Photo: Deepsea Yantai rig (fka Beacon Atlantic); Source: Odfjell Drilling

Neptune secures drilling permit for North Sea well

Oil and gas company Neptune Energy has received a drilling permit from Norwegian authorities for a well located in the North Sea off Norway.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate confirmed on Tuesday that the well 35/9-16 S will be drilled using the Deepsea Yantai rig.

The drilling programme for the well 35/9-16 S entails the drilling of an exploration well in production licence 153, which was awarded in July 1988 and is valid until July 2028.

NPD 153 licence
Source: NPD

Neptune Energy is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 30 per cent and other licensees are Petero (30 per cent), Wintershall Dea Norge (28 per cent), and OKEA (12 per cent).

When it comes to the rig which will carry out the drilling operations, it is worth noting that 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. The rig is capable of harsh environment operation and is of a GM4D design.

The Deepsea Yantai rig has been operating for Neptune Energy in Norway since November 2019 and its work scope included completion of the appraisal and production wells at the two new Gjøa P1 and Duva fields and several exploration wells including the Dugong discovery in 2020.

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In November 2021, Neptune extended its contract with Odfjell to include one additional well at the Fenja field and two exploration wells within core areas of the Norwegian sector, keeping the rig fully occupied to mid-2Q 2022. The company also has the option to include additional wells under the current contract.