North Sea Reporter


North Sea Reporter is an established and respected weekly publication which provides in-depth news and analysis of the NW European offshore oil and gas industry. 

Rig Market

The number of active North Sea semi-submersible rigs has risen to 27, giving a current utilisation rate of just over 62%, its highest level since August 2017. Semisub utilisation also peaked at 63% in July 2016, which supports the claim that North Sea operational activity has become more seasonal in recent years. The latest rigs to return to work are North Atlantic Drilling’s (NAD) West Phoenix and Fred Olsen Energy’s Backford Dolphin, which is managed by Dolphin Drilling. The West Phoenix is on contract with Anasuria and the Blackford Dolphin with BP.


Eni has awarded Petrofac a two-year extension, worth around $65 million, on a contract to act as dutyholder for the offshore support vessel Irish Sea Pioneer, in the Liverpool Bay complex. Under the terms of the renewal, Petrofac will also continue to provide on and offshore operations and maintenance personnel on the Douglas fixed platforms, offshore storage installation and at the onshore gas terminal at Point of Ayr. Eni is sole owner of the Liverpool Bay fields. Petrofac also provides dutyholder services for Eni’s Hewett complex, in Southern North Sea blocks 48/29, 48/30, 52/4 and 52/5.

Field development

Equinor has been granted Storting approval for the PDO for the Johan Castberg field, in Barents Sea licence PL532, covering blocks 7219/9, 7220/4, 7220/5, 7220/7 and 7220/8. The PDO will now be submitted to the energy ministry for formal approval. First oil from the field, which has estimated reserves of 450-650 million barrels of oil equivalent, is scheduled for 2022. Capex for the project is currently put at NKr49 billion ($6.1 billion), compared with an original estimate of over NKr100 billion and a breakeven oil price above $80 a barrel, against $35 a barrel today.


Weekly coverage includes:

  • Rig Market - contracts, dayrates and utilisation
  • Drilling – a round-up of North Sea activity  
  • Construction and engineering
  • Field development and production
  • Contract awards
  • Company news
  • Data tables of industry activity
  • Mediterranean & W. Africa briefing
  • News briefs