Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Neptune all set to kick off North Sea drilling ops with Odfjell Drilling-managed rig

Neptune Energy Norge, a subsidiary of Neptune Energy, has secured a drilling permit from the Norwegian authorities for an exploration well in the North Sea off Norway. The drilling work is expected to be carried out using one of Odfjell Drilling-managed semi-submersible rigs.

Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) disclosed on Friday, 25 August 2023, that it had granted Neptune Energy Norge a drilling permit for the well 35/6-4 S. The programme for this well entails drilling an appraisal well in production licence 929, awarded on 2 March 2018 and valid until 2 September 2025.

Neptune Energy has an ownership interest of 40 per cent and acts as the operator of the licence, while its partners are Aker BP (10 per cent), DNO Norge (10 per cent), Pandion Energy (20 per cent), and Wintershall Dea Norge (20 per cent).

The well is expected to be drilled in September 2023 with the Deepsea Yantai rig, which is owned by China’s CIMC and managed by Odfjell Drilling. Neptune Energy extended the contract for the use of this rig in December 2022 for two firm wells in Norway.

The 2019-built Deepsea Yantai rig, which is of a GM4D design, is capable of harsh environment operation. This semi-sub has several jobs lined up for 2023. The most recent one was disclosed with ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, which will see the rig drill one firm well with the option to drill two further wells in PL 891 in the Norwegian Sea.

Neptune’s entire portfolio – aside from its operations in Germany and Norway – is being acquired by Eni. While the German operations will be carved out prior to the completion of this acquisition, the Norwegian assets will be taken over by the Italian oil major’s majority-owned Vår Energi. These deals come with an aggregate enterprise value of $4.9 billion.

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