Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Shell gets rubber stamp to deploy Odfjell Drilling-managed rig for ops in North Sea

Norwegian offshore safety regulator has given Norske Shell, a subsidiary of the UK-headquartered energy giant Shell, its consent to use an Odfjell Drilling-managed semi-submersible rig for plugging and abandonment activities at two fields in the North Sea off Norway.

Depsea Yantai rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) recently gave Norske Shell consent to use the Deepsea Yantai rig for plugging and abandonment operations at the Knarr and Gaupe fields. The 2019-built Deepsea Yantai rig is of a GM4D design and is capable of harsh environment operation. This rig – formerly known as the Beacon Atlantic – is owned by China’s CIMC and managed by Odfjell Drilling. 

Located in the northern part of the North Sea, 50 kilometers northeast of the Snorre field in a water depth of 400 meters, the Knarr field was discovered in 2008, and the plan for development and operation (PDO) was approved in 2011. The development comprises a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) and two subsea templates, including six wells for production and injection.

The Knarr field consists of two segments, Knarr West and Knarr Central, with one template on each structure. The production started in 2015 and ceased in 2022. According to the formal removal resolution, decommissioning needs to be completed six years after the ceasing of production.

On the other hand, the Gaupe field is located in the central part of the North Sea close to the border to the UK sector, about 35 kilometers south of the Sleipner Øst field. The water depth at the site is 90 meters. The field was discovered in 1985, and the PDO was approved in 2010.

The development concept entailed two single horizontal subsea wells tied to the Armada installation on the UK Continental Shelf. The production started in 2012 and ceased in 2018. Based on the formal removal resolution, decommissioning needs to be completed by the end of 2026.