Stena Drilling drillship goes to work in Morocco as Energean takes the helm at gas field

Aberdeen-based offshore drilling contractor Stena Drilling has tucked a new drilling assignment under its belt, thanks to a drillship deal with London-based Energean, which will enable its rig to carry out drilling activities off the coast of Morocco.

Stena Forth drillship; Source: Stena Drilling

The award of a one-well firm job to the Stena Forth drillship comes after Energean set the wheels in motion to expand its footprint in the Mediterranean region with a new country entry enabled by partnership agreements to take over the operator role at two Moroccan offshore licenses from Chariot. This covers the Lixus offshore license (Lixus), where the Anchois gas development project is located, and the Rissana offshore license (Rissana).

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The 2009-built sixth-generation harsh environment dual-activity dynamically positioned (DP3) drillship is slated to kick off its new drilling assignment in the third quarter of 2024. The deal includes the flexibility to drill an additional option well in Morocco. According to Stena Drilling, this will be the third rig in its fleet that Energean has contracted so far, with the Stena DrillMAX and Stena IceMAX drillships having previously completed drilling campaigns for the London-based player.

Eirik Reinertsen, Chief Commercial Officer at Stena Drilling, commented: “We are delighted to secure this drilling campaign for the Stena Forth in Morocco. This contract award underscores our strong relationships with our clients, resulting in repeat business for our fleet, and our reputation for delivering safe and efficient drilling operations.”
As the Stena Don rig completed a drilling program for Chariot in Morocco’s Lixus license, the offshore drilling firm looks forward to returning to the Anchois gas field with the Stena Forth drillship later this year to work for Energean, which has completed the farm-in to Chariot’s acreage offshore Morocco, following the receipt of all remaining approvals from the country’s authorities.

Simon French, Head of Wells and Decomissioning at Energean, noted: “Energean and our partners are pleased to work with Stena Drilling for the upcoming campaign in Morocco. We look forward to the successful drilling and testing of the Anchois East appraisal well with the Stena Forth drillship which is a critical step in moving the project closer to FID.”

The appraisal well aims to undertake a drill stem test on the main gas-containing sands and target an additional 11 bcm of gross unrisked prospective resource. Energean now acts as the operator and holds 45% and 37.5% of the respective interests in the Lixus and Rissana licenses offshore Morocco while Chariot retains 30% and 37.5% of the respective interests in these licenses, with ONHYM maintaining a 25% stake in each.

Mathios Rigas, Chief Executive Officer of Energean, remarked: “We are delighted to start working in Morocco, where we hope to repeat our previous successes in the Mediterranean: enhancing domestic production, helping to meet the country’s growing demand, with the potential for exports for any surplus supply, and facilitating both energy security and long-term coal reduction.”