Deepsea Aberdeen rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Two Odfjell Drilling rigs get more work

Norwegian state-owned energy giant Equinor has exercised options to drill additional wells with two Odfjell Drilling-owned rigs, extending the rigs’ backlog further and prolonging their stay on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

Deepsea Aberdeen rig; Source: Odfjell Drilling

Odfjell Drilling reported on Thursday, 4 May 2023, that Equinor had added additional firm scope for the Deepsea Aberdeen rig as provided for in the contract the two parties entered into in November 2020, following a letter of intent from October 2020. The contract for the rig covered a scope of fifteen firm wells and an estimated duration of 2.5 years, plus nine optional wells. The rig received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in February 2021.

According to the offshore drilling contractor, the new wells, which will be drilled on the Svalin field – starting in 4Q 2023 – have an estimated duration of 174 days, extending the Deepsea Aberdeen rig’s firm backlog into 2Q 2025. Equinor also has the opportunity to exercise further wells under the optionality mechanisms contained in the contract. Based on Odfjell Drilling’s statement, the added firm scope has a value of around $67 million, excluding integrated services, performance and fuel performance incentives.

The 2014-built Deepsea Aberdeen is a harsh environment semi-submersible, dual derrick rig of enhanced GVA 7500 design. It is capable of working at water depths of up to 3,000 metres. It has eight mooring lines and can accommodate 157 people. With 7,500 mt loading capacity in all operating conditions, the rig’s drilling depth capacity is 10,670.

Furthermore, Equinor has also exercised further wells for the Deepsea Stavanger rig under the continued optionality mechanism provided for in the contract from May 2021, which enabled the rig to join its sister units Deepsea Atlantic and Deepsea Aberdeen as the third rig from Odfjell’s fleet to work for Equinor on the NCS. The rig, which received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in April 2017, started its contract with Equinor in February 2022. 

Following the addition of these optional wells, the rig’s firm backlog with Equinor now extends into 1Q 2024. The Norwegian state-owned energy giant has the opportunity to exercise further wells under the continued optionality mechanism. Odfjell Drillings highlights that a notable performance incentive rate will apply when wells are delivered safely and ahead of the target while integrated services, which are provided through the contract, are compensated separately.

The 2010-built Deepsea Stavanger is a sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible of an enhanced GVA 7500 design. The rig has a dual derrick with a main and an auxiliary work centre to facilitate a number of simultaneous operations.