Transocean Enabler rig; Credit: Jan Arne Wold/Equinor

Vår Energi preparing to spud wildcat with Transocean rig

Norwegian oil and gas player Vår Energi has secured a drilling permit from the country’s authorities to spud a wildcat well in the Barents Sea, using one of Transocean’s semi-submersible rigs.

Transocean Enabler rig; Credit: Jan Arne Wold/Equinor

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) recently granted Vår Energi a drilling permit for the well 7219/6-1 in production license 1025, which was awarded on March 1, 2019, and is valid until March 1, 2027. Vår Energi holds an ownership interest of 60% and acts as the operator of the license, while its partners are Petoro (20%) and Equinor (20%).

The well will be drilled with the Transocean Enabler rig, which was constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea as Songa Enabler. The rig was owned and operated by Songa Offshore before Transocean acquired the company in 2018. This rig is of GVA 4000 NCS design and can accommodate 130 people.

This permit came shortly after Vår Energi got consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) to use the same rig for sidetrack drilling on the Goliat field in the Barents Sea, 50 kilometers southeast of the Snøhvit field. The water depth in the area is 360-420 meters. The Norwegian firm intends to drill exploration and appraisal wells, along with certain production wells, over two years starting from the last half of 2024. 

Currently, the 2016-built Transocean Enabler rig is on an eight-year contract with Equinor that expires on April 1, 2024. However, the rig was awarded a 19-well contract in Norway a few months ago at a current rate of $377,000 per day, as adjusted for foreign currency exchange, plus eight-well options.

The rig’s new drilling assignment is also with Equinor at the Johan Castberg field and the total contract value is estimated at $415 million, with the fixed part accounting for $295 million. The new contract will come into effect between April 1, and July 1, 2024.