Photo: Maersk Integrator; Source: Maersk

MOL Norge gets drilling permit for North Sea well

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted MOL Norge a drilling permit for a wildcat well in the North Sea offshore Norway.

According to the NPD’s report on Friday, 2/9-6 S will be drilled from the Maersk Integrator drilling rig after concluding the drilling of production well 16/1-D-17 for Aker BP on the Ivar Aasen field in production licence 001B.

The drilling programme for the well relates to the drilling of a wildcat well in production licence 617. MOL Norge is the operator of the license with an ownership interest of 40 per cent.

The other licensees are Wintershall DEA and OMV with 30 per cent each. The area in this licence consists of part of block 2/9. The well will be drilled about 31 kilometres east of the Valhall field.

Production licence 617 was awarded on 3 February 2012 (APA 2011). This is the first exploration well to be drilled in the licence.

Back in November 2019, MOL hired Maersk Drilling’s Maersk Interceptor for the drilling of the 2/9-6 S well. The estimated contract value is $16.5 million. The contract was expected to start in August 2020, with an estimated duration of 60 days.

But in August, Maersk Drilling agreed with MOL to transfer the contract for the Maersk Interceptor to the Maersk Integrator. According to the most recent fleet status, the Maersk Interceptor is warm-stacked.

Maersk Integrator is an ultra-harsh environment CJ70 XLE jack-up rig, designed for year-round operations in the North Sea. It was delivered in 2015. Earlier this year, the rig underwent a series of upgrades to turn it into a hybrid, low-emission rig.

As for work with Aker BP on the 001B license, the rig was hired at the start of 2020. This was a 93-day extension of a previous contract with a contract value of around $25.5 million, excluding a potential performance bonus.

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The contract also included an additional one-well option which Aker BP used in July 2020. Under the option, the rig is scheduled to start work on the K-2B development well on the Tambar field offshore Norway in February 2021.