Wintershall takes West Mira drilling rig on a six-well contract

John Fredriksen’s Northern Drilling has found a firm 6-well contract for its harsh environment drilling rig West Mira with Wintershall.

The drilling firm said on Wednesday afternoon that the harsh-environment rig would be used for drilling at Wintershall’s Nova field. The contract is expected to start in March 2020. The contract value is estimated at around $106 million.

The Wintershall contract also includes options for early start beginning from early Q3 2019 as well as follow-on options after the firm contract period. Wintershall Norge has options to use the rig for up to 10 additional wells on its other operated assets or for exploration activities.

Should all options be exercised, West Mira is expected to be contracted to Wintershall until Q1 2022.

“The day rates for parts of the optional period will be based on a market-indexed rate which enables NODL to benefit from the expected tightening of the harsh environment market with a drilling rig well positioned on the NCS,” NODL  said.

Seadrill to manage the rig


Northern Drilling also used the opportunity to announce that it has entered into a Heads of Agreement with Seadrill Global Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Seadrill Ltd for an operating agreement for West Mira under the Wintershall Contract.

The Wintershall contract has been awarded to Seadrill Norway Operations Ltd. a subsidiary of Seadrill Ltd who will operate West Mira on Northern Drilling’s behalf, Northern Drilling said.

“This is another major milestone for the Nova project. With the procurement of this modern rig, we now have in place one of the final pieces of the puzzle that will allow us to build this field and deliver first oil from Nova in 2021,” said Hugo Dijkgraaf, Wintershall Norge Managing Director.

Nova will be developed as a subsea tie-back connecting two templates to the nearby Gjøa platform for processing and export. Gjøa will also provide lift gas to the field and water injection for pressure support in the reservoir. Power for the Nova field comes via the Gjøa platform from shore.

The West Mira is a newly built sixth generation rig designed to operate in all weather conditions. It will drill six wells on the Nova field, at a water depth of around 370 meters. The contract includes incentives to reward Seadrill for efficient and safe operations.

Also, Northern Drilling said it had applied for a transfer of listing from Oslo Axess to Oslo Børs and expects the transfer to be completed by July 3, should the application be approved. A listing at Oslo Børs is expected to further increase the liquidity in the trading of the company’s shares.