Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Norwegian oil & gas player to spud North Sea wildcat with Odfjell Drilling-managed rig

Norwegian authorities have handed out a drilling permit for an exploration well in the North Sea off Norway, which is expected to be spud this month using one of Odfjell Drilling-managed semi-submersible rigs.

Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD) has granted a drilling permit for well 36/7-5 S in production license 636 to Neptune Energy Norge, a former subsidiary of Neptune Energy, whose assets, aside from the business in Germany, were recently acquired by Eni and its majority-owned Vår Energi.

Eni got its hands on Neptune Energy’s entire portfolio, aside from its operations in Germany and Norway. The German operations were carved out before the completion of the acquisition while the Norwegian assets were acquired by Vår Energi. From January 31, 2024, Neptune Norway was expected to operate as a fully owned subsidiary of Vår Energi and change its name to Vår Energi Norge.

Regarding the drilling permit for the well 36/7-5 S, the program entails the drilling of a wildcat well in production license 636, which was awarded on February 3, 2012, and is valid until February 22, 2044. Neptune Energy Norge holds an ownership interest of 30% and acts as the operator of the license, while its partners, Inpex Idemitsu Norge, PGNiG Upstream Norway, and Sval Energi, hold 30%, 30%, and 10% stakes, respectively.

The well will be drilled in February 2024 with the Deepsea Yantai rig, which is owned by China’s CIMC and managed by Odfjell Drilling. Neptune Energy extended the contract for the use of this rig in December 2022 for two firm wells in Norway. The 2019-built Deepsea Yantai rig, which is of a GM4D design, is capable of harsh environment operation.