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This week West Phoenix secured an extension with Vår Energi, while Deepsea Bollsta arrived in Namibia ahead of its contract with Shell. Meanwhile, Neptune Energy announced that the Calypso discovery has commercial potential.

In case you missed it, you can access our previous Rig Market Round-Up here.


Norway’s Equinor has exercised its priced options for Odfjell Drilling’s 10,000-ft Deepsea Atlantic semisubmersible rig to drill five additional wells on the Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 development in the North Sea. These five wells are expected to take about 190 days, adding USD 64 million to the company’s backlog and extending the rig’s firm backlog into Q1 2024.

Seadrill’s 10,000-ft semisubmersible Sevan Louisiana will continue working for Talos Energy in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico until the end of December 2023. This is due to an updated well schedule, which has added USD 50 million to the backlog. Furthermore, Seadrill’s 7,874-ft semisubmersible West Phoenix has secured an extension with Vår Energi. The updated well schedule will see the rig continue working offshore Norway into March 2024. The extension has added USD 39 million to the backlog. The rig started working for Vår Energi in August 2021 and has been conducting development drilling at the Balder field. Vår is targeting the first oil from its Balder X project in the third quarter of 2024. Balder X, which comprises Balder Future and the Ringhorne Phase IV drilling projects, is intended to extend production from the Balder Hub to 2045.

Drilling Activity and Discoveries

Equinor has concluded the drilling of exploration well 6507/8-11 S on production licence 124 in the Norwegian Sea, located north of the Heidrun field. The well was classified as dry and has been plugged and abandoned. The well was drilled by Odfjell Drilling 10,000-ft semisubmersible Deepsea Stavanger, which will now also be used to drill the wildcat well 6605/1-2 S on production licence 1128 in the Norwegian Sea.

TotalEnergies has completed operations at the Awari exploration prospect in the previously untested northwest portion of Block 58 offshore Suriname, using Noble’s 10,000-ft Noble Gerry De Souza drillship. The well has been deemed uncommercial. TotalEnergies and its partner APA Corp. will now begin flow-test operations at the Sapakara South-2 (SPS-2) appraisal well, which is located on the same block.

Partners CGX Energy and Frontera Energy have agreed with the government of Guyana to spud Wei-1 well no later than 31 January 2023. The well is to be drilled with Noble’s 10,000-ft semi-submersible Noble Discoverer, formerly known as Maersk Discoverer. The Wei-1 well was previously expected to be spud by 27 November 2022. The revised timeline allows Noble Discoverer to complete its current work with Shell offshore Trinidad and Tobago. The Wei-1 well is a follow-up to the Kawa-1 well, where the JV made a light oil and gas condensate discovery in early 2022.

Equinor has received consent from Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority to drill two prospects in the North Sea, Heisenberg and Angulata Brent. The Heisenberg well (35/10-9) is on block 35/10 on production licence 827 S in 1,207 ft (368 m) of water. It will be drilled with Odfjell Drilling’s 10,000-ft semi Deepsea Stavanger. Equinor exercised a 120-day, one-well option for Deepsea Stavanger on 30 September 2022, extending the rig’s firm work into the fourth quarter of 2023. The Angulata Brent well (34/6-6 S) is on block 34/6 on production licence 554 in 1,227 ft (374 m) of water. This well will be drilled with Transocean’s 6,500 semi Transocean Spitsbergen, which is contracted to Equinor into early 2025.

Canada’s Trillion Energy has brought online the Akcakoca-3 well at the SASB gas field in the Black Sea. The well is now producing 3.3 MMcf/d into the gas sales line. Final production rates for the well will be adjusted as more gas is brought into the production facility from other wells. GSP’s 333-ft Uranus jackup rig has been repositioned on the northern side of the Akcakoca platform where both the West Akcakoca-1 and Guluc-2 wells will be drilled. These wells will be spudded a few weeks apart and completed in sequence.

Neptune Energy has confirmed that the Calypso discovery, located within its operated PL938 licence in the Norwegian Sea, has commercial potential. The company has now revealed that preliminary estimates are between 1 – 3.5 million standard cubic meters (MSm3) of recoverable oil equivalents, corresponding to 6-22 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe). This is the company’s third discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in six months following Ofelia (35/6-3 S) and Hamlet (35/9-16 S), both located in the North Sea. Calypso was drilled by the Deepsea Yantai, a semisubmersible rig owned by CIMC and operated by Odfjell Drilling.


BP has been awarded two exploration blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, offshore Egypt by the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company. The Northwest Abu Qir Offshore Area is located west of the recently awarded North King Mariout block (bp 100%) and north of the Raven field. It covers an area of approximately 1038 square kilometres with water depths ranging between 600 metres and 1600 metres. BP is the operator and holds 82.75% interest and Wintershall Dea holds 17.25% interest. The Bellatrix-Seti East block is located west of the Atoll field and North Tabya blocks. It covers an area of approximately 3440 square kilometres with water depths ranging between 100 metres and 1200 metres. Eni is the operator and BP a partner and each hold a 50% share in the block.

UK’s North Sea Transition Authority has approved an extension for the second term of Jersey Oil & Gas’ P2170 Licence in the UK North Sea, the site of the Verbier oil discovery. P2170 is now aligned with Jersey’s P2498 Buchan licence and expires at the end of August 2023. Jersey Oil & Gas is looking to develop the Greater Buchan Area in the Central North Sea, including Verbier and Buchan, with an area-wide development plan and is in discussions with other parties in relation to a farm-out process for the area. The company plans to conclude farm-out discussions by the end of 2022 or in the first quarter of 2023.

The Falkland Islands Government has agreed to extend each of the Rockhopper Exploration’s South Falkland Basin Production Licences, in which the company holds a 100% interest, until 3 December 2024. The licences were previously due to expire on 3 December 2022. There are no additional licence commitments. Rockhopper CEO Sam Moody stated that the company’s primary focus is on working with Navitas to bring the Sea Lion development in the North Falkland Basin to fruition but that the extra time would allow the company to progress its understanding of the licences in the south.

Mobilisation/Rig Moves

Diamond Offshore’s semisubmersible Ocean Apex is expected to enter the shipyard for around 100 days, starting in February 2023. This yard time will take place during the rig’s contract with Woodside offshore Australia, which began in June 2022 and is currently scheduled to continue until August 2023. The 5,000-ft semi has multiple contracts lined up offshore Australia following its term with Woodside, including Chevron, Inpex, and Santos, keeping the rig working into the first quarter of 2025.

Northern Ocean’s 7,500-ft Deepsea Bollsta semi-submersible, managed by Odfjell Drilling, has recently arrived from Las Palmas to Namibia and is currently in Walvis Bay to load out equipment and prepare to work for Shell. This contract has an estimated firm duration of twelve months plus one six-month option. It will add $124 million of firm revenue backlog to the company, excluding the option.

Other News

The construction phase for Woodside’s FPSO, which will be deployed at the Sangomar field offshore Senegal, has been completed. Japan’s MODEC secured a contract to supply the FPSO in 2020. Hull and marine works, external turret and topsides module installation and conversion work on the vessel were completed by COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry (Dalian). The topside modules were fabricated by both COSCO and by BOMESC Offshore Engineering Company in Tianjin and the external turret mooring system was fabricated by Penglai Jutal Offshore Engineering Heavy Industries. The vessel, named Leopold Sédar Senghor, is now being relocated to Tuas Shipyard in Singapore where Keppel Offshore & Marine will complete topsides integration and support pre-commissioning and commissioning activities.

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