Transocean Enabler rig; Credit: Jan Arne Wold/Equinor

New task for Transocean regarding rig working off Norway

Norwegian offshore safety regulator has carried out an audit of stability and marine systems on one of Transocean’s semi-submersible rigs, currently working for Equinor on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), and is awaiting a response from the offshore drilling contractor regarding the way the identified improvement points will be handled.

Transocean Enabler rig; Credit: Jan Arne Wold/Equinor

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted the audit from 28 to 30 March 2023 with the objective of ascertaining through discussions and verifications that Transocean’s management of marine systems for the Transocean Enabler semi-submersible rig complied with relevant regulations.

This came more than two months after Equinor received consent from the offshore safety regulator to use the rig for plugging, drilling and completion activities at the Visund Nord field in production license 120, located in the North Sea off Norway.

While conducting its investigation, the PSA found no nonconformities, however, four improvement points were identified, concerning instructions for change of operating state, a discrepancy between Appendix to Class Certificate and operating manual, deficiencies in handpump for watertight sliding doors, and labelling of ballast valve location.

As a result, the regulator has asked Transocean to provide its assessment of the improvement points observed by 23 May 2023. The 2016-built Transocean Enabler semi-submersible rig was constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea as Songa Enabler. The rig was owned and operated by Songa Offshore prior to Transocean’s acquisition of the company in 2018. This rig is of GVA 4000 NCS design and can accommodate 130 people.

Recently, Transocean got a 19-well contract for this rig in Norway at a current rate of $377,000 per day, plus eight-well options. The rig’s drilling assignment is with Equinor at the Johan Castberg field and the total contract value is estimated at $415 million, with the fixed part accounting for $295 million. The new contract will start between 1 April and 1 July 2024. Currently, the rig is on an eight-year contract with Equinor that expires on 1 April 2024.