Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Odfjell Drilling-managed rig hired to spud North Sea prospect

Norwegian oil and gas company DNO Norge has picked one of the Odfjell Drilling-managed rigs for the drilling of a prospect in the North Sea off Norway.

Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

DNO’s partner, Longboat Energy, announced on Tuesday, 30 May 2023,  that a rig was assigned for the drilling of the Lotus (Kjøttkake) exploration well. This prospect, which lies in the prolific Northern North Sea – 4 km southeast of the recent significant Kveikje discovery where Longboat is a 10 per cent equity partner – will be drilled using the Deepsea Yantai semi-submersible rig. The drilling activities are expected to start during 3Q 2024.

The well is located in licence 1182 S, which was awarded on 17 February 2023 and is valid until 17 February 2028. The license partners are DNO Norge (40 per cent interest, operator), Aker BP (30 per cent), and Longboat Energy Norge (30 per cent). The 2019-built Deepsea Yantai rig, which is capable of harsh environment operation, is of a GM4D design. The rig is expected to work for DNO Norge in 2Q/3Q 2023 and drill one firm well in the North Sea.

According to Longboat, the Kjøttkake prospect comprises Paleocene injectite sandstones, characterised by excellent reservoir properties, and is supported by seismic amplitudes. Based on the company’s estimates, Lotus contains gross mean prospective resources of 27 mmboe with further potential upside estimated at 44 mmboe. The chance of success is 56 per cent with the key risk being hydrocarbon retention.

Helge Hammer, Chief Executive of Longboat Energy, commented: “I am pleased that we have secured a rig for drilling Lotus, which could add substantial reserves to our Kveikje development if successful. The next well on the programme will be Velocette, which is expected to spud late this summer, and which will be followed by Lotus next year.”

If the drilling of Lotus results in a hydrocarbon discovery, it is likely to form part of an area cluster development together with Kveikje and several other recent discoveries in the area, through infrastructure associated with the nearby giant Troll field.

Earlier this month, Longboat Energy put the wheels into motion to form a joint venture (JV) with Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd (JAPEX). To this end, the two players have reached an agreement for JAPEX to make a significant investment into Longboat’s Norwegian subsidiary, Longboat Energy Norge.

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The joint venture will be renamed Longboat JAPEX Norge in a bid to build “a leading Norwegian-focussed independent.”