North Sea operator books Shelf Drilling rig for ops in UK waters

Offshore drilling contractor Shelf Drilling has won a new deal for one of its jack-up rigs for operations on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

Shelf Drilling Fortress jack-up rig; Source: Shelf Drilling

According to the company, a subsidiary of Shelf Drilling North Sea (SDNS) has secured a contract for the Shelf Drilling Fortress, former Noble Sam Hartley, jack-up rig with an undisclosed North Sea operator for work at the UK Continental Shelf.

With a value of approximately $54 million, the estimated duration of the contract is 400 days and the planned start-up of operations is slated for August 2024, in direct continuation of the rig’s current contract.

Currently, the jack-up rig is working for CNOOC at its Golden Eagle platform located about 111 kilometers northeast of Aberdeen in the UK Central North Sea. This platform produced its first oil in 2014.

The Shelf Drilling Fortress rig, bought by Shelf Drilling, was sold as part of Noble’s efforts to remedy competition concerns related to its merger with Maersk Drilling, which was concluded in 2022. This rig previously worked for TotalEnergies in the North Sea.

The 2014-built Shelf Drilling Fortress jack-up rig is of Friede & Goldman JU-3000N design and can accommodate 150 people. With a maximum drilling depth of 35,000 feet, the rig is capable of working in water depths of 400 feet.

Recently, Shelf Drilling won a contract extension with Norway’s Equinor for drilling operations at a field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). The rig owner also got other deals, including a contract extension in the Gulf of Suez.

The firm is among offshore drilling contractors that have received a suspension of operations for some of their jack-up rigs, which are deployed in the Middle East.