Stena Drilling’s drillship comes to Canada to carry out work for ExxonMobil

Offshore drilling contractor Stena Drilling has confirmed that one of its drillships made its way to Canadian waters, where it will embark on a drilling assignment with ExxonMobil Canada, a subsidiary of the U.S.-headquartered energy giant, ExxonMobil.

Stena DrillMAX drillship; Source: Stena Drilling

Shortly after ExxonMobil disclosed an oil discovery at the Bluefin well in the southeastern portion of the Stabroek block off the coast of Guyana, which was drilled by the Stena DrillMAX drillship, the rig left Guyana, crossing the Atlantic to reach its destination in Canada.

“Having recently left Guyana, Stena DrillMAX has now arrived in Canada for an exploration campaign. We wish her and the team a great success,” highlighted Stena Drilling.

As the drillship, which is the first one with DNV’s Abate (P) notation, has reached Canadian waters, it will soon kick off its exploration drilling program with ExxonMobil in Newfoundland and Labrador’s exploration license (EL) 1169.

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The U.S. oil major’s drilling campaign in this license is expected to consist of up to five exploratory wells, a vertical seismic survey associated with each well, potential for non-flaring well testing, and delineation wells associated with each well.

However, the Stena DrillMAX rig will be used to spud the first well, Persephone, in this exploration program, which lies in approximately 3,000 m water depth around 500 km from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The total depth (TD) for the well is about 5,700 m.

ExxonMobil has already disclosed that there is potential for four additional exploration wells located in the same license as Persephone if the drilling of this well turns out to be a success and results in a hydrocarbon discovery.

The anticipated drilling duration is 75 days, which is still subject to change depending on several factors. While this could occur at any time within the year, ExxonMobil prefers drilling activities to be conducted from May to October due to more favorable weather conditions.

The U.S.-based energy heavyweight expects that a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) and up to five supply vessels will be required to support each exploratory well, including one standby vessel, alongside a helicopter, which will be engaged in this activity.

After completing its drilling work in Canada, the Stena DrillMAX is slated to return to Guyana later this year to continue working with other rigs ExxonMobil contracted for its 35-well exploration and appraisal drilling campaign in the Stabroek block, which is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023.

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If discoveries are made, well tests may be performed. As the work is expected to take several years, the conclusion of the drilling program is expected by the fourth quarter of 2028. ExxonMobil recently made a final investment decision (FID) to develop its sixth oil development at the Stabroek block.