Polish player all set to spud Norwegian Sea wildcat with Odfjell rig
PGNiG Upstream Norway, a Norwegian subsidiary of Poland’s oil and gas company PGNiG, has secured a drilling permit from the country’s authorities for a wildcat well located in the Norwegian Sea, which will be spudded using a rig managed by Odfjell Drilling.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) informed on Monday that it has granted PGNiG a drilling permit for well 6608/1-1 S, which will be drilled using the Deepsea Yantai rig. This comes more than two months after PGNiG was granted consent for exploration drilling in block 6608/1 by the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA).
The prospect – Copernicus – lies on the Utgard High in the Vøring Basin region of the Norwegian Sea and the drilling programme for the well 6608/1-1 S entails the drilling of an exploration well in production licence 1017, which was awarded on 1 March 2019 and is valid until 1 September 2026. PGNiG Upstream Norway is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 50 per cent and the other licensees are Equinor (40 per cent) and Longboat Energy Norge (10 per cent).
Moreover, Copernicus is estimated to contain gross mean prospective resources of 254 mmboe with further potential upside to bring the total to 471 mmboe. The drilling operations, which are scheduled to start this month, will be conducted in water depths of 491 meters.
PGNiG hired a rig for the drilling of this prospect in December 2021 and at the time, its partner, Longboat Energy, revealed that these activities are expected to start between June and September 2022.
The Deepsea Yantai rig – former Beacon Atlantic – which will carry out the drilling activities on this prospect, is owned by China’s CIMC and managed by the Norwegian drilling contractor Odfjell Drilling. The rig received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in November 2019. This rig is of a GM4D design and is capable of harsh environment operation.
When it comes to PGNiG’s most recent activities in Norway, it is worth noting that the Polish player disclosed a deal with Wellesley Petroleum in May 2022 to expand its footprint offshore Norway.
This deal will enable PGNiG to acquire a stake in an Aker BP-operated field to diversify gas supplies amid growing concerns about energy security due to the current geopolitical crisis.