullfaks field.

The field is located in production licence 050. Operations are scheduled to last for 72 days.

The Deepsea Atlantic is a sixth generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible rig capable of operating at water depths of up to 3,000 meters.

The rig is operated by Odfjell Drilling and received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in 2009.

Gullfaks is a field located in the Tampen area in the northern part of the North Sea. The water depth in the area is 130-220 metres.

Gullfaks was discovered in 1978, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) for Gullfaks Phase I was approved in 1981.

A PDO for Gullfaks Phase II was approved in 1985.

Production started in 1986. The field has been developed with three integrated processing, drilling and accommodation facilities with concrete bases (Gullfaks A, B and C).

Equinor has also recently signed a letter of intent with Odfjell Drilling for the Deepsea Atlantic rig to drill 12 wells during phase 2 of the Johan Sverdrup field development in Norway, following its work on phase 1.

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The value of the fixed part of the agreement is estimated at around $150 million. The drilling period is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2022.