Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Saipem

Wheels in motion for Aker BP to embark on drilling ops with Saipem rig

Norwegian oil and gas player Aker BP has received consent from the country’s offshore safety regulator to use one of Saipem’s semi-submersible rigs for exploration activities in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway.

Scarabeo 8 rig; Source: Saipem

The Norwegian Ocean Industry Authority (Havtil) has granted Aker BP consent for exploration drilling of three wells in blocks 7324/6 and 7324/8 in the Barents Sea. These exploration activities will enable the Norwegian energy giant to spud three prospects.

The first prospect, Ferdinand Nord (well 7324/6-2), is located in water depths of 421 meters in production license 1170, which was awarded on March 11, 2022, and is valid until March 11, 2030. Aker BP is the operator of the license with an ownership interest of 35%, while its partners – Equinor, Petoro, and Inpex Idemitsu Norge – hold the remaining 35%, 20%, and 10% interests, respectively.

The second prospect, Hassel (well 7324/8-4), is located at a water depth of 401 meters while the third prospect, Viasat (well 7324/6-3), is situated at a water depth of 427 meters. Both of these prospects are in the same license as the first one.

The drilling operations will be carried out with Saipem’s Scarabeo 8 semi-submersible rig, which was hired on a three-year deal, worth $325 million, in March 2022. This rig can accommodate 140 people and its maximum drilling depth is 35,000 ft.

Scarabeo 8 is a sixth-generation dual derrick deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig capable of working in harsh environments with a dynamic positioning system and enhanced mooring capabilities.