Norwegian oil and gas player Aker BP got the greenlight from Norway’s offshore safety regulator for exploration drilling in the North Sea, to be carried out using one of Saipem’s semi-submersible rigs.
The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) said on Feb. 15 that it had given Aker BP consent for exploration drilling in block 25/2 in the North Sea.
The prospect, Øst Frigg Beta, is in production licence 873, awarded on Feb. 10, 2017 and is valid until 2026. Aker BP is the operator of the licence with an ownership interest of 47.7%, while its partners, Equinor, and Lotos Exploration and Production Norge, hold the remaining 40% and 12.3% interest, respectively.
The water depth at the location is around 110 metres and the drilling operations for the well 25/2-24 S will be carried out with the Scarabeo 8 semi-submersible rig, which was hired on a three-year deal, worth US$325 million, in March 2022.
This consent also covers the drilling of pilot hole 25/2-U-12 and three optional side tracks: 25/2-24 AY1, 25/2-24 AY2 and 25/2-24 B.
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. This rig can accommodate 140 people and its maximum drilling depth is 35,000 ft.
Saipem is a key sub-contractor for ExxonMobil’s Guyana operations and was most recently charged with the delivery of a major subsea system for the Yellowtail project.