Nod for Equinor to use West Hercules rig on North Sea pilot hole

  • Exploration & Production

Norwegian oil major Equinor has received consent from the offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), for exploration drilling in the North Sea using the West Hercules drilling rig.

West Hercules rig; Photo: Seadrill

The PSA said on Wednesday that the consent was awarded for drilling of pilot hole 30/2-U-1 in production license 878.

Equinor is the operator of the license with a 70 percent interest. Partners in the license are Wellesley and Source Energy with a 20 and 10 percent stake, respectively.

The pilot hole is located north-west of the Huldra field in the North Sea in a water depth of 142 meters.

According to Equinor’s estimates, the drilling will last for three days and will start in early 2020.

The pilot hole will be drilled using the West Hercules drilling rig, which is owned and operated by Seadrill.

The West Hercules is a 6th-generation semi-submersible drilling rig built in 2008 at Daewoo Shipyard, South Korea. The facility received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in 2012.

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