Photo: Deepsea Stavanger rig; Source: Equinor

Lundin gets green light for exploration drilling off Norway

Oil and gas company Lundin Energy Norway, a subsidiary of Lundin, has received consent from a Norwegian offshore safety regulator, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), to use the Deepsea Stavanger rig for exploration drilling in the Norwegian Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) granted Lundin Energy a drilling permit in November this year for a wildcat well 6306/9-1 in block 6306/9 in the Norwegian Sea, which is supposed to be drilled using the Deepsea Stavanger rig.

The 6306/9-1 well is located in production licence 886, which was awarded on 10 February 2017 (APA 2016). Lundin Energy Norway is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 60 per cent, while other licensees are Spirit Energy Norway (20 per cent) and Petoro (20 per cent).

Now, the Petroleum Safety Authority has given Lundin its consent to use the Odfjell Drilling-owned Deepsea Stavanger semi-submersible rig for exploration drilling on the well 6306/9-1 – Melstein prospect – off Norway.

Deepsea Stavanger drilling rig; Courtesy of Odfjell Drilling

The company hired the Deepsea Stavanger rig for its Norwegian drilling campaign back in March 2021. The original contract was for three firm wells plus six optional wells with a value of about $33 million. It was set to start in the third quarter of 2021, back-to-back with Deepsea Stavanger’s contract with Aker BP.

Recently, Lundin decided to exercise its option for one additional well in Norway to be drilled by this rig. The drilling is scheduled to start at the beginning of January 2022. It will be completed prior to the start of the rig’s contract with Equinor on the NCS in the first quarter of 2022.

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

A few months later, Equinor also added an additional well to the contract for this rig, which will see keep it busy into the third quarter of 2022.