Noble Viking drillship; Source: Noble Corporation

Shell prolongs Noble drillship’s stay in Malaysia

Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corporation has secured a contract extension for one of its drillships with Sarawak Shell Berhad and Sabah Shell Petroleum Co (SSB/SSPC), subsidiaries of the oil major Shell, for operations offshore Malaysia.

Noble Viking drillship; Source: Noble Corporation

According to Noble, Sarawak Shell Berhad and Sabah Shell Petroleum Corporation have exercised three one-well options for the seventh-generation Noble Viking (former Maersk Viking) drillship. The rig owner explains that one of these options will be novated to PTTEP for the drilling of the Rotan NFE appraisal well off the coast of Sabah, which is expected to start in December 2023 with an estimated duration of 21 days.

In direct continuation of this well, the Noble Viking rig will begin the previously announced six-well drilling campaign with SSB/SSPC, followed by two additionally exercised one-well options, adding an estimated 90 days to the drilling campaign at the Marjoram deepwater field off the coast of Sarawak. As a result, the drillship is expected to be occupied into 2Q 2025.

Furthermore, Noble underscores that the estimated total duration of this contract extension is 111 days while the total contract value is approximately $49 million, including fees for the use of managed pressure drilling (MPD) on certain wells but excluding integrated services.

The 2013-built Noble Viking drillship can accommodate 230 people. With a maximum drilling depth of 40,000 ft, it is capable of carrying out operations in water depths of 12,000 ft. Shell made a final investment decision (FID) in September 2022 to develop the Rosmari-Marjoram gas project, containing deepwater sour gas fields discovered in 2014.

These fields are situated 220 kilometres off the coast of Bintulu, Sarawak, and will be powered by renewable energy, using solar power for the offshore platform. Upon completion, the platform will be installed in a water depth of 140 metres within the SK318 area, off the coast of Bintulu, Sarawak.

Blake Denton, Noble’s SVP of Marketing & Contracts, commented: “We are excited to extend our great collaboration with these world-class operators in Malaysia on the Noble Viking, which was recently named Global Floater Rig of the Year by Shell, in recognition of the drillship’s outstanding performance on the Gumusut-Kakap project for SSB/SSPC.

“This summer, the Noble Tom Prosser will be joining the Noble Viking for contracts with Shell and PTTEP, and we expect that operating two high-spec rigs on long-term contracts in the country will enable us to unlock further efficiencies.”

Related Article

Noble also recently won a new contract with Petronas for one of the semi-submersible rigs in its fleet, which is hired for drilling activities offshore Suriname.