Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Green light for Norwegian oil & gas player to spin the drill bit at North Sea prospect

Norway’s Wellesley Petroleum has received consent from the Norwegian offshore safety regulator for exploration drilling in the North Sea, using one of the Odfjell Drilling-managed rigs.

Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) revealed this week that it had given Wellesley Petroleum consent for exploration drilling in block 35/ in the North Sea. The prospect, Carmen, is located in production licence 1148, which was awarded on 11 March 2022 and is valid until 11 March 2027.

Wellesley Petroleum holds an ownership interest of 50 per cent and acts as the operator of the licence, while its partners are DNO Norge (30 per cent), Aker BP (10 per cent) and Equinor (10 per cent).

The water depth at the location is around 360 metres and the well will be spudded with the Deepsea Yantai rig, – formerly known as the Beacon Atlantic – which is owned by China’s CIMC and managed by Odfjell Drilling.

The 2019-built Deepsea Yantai rig, which is capable of harsh environment operation, is of a GM4D design. This rig has several jobs lined up for 2023 and the most recent one was disclosed with PGNiG Upstream Norway in January 2023.

Aside from this, the rig is expected to work for Austria’s OMV in 1Q 2023 and drill one firm well in the North Sea, plus one optional well in 2023 or 2024. It will also work for DNO Norge in 2Q/3Q 2023 and drill one firm well in the North Sea while Neptune Energy extended the contract for the use of this rig for two firm wells in Norway.