Photo: Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Saipem

Saipem rig wraps up drilling ops on Norwegian North Sea field ahead of first oil

Wintershall Dea Norge, a subsidiary of Germany’s oil and gas company Wintershall Dea, has finished the last part of its drilling campaign at a field in the North Sea off Norway, using Saipem’s Scarabeo 8 semi-submersible rig.

At the end of October 2020, Wintershall Dea started the drilling campaign on the Nova field and by February 2021, the rig completed the top hole drilling campaign on this field. The drilling was paused following an incident with one of the x-mas trees and the West Mira rig. At first, Northern Ocean expected the rig to resume operations by mid-April, however, the contract for the drilling rig West Mira was terminated in May 2021.

The following month, Wintershall Dea hired a Saipem-owned rig for the drilling of three production wells and three water injection wells through two subsea templates. The last part of the Nova drilling campaign from the Scarabeo 8 semi-submersible rig started in November 2021.

In an update on Monday, Wintershall Dea revealed that it has completed the drilling operations on the Nova field ahead of the first oil, which is expected around 31 July 2022 while the water injection system is due to be completed in September.

Moreover, Wintershall Dea secured all necessary approvals from the Norwegian authorities last month to start production from the Nova field, which will be tied back to the Neptune Energy-operated Gjøa platform in the Gjøa field off Norway.

The company estimates the Nova field’s reserves at about 14 million standard cubic metres of oil equivalent (90 million bbls o.e.). After it comes online, the Nova field, expected to be sustainably operated with hydropower from shore, will be the fourth subsea tie-back to the Gjøa platform, which is electrified with power from shore.

When it comes to other developments related to the Nova field, it is worth noting that Wintershall Dea inked a deal with Norway’s OKEA in May 2022 to sell its stakes in three North Sea fields for about $114 million, including the sale of 6 per cent of the Nova development.

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Upon completion, Wintershall Dea Norge as the operator of the Nova field development will own 39 per cent. The firm’s other partners will be OKEA (6 per cent), Sval Energi (25 per cent), Spirit Energy Norway (20 per cent), and ONE-Dyas Norge (10 per cent), which agreed in March 2022 to sell its stake to Pandion Energy.