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

Dolphin Drilling’s semi-submersible Borgland Dolphin is reported to have been hired by Shell for a minimum one-well contract in Norway, starting in February. The operator plans to use the rig to drill a development well in the Knarr field and has access to another two well options. The value of the firm period is placed at $15 million, but Dolphin has not specified the duration of the firm period so an estimate of the dayrate is not possible . The fixture represents the Borgland’s return Norway after what will be a gap of over three years. The rig’s last activity in Norway was under a three-year contract with Rig Management Norway, which managed the rig for a group of four operators.


Allseas’ heavy-lift and pipelay vessel Pioneering Spirit on 18 June completed the single-piece removal of Shell’s 25,000-tonne Brent Bravo topsides in an operation that took about four hours. Brent Bravo is the second of four platforms, after Brent Delta in 2017, to be decommissioned and removed from the field, in northern block 211/29. On both occasions, Shell UK has used the Pioneering Spirit ’s revolutionary single lift, motion-compensated technology. The topsides have been sea-fastened on board the Spirit for transport to Able’s yard in Teesside. At a nearshore location off the coast of Hartlepool, the topsides will be transferred to Allseas’ cargo barge Iron Lady.


Equinor has found oil and gas in Snadd Outer Outer/Black Vulture exploration well 6507/3-13, in the Norwegian Sea. The well, drilled around 14 km southwest of the Norne field, had two different targets: an upper interval containing an estimated 2-12 million barrels of oil equivalent of gas and a lower section with an estimated volume of 1-48 million barrels of oil equivalent recoverable. Equinor is evaluating both the time and place for further delineation to firm up volume estimates. It will now assess a tieback to the Norne FPSO as an option to develop the discovery. The well, which has been plugged and abandoned, was drilled with the Transocean Spitsbergen.


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  • Drilling – a round-up of North Sea activity  
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