Noble, Halliburton and Odfjell forge rig alliances with Aker BP for five years of drilling ops

Noble, Halliburton and Odfjell forge five-year rig alliances with Aker BP for drilling ops

Norwegian oil and gas player Aker BP has entered into drilling and wells alliance agreements with three offshore drilling contractors – Noble Corporation, Odfjell Drilling and Halliburton – to carry out drilling activities on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Noble Invincible (former Maersk Invincible); Source: Noble Corporation

Back in 2017, the Aker BP Jack-up Alliance, including Maersk Drilling and Halliburton, was established. Over the past five years, the Jack-up Rig Alliance and the Semi Rig Alliance have delivered over 100 wells, drilled over 450 kilometres, carried out almost 80 completions and 35 plug and abandonment activities and “world-class drilling operations” on the NCS, as highlighted by Aker BP. The Norwegian oil and gas firm expects to deliver even more wells in the coming five years thanks to the new deal.

Karl Johnny Hersvik, CEO of Aker BP, remarked: “In Aker BP, we strongly believe that we create more value for all parties through deeper and longer relations with key strategic partners. In Drilling and Wells we now look back on five years of mutual trust and collaboration in the Jack-up and Semi rig alliances. Together we deliver continuous world-class performance, and through these years we have kept on drilling more cost-effective and better wells. This means that a robust structure and model is in place.”

While the Jack-up Rig Alliance comprises Noble, Halliburton and Aker BP, the Semi Rig Alliance comprises Odfjell Drilling, Halliburton and Aker BP. The new five-year agreements for both alliances were inked on Wednesday, 11 January 2022.

Tommy Sigmundstad, SVP Drilling & Wells in Aker BP, commented: “A large part of our drilling and wells activities will be carried out in the alliance model, and we can only win if we succeed together with our alliance partners. In the alliance model, we are equal partners when it comes to collaboration and planning of activities, but we have different roles. The model enables us all to be competitive in a highly volatile and changing environment.

“Together we enter the next alliance period with shared goals to deliver ‘low cost, low carbon’ wells, develop and implement low carbon emission operations, and finally, continue to implement digital and automated technologies. I am confident that we will succeed, because we have the best people, with an alliance mindset, with us on this journey.”

These rig alliances come after Aker BP submitted multiple field development plans (PDOs) in December 2022 to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy with total investments of more than NOK 200 billion (around $20.4 billion) in real terms. This represents one of the largest private investments in Europe. The rig alliances will be essential in delivering the project portfolio.

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Robert Eifler, CEO of Noble Corporation, underlined: “The alliance is a remarkable concept that offers a number of advantages to everyone and is a perfect demonstration of the value created through adopting a long-term collaborative view. Trust and teamwork are the foundations for our joint success and the consistently strong performance that has been delivered day in and day out for the last five years. Noble is proud to be part of the team, and we look forward to continuing to deliver even greater results during the next five years.”

According to Aker BP, the renewed framework agreement contains underlying commitments to the Jack-Up Alliance for the rigs Noble Integrator and Noble Invincible while thanks to the Semi Alliance, Deepsea Nordkapp is contracted to the end of 2024 with an option to further extend the contract. In addition, the Deepsea Stavanger rig is joining the Aker BP rig fleet in 2025 for a five-year deal. The oil and gas player explains that these rigs are planned to be deployed on its upcoming PDO projects and are thus subject to governmental and license approvals. 

Kjetil Gjersdal, CEO at Odfjell Drilling, said: “The alliance will provide an important foundation enabling implementation of new technology and execution methods to reduce delivery costs of offshore wells and the carbon footprint of our operations. These are key elements to remain competitive in the energy transition and as part of the alliance we will take these important steps together with Aker BP and Halliburton.”

While confirming the five-year deal with Aker BP and Halliburton, Odjfell Drilling outlines that the alliance with its “one for all, all for one” collaboration model, has the objective of executing drilling and well projects with close cooperation between the members of the alliance, “ensuring greater value for all parties through common incentivised goals.”

As a result of this alliance, the development and use of new technologies are anticipated to automate and digitalise drilling operations, supporting the alliance’s combined goals of improving safety, increasing efficiency and reducing the carbon footprint of the drilled wells.

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Moreover, Aker BP further points out that underlying commitments to both rig alliances are five-year frame agreements with Halliburton for well construction and service activities.

Jeff Miller, Chairman, President and CEO of Halliburton, stated: “We have seen great success in productivity, efficiency and safety through this shared work with our alliance partners and are excited to embark on another five years of collaboration to evolve drilling and field planning as we deliver technological and digital excellence in the North Sea.”