Shelf Drilling Barsk (former Noble Lloyd Noble) jack-up rig; Source: Jamie Baikie/Equinor

Shelf Drilling secures work in Norway for recently acquired jack-up rig

Offshore drilling contractor Shelf Drilling has been awarded a new contract for one of its jack-up rigs by Norway’s Equinor for operations on a field located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

Shelf Drilling Barsk (former Noble Lloyd Noble) jack-up rig; Source: Jamie Baikie/Equinor

Shelf Drilling revealed on Friday, 28 April 2023, that a subsidiary of Shelf Drilling North Sea (SDNS) had secured a contract for the Shelf Drilling Barsk (former Noble Lloyd Noble) jack-up rig with Equinor for operations at the Sleipner Vest field offshore Norway.

The Noble Lloyd Noble jack-up rig was bought by Shelf Drilling to be renamed Shelf Drilling Barsk. This rig was sold as part of Noble’s efforts to remedy competition concerns related to its merger with Maersk Drilling, which was concluded in 2022. The 2016-built Shelf Drilling Barsk jack-up rig is of GustoMSC CJ70-X150-ST design and can accommodate 140 people.

According to the company, the firm term of the contract for two wells is approximately 270 days and the value for the firm period, excluding certain integrated services, is approximately $61 million. In addition, the deal entails options for two additional wells, and the planned start-up of operations is between May and July 2024.

David Mullen, Chief Executive Officer, Shelf Drilling, said: “We are pleased to announce that the Shelf Drilling Barsk rig will continue to operate for Equinor in Norway. Shelf Drilling is particularly proud to have recently acquired the CJ70 rig, which is uniquely equipped to withstand the challenging ultra-harsh environmental conditions in the North Sea region, and we are excited to be able to expand our offering into this segment of the market.

“We appreciate the opportunity to establish a partnership with Equinor, and we are confident that this relationship will continue to grow and prosper in the future. At Shelf Drilling, we remain committed to safety and sustainability and look forward to delivering exceptional performance to Equinor on the Sleipner Vest project.”

Located in the North Sea, the Sleipner area encompasses three gas and condensate fields – Sleipner ØstGungne and Sleipner Vest – and processes hydrocarbons from the tie-in fields: SigynVolveGudrun and gas from Gina Krog.

The area consists of four platforms: Sleipner A (a processing, drilling and living quarters platform), Sleipner R (a riser platform for gas export and condensate export), Sleipner T (a processing and CO2 removal platform), and Sleipner B (an unmanned production platform).

The Sleipner Vest field, situated in blocks 15/6 and 15/9, was discovered in 1974 while the production of gas and condensate started in August 1996. This field is developed with two platforms: Sleipner B and Sleipner T. As part of the Sleipner Vest development, the Alfa Nord satellite field was tied back to the Sleipner T platform.

While the gas from Sleipner Vest is exported into the Gassled transport system, the unstable condensate is transported in the pipeline to Kårstø in Rogaland for further processing. The transport of condensate from Kårstø is done by ship. Sleipner Vest is tied back to Sleipner Øst, and the two fields share the same operations and maintenance organisation.

Shelf Drilling has got several new deals recently and the latest one was secured for another jack-up rig a few days ago with an undisclosed company for operations offshore Nigeria.

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This deal came a little over a month after Shelf Drilling won a long-term contract for another jack-up rig for work off Nigeria.