Vår Energi picks up where it left off with offshore drilling activities

Norwegian oil and gas company Vår Energi is resuming its drilling activities in the Barents Sea and the North Sea, which were postponed this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic and oil price collapse.

Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Vår Energi
Scarabeo 8 rig
Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Vår Energi

Vår Energi said on Thursday that the resumption of activities has been made possible by the temporary changes in the petroleum tax, adopted by the Norwegian parliament in June.

This triggers a positive employment effect in the rig market, the company noted.

The drilling campaign, carried out by the Saipem-owned drilling rig Scarabeo 8, includes two production and one water injection well at the Goliat field in the Barents Sea.

In addition, the King Prince exploration well, near the Balder/Ringhorne field in the North Sea, will be drilled.

Annethe Gjerde, VP Procurement at Vår Energi, said: “After a period of difficult choices and decisions, we are pleased to announce that we are resuming parts of the drilling schedule that was postponed earlier this year due to the extraordinary situation the entire industry was in.

“The politician’s ability and willingness to find solutions, through temporary changes in the tax regime, have made it possible to reconsider such difficult choices”, Gjerde points out.

“The changes are important and necessary in order to maintain activity and employment. The Storting’s decision means that we can quickly turn around to carry out these drilling activities. We are happy and proud to see that this triggers much-needed activity in the rig market as well as in the supplier industry. This in line with the Storting’s intention, said Gjerde.

Gjerde also said that the company’s goal is to start drilling activity in the Barents Sea in late autumn 2020.

“Good cooperation with suppliers is, of course, a crucial prerequisite for achieving this”, Gjerde concluded.

Saipem said that operations will start in the fourth quarter of 2020 and will allow the operating profile and equipment of the rig to remain active, in anticipation of the recovery of the market in the North Sea.

Vår Energi is the largest independent E&P company on the NCS. Vår Energi is jointly owned by Italy-based energy company Eni (69.6%) and Norway based private equity investor HitecVision (30.4%).