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In the last week of 2022, Borr Drilling announced new contract awards for two of its jackup rigs, Türkiye reported a significant increase in its natural gas reserves in the Black Sea, and Sembcorp Marine delivered the Deepwater Titan drillship to Transocean.

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

Esgian Rig Analytics story

Seadrill announced the acquisition of Aquadrill Offshore in an all-stock transaction. Most of Seadrill’s fleet has been fixed at below current market leading edge dayrates, while Aquadrill has more unfixed days in 2023 onwards. The acquisition could hence increase Seadrill’s gross revenues with up to USD 150 million in 2023 and USD 400 million in 2024. More here


CP Latina has extended contracts with Pemex for jackups La Santa Maria and La Covadonga until 31 December 2024. The dayrates for both rigs have been USD 95,000 for all of 2022. On 1 January 2023, the dayrates for each rig will increase to a minimum of USD 111,300 and will be adjusted according to an index. CP Latina anticipates the dayrates for the first half of 2023 will be above USD 125,000. Both rigs have been working with Pemex since 2014.

Borr Drilling has been awarded new contracts for two of its premium jackup drilling rigs thereby increasing the company’s backlog by approximately 2,030 days, excluding optional periods. In its latest fleet status report, Borr said that the 400-ft premium jackup drilling rig Frigg has secured a long-term contract from an undisclosed customer for work in the Middle East. The rig has been warm-stacked for two years. This new contract has a firm duration of 5 years plus options and is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023 following the completion of the rig’s reactivation. The estimated contract value of the firm term, including the mobilization fee, is USD 282 million. More here

Drilling Activity and Discoveries

Aker BP will be using Saipem’s 10,000-ft semisubmersible Scarabeo 8 for development drilling as part of its Skarv Satellite Project in the northern area of the Norwegian Sea. Scarabeo 8 secured a three-year contract with Aker BP in May 2022, with options for two one-year extensions. Aker BP will use Scarabeo 8 to drill pilot holes at Ørn and Alve Nord, with work starting in early 2023. Scarabeo 8 has been in the yard undergoing its special periodic survey and the installation of some new systems in preparation for this contract. Aker BP plans to tie back the Alve Nord, Idun Nord and Ørn discoveries to the Skarv FPSO. Each of the developments comprises a 4-slot template and two wells. Aker BP recently submitted plans for the Skarv Satellite Project and others. Aker BP is the operator of Alve Nord on PL 127C with a 68.1% interest, Idun Nord on PL 159D with a 23.8% interest and Ørn on PL 942 with a 30% interest.

Thanks to an analysis of existing wells and a new gas field discovery, Türkiye has increased its natural gas reserves in the Black Sea, the location of the giant Sakarya gas field, which was discovered in 2020. Following the Presidential Cabinet Meeting on Monday, the President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced that the 10,000-ft Fatih drillship had discovered 58 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves 3,023 meters below the sea level at Çaycuma 1 block in the Black Sea. The Fatih drilling vessel started drilling at Çaycuma on 29 October 2022. According to Erdoğan, this number is expected to be revised upward with new exploratory wells. After analyzing the collected data, new drilling operations will be launched as soon as possible, the President said. Erdoğan also added that, following a detailed analysis of the 3D modelling of Türkiye’s 13 wells, the country’s previously-declared reserves of 540 billion cubic meters were revised upward to 652 billion cubic meters. More here

Aker BP plans to use Noble 492-ft jackup Noble Invincible to drill three new production wells at the Evard Grieg field in Norwegian waters of the North Sea in 2023. Plans filed by Aker BP indicate that the drilling campaign is to start no earlier than March 2023 and take around 164 days. In December 2021, Aker BP and Maersk Drilling, which was acquired by Noble in 2022, renewed a long-term frame agreement that covers work with jackups Noble Invincible and Noble Integrator into late 2027.


The Barbados Ministry of Energy and Business has postponed the 2022 Offshore Licensing Round, which had been scheduled for 1 December 2022. Instead, the government plans to launch the round in Q1 2023. The ministry noted that several companies requested additional time to evaluate the acreage and data. The postponement also allows time to complete amendments to the legislative and licensing frameworks that the government says will improve efficiency and ease doing business in the sector.

As part of its efforts to strengthen the country’s energy security, Indonesia’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources through the Directorate General of Oil and Gas (Ditjen Migas) has announced the award of two exploration blocks to domestic operators. The Director General of Oil and Gas, Tutuka Ariadji, said on Wednesday that the Jabung Tengah working area was awarded to a consortium of PT Cipta Niaga Gemilang and PT Rukun Raharja while the Paus area was awarded to Blue Sky Paus. Over the next three years of firm commitment, the companies will invest a total of USD 31.2 million. The signature bonus for both areas totalled USD 350,000. In addition to G&G studies and seismic surveys, activities expected for both blocks include the drilling of exploration wells, two in the Jabung Tengah area and one in the Paus area. Meanwhile, for 2023, the government is preparing six working areas that have the potential to be offered, namely the Seuramoe, Berkah, Arwana, Serpang, Akia, and Melati areas.

OKEA and DNO Norge have signed a sales purchase agreement through which OKEA enters into the Brasse license (PL740) in Norway with a 50% WI. Following the transaction, which is effective 1 January 2023, DNO (the operator) and OKEA will each hold 50% WI in the license. The target of the new partnership is to undertake a fast-track, low cost review to assess whether a value accretive development concept can be found for the estimated 30 mmboe recoverable volumes at Brasse, which is located only 13 km from the OKEA-operated Brage field. The transaction, executed at zero cost to OKEA, is subject to extension of the license and approval by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. DNO’s previous partner in the Brasse licence was Vår Energi with a 50% interest. Earlier this month, the partnership decided not to submit the plan for development and operation (PDO) for the Brasse project due to recent changes in the temporary petroleum tax system and industry cost pressures, which have significantly weakened the project’s economics.

TotalEnergies EP Gabon has signed new agreements with the government of Gabon. The first agreement relates to the rearrangement of certain provisions of the company’s establishment contract, extending the duration of this contract until 2042. The company has also signed a new exploitation and production sharing contract for the Baudroie-Mérou Marine G5-143 permit, which will run for 25 years until 2047. TotalEnergies EP Gabon is owned 58.28% by TotalEnergies, 25% by the Gabonese Republic and 16.72% by the public. TotalEnergies EP Gabon completed the divestment of its interests in seven non-operated offshore fields to Perenco in late 2021.

Mobilisation/Rig Moves

Stena Drilling’s 10,000-ft drillship Stena IceMAX is leaving the Mediterranean after completing work for Energean offshore Israel. The rig will stop in the Canary Islands before its next contract offshore Gabon. Stena IceMAX recently completed work with Energean, where it drilled the Hercules and Zeus exploration wells. After stopping in the Canary Islands, the rig will move to Gabon for a two-well contract with CNOOC scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2023 and run for 90 days. Stena IceMAX also has a one well program with BP offshore Newfoundland, Canada scheduled for 2023, which is expected to run for 80 days.

Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine has completed the delivery of the 12,000-ft newbuild drillship Deepwater Titan to Transocean. The naming ceremony for the drillship, which was constructed by Sembcorp Marine based on its Jurong Espadon 3T design, was held in Singapore on 10 December 2022. In an update on 29 December 2022, Sembcorp Marine said that the dual-derrick drillship is the first-ever unit delivered with two 20,000-psi blowout preventers (BOPs), well-control, riser, and piping systems for high-pressure and high-temperature drilling and completion operations. Along with its sister rig the Deepwater Atlas, Deepwater Titan is also equipped with a three-million-pound hook-load hoisting capacity and capabilities to drill up to 40,000 feet and operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet. The delivery of Deepwater Titan repeats the successful handover of the first newbuild sister drillship Deepwater Atlas delivered by Sembcorp Marine in June this year. Following the delivery, Deepwater Titan is scheduled for deployment on a five-year contract with Chevron for work on the Anchor project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Other News

Lime Petroleum has completed the acquisition of a 10% interest in the Repsol-operated Yme field from Kufpec. Lime entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Kufpec Norway to acquire the 10% interest in the Yme field in the Norwegian North Sea on 10 August 2022. The agreement was for a post-tax consideration of USD 68.053 million. The completion was concluded with an initial payment of USD 55 million on 23 December 2022. Deferred payment of the balance, including the settlement costs, will be paid no later than 30 working days after the completion. The Yme field is located in PL 316 and PL316B on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, 130 kilometres northeast of the Ula field. The water depth is 100 metres. The field comprises two separate main structures, Gamma and Beta, which are 12 kilometres apart. The reservoirs are in sandstone of the Middle Jurassic age in the Sandnes Formation, at a depth of 3,150 metres.

On December 26, CNOOC Limited announced that Kenli 6-1 Oilfield 5-1, 5-2, 6-1 Block Development Project has started production. The project is located in the south of the Bohai Sea, with an average water depth of around 19 meters. The main production facilities include 1 central platform and 6 unmanned wellhead platforms. 107 development wells are planned to be commissioned, including 67 production wells, 36 water injection wells and 4 water source wells. The project is expected to achieve its peak production of approximately 36,100 barrels of crude oil per day in 2024. Kenli 6-1 oilfield 5-1, 5-2, 6-1 block is the main area of Kenli 6-1 oilfield, which is the first large-scale shallow lithological oilfield with a reserve of 100 million tons discovered in Laibei lower uplift in the Bohai Sea. CNOOC Limited holds 100% interest in Kenli 6-1 Oilfield 5-1, 5-2, 6-1 Block Development Project and acts as the operator.

Sembcorp Marine has announced that its submissions related to the proposed acquisition of Keppel Offshore & Marine (O&M) have been made to the relevant authorities. Sembcorp continues to work towards setting a date for the extraordinary general meeting, which is now expected in January 2023. In October, Sembcorp noted it expected the meeting to be held in December 2022 or January 2023. Once complete, Keppel O&M will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine.

Talos Energy now expects its acquisition of EnVen Energy Corporation to close by early February 2023. Talos announced the proposed acquisition in September 2022 for USD 1.1 billion. At the time, closing was expected by the end of 2022, subject to customary closing procedures. Once finalised, Talos stated that its borrowing base will automatically be increased from USD 1.1 billion to USD 1.5 billion.

Following an upgrading project in which both the platform and the floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO) were brought ashore, Equinor resumed production from the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea on 27 December. Coming on stream in 1997, the Njord installations were initially designed to remain in operation until 2013. However, there were large volumes left in the ground, in addition to discoveries nearby, such as Hyme which came into operation in 2013, and others that can be produced and exported via Njord. According to Equinor, this is the first time a platform and an FSO have been disconnected from the field, upgraded, and towed back with the field’s life now doubled. Aker Solutions has had the main responsibility for the platform engineering and upgrading. Brevik Engineering has carried out the engineering work for the FSO, which has been upgraded by Aibel. More here

Neptune Energy, Ørsted, and Goal7 have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore powering new integrated energy hubs in the UK North Sea with electricity generated from offshore wind. Integrated energy hubs could combine multiple energy systems, such as existing oil and gas assets, carbon storage, and hydrogen production facilities. Under the agreement, the companies will examine the potential to use electricity from Ørsted’s Hornsea wind farm to power future UK North Sea hubs operated by Neptune. Goal7 will provide project management support and technical input. Neptune has submitted three applications under the Carbon Dioxide Appraisal and Storage Licensing Round. The licences are expected to be awarded by the North Sea Transition Authority in early 2023.

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