Noble Discoverer (former Maersk Discoverer) rig; Source: Noble Corp.

Noble rig booked for drilling ops off Suriname

Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corporation has won a new contract with Petronas Suriname E&P, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s energy giant Petronas, for one of the semi-submersible rigs in its fleet, which is being hired for drilling activities offshore Suriname.

Noble Discoverer (former Maersk Discoverer) rig; Source: Noble Corp.

According to Noble, this one-well contract, which was awarded for the Noble Discoverer semi-submersible deepwater rig to drill an exploration well in Block 52 offshore Suriname, is expected to start in August 2023. With an estimated duration of 90 days, the firm contract value is approximately $43 million, including additional services provided, mobilisation and demobilisation fees. The deal also comes with a one-well option.

Covering an area of 1.2 million acres (4,749 square kilometres), Block 52 is located approximately 75 miles offshore north of Suriname’s capital city, Paramaribo. The water depth at the block ranges from 160 to 3,600 feet (50 to 1,100 metres).

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Suriname, an affiliate of the U.S. oil major ExxonMobil, has a 50 per cent interest in Block 52 while Petronas Suriname E&P, a subsidiary of Petronas, is the operator and holds the remaining 50 per cent stake.

Blake Denton, Noble’s SVP of Marketing & Contracts, commented: “We are incredibly pleased to announce this contract building on the recent collaboration with Petronas. This near-term programme positions the Noble Discoverer in the same block offshore Suriname where sister rig Noble Developer previously operated for Petronas.

“It also represents an opportunity to demonstrate Noble’s vast experience in this prolific basin prior to commencing the rig’s announced contract in Colombia later this year.”

The Noble Discoverer is currently operating for CGX Resources and Frontera Energy offshore Guyana, where a new oil discovery was recently confirmed. Following the contract with Petronas, the rig is scheduled to begin a contract offshore Colombia with Ecopetrol.

The rig will drill the Orca North-1 exploration well offshore Colombia and the contract is expected to start between November 2023 and January 2024, with an estimated duration of 72 days.

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The 2009-built Noble Discoverer is a DSS-21 column-stabilised dynamically positioned, sixth-generation semi-submersible drilling rig, capable of operating in water depths of up to 10,000 ft. The rig’s maximum drilling depth is 40,000 ft. It can accommodate 180 people.