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

Island Drilling’s 2012-built semi-submersible Island Innovator is reported still to be based near Hanøytangen, in Norway, where it is being prepared prior to starting a firm one-well fixture with CNOOC in the UK sector. The operator has hired the rig to drill the Howick exploration prospect in west of Shetland block 206/21. It was originally thought the well might spud as early as July, although the contract start has more recently only been narrowed down to the third quarter.  Immediately after drilling for CNOOC the Innovator will fulfil another one-well contract, which will see the rig switch to Norway and drill for DNO. The contract was originally awarded by Faroe Petroleum before it was acquired by DNO and involves drilling the Canela exploration prospect in block 6507/7. 


Vår Energi has awarded Rosenberg Worley an engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract for life extension work on the Jotun FPSO to enable oil and gas production from the Balder field to continue until 2045. Rosenberg Worley started planning activity in May in co-ordination with ongoing FEED work being carried out by Aker Solutions which started in December 2018. Aker Solutions will continue to provide engineering services during the execution phase. The plan is to transport the Jotun FPSO from block 25/8 to the Rosenberg Worley yard in Stavanger in spring 2020 for an estimated 15-month yard stay. On completion of the lifetime extension workscope, the vessel will be moved offshore for installation in the Balder field, in 25/11.


Equinor last Thursday (15 August) started up production from the Mariner heavy oilfield, in UK northern block 9/11a. Mariner, Equinor’s first operated oilfield in the UKCS, is expected to produce more than 300 million barrels of oil over the next 30 years. The Mariner reservoirs have up to 3 billion barrels of oil in place, a 50% increase on what was originally assumed, and the estimated recovery rate has already been increased by 20%. It is expected to produce annual average plateau rates of around 55,000 b/d of oil and up to 70,000 b/d at peak. Mariner has involved gross investment of more than $7.7 billion and supported more than 700 long-term jobs, In addition, contracts worth more than $1.3 billion have been awarded to UK suppliers since the project started.


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