Deepsea Bollsta rig, formerly known as West Bollsta; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Three Odfjell Drilling-managed rigs are hard at work offshore Namibia

Offshore drilling contractor Odfjell Drilling has confirmed that three semi-submersible rigs it manages on behalf of two rig owners are busy with work off the southwestern coast of Africa. These rigs are carrying out operations for three giant oil and gas players – the UK’s Shell, France’s TotalEnergies, and Portugal’s Galp – offshore Namibia.

Deepsea Bollsta rig, formerly known as West Bollsta; Source: Odfjell Drilling

During the previous week, Odfjell Drilling’s CEO, Kjetil Gjersdal, and the firm’s VP of Operations, Stein Harald Nielsen, visited their clients and teams, going offshore in a bid to see with their own eyes what is said to be “impressive” deepwater operations being performed in Namibia.

The first offshore trip was to Northern Ocean’s Deepsea Bollsta rig, which is working for Shell. The Odfjell Drilling delegation was accompanied by Shell’s SVP, Michael Collins, on this visit. The drilling assignment with Shell, which was secured in late August 2022, started in December 2022 at the Jonker-1X deepwater exploration well in the PEL-39 exploration license in the Orange Basin offshore Namibia.

As disclosed in March 2023, the drilling of the well enabled Shell to make its third oil discovery in Namibia since February 2022. The oil major decided to use an extension option in May 2023 to add six more months of work to the rig’s backlog, while an additional six-month option was left at the time. However, Shell did not exercise the remaining option, thus, the rig is available for work from June 2024. 

During the visit, the rig was on the Jonker-2A well at a water depth of 2,545 meters. The 2020-built Deepsea Bollsta sixth-generation semi-submersible rig is of Moss CS60E design and can accommodate 140 people. The rig can carry out operations in both benign and harsh environments at water depths of up to 3,000 meters.

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Furthermore, the second rig, which the Odfjell Drilling delegation visited last week, was Northern Ocean’s Deepsea Mira rig. The visit was made in the company of Manfred Bledou, TotalEnergies’ Namibia Director of Operations. This semi-sub is working in Namibia, thanks to a multi-country drilling contract with the French oil major, which was awarded in December 2022.

With an estimated firm duration of 300 days, plus one 180-day option and a 90-day option, the rig’s contract with TotalEnergies began in June 2023. Recently, the French player decided to prolong the rig’s job in West Africa for 180 days. At the time of the visit, the rig was on the Venus-2A well at a water depth of 2,982 meters.

The Deepsea Mira is an enhanced and extended CS 60 E harsh environment design semi-submersible delivered by Hyundai Heavy in South Korea. The rig is managed by Odfjell Drilling following an agreement with Northern in December 2021.

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Another Odfjell Drilling-managed rig, SFL Corporation’s Hercules, is working for Galp on the Mopane 1X well at a water depth of 1,800 meters. The Portuguese player secured a 115-day contract with SFL Corporation for the rig in May 2023 to spud a well in license PEL 83 in the heart of Namibia’s Orange Basin. This is for two wells plus optional well testing. The Mopane-1X prospect was spudded on November 17, 2023.

Galp revealed at the start of January 2024 that the first of two wells expected to be drilled by the Hercules semi-submersible rig had shown preliminary signs of hydrocarbon presence. A few days later, the Portuguese company confirmed the discovery of “a significant column” of light oil in reservoir-bearing sands of high quality. 

The 2008-built Hercules sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible rig, which is of GVA 7500 design, was constructed by DSME in South Korea and can accommodate 180 people. The rig can operate in water depths of 10,000 ft and its maximum drilling depth is 35,000 ft.

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“We are excited and proud of our Namibia operations, and both our on- and offshore teams are doing a great job,” highlighted Odfjell Drilling.

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