Photo: Deepsea Yantai rig; Source: Neptune Energy

Neptune picks up permit for North Sea appraisal well

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Neptune Energy a drilling permit for an appraisal well offshore Norway.

The well 34/4-16 S will be drilled from the Deepsea Yantai drilling rig after drilling development wells on the Gjøa field.

The drilling programme for well 34/4-16 S relates to the drilling of an appraisal well in production licence 882, which is located in the North Sea.

Neptune Energy is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 45 per cent and other licensees are Petrolia NOCA (20 per cent), Idemitsu Petroleum Norge (20 per cent), and Concedo (15 per cent).

The area in this licence consists of parts of blocks 33/6 and 34/4. The well will be drilled about ten kilometres northwest of the Snorre field.

Production licence 882 was awarded on 10 February 2017 (APA 2016) and this is the third exploration well to be drilled in the licence.

The Deepsea Yantai rig – formerly known as the Beacon Atlantic – is owned by China’s CIMC and managed by the Norwegian drilling contractor Odfjell Drilling.

Neptune in August 2020 extended the contract for the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible drilling rig until late 2021.

In January 2021, Neptune extended the contract for the Deepsea Yantai with two additional wells. This means that the rig is fully occupied through 2021.

Neptune has, in addition, the option to exercise a further eight wells under the current contract.

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The Deepsea Yantai is of a GM4D design and is capable of harsh environment operation and is winterized for operation in Arctic areas.