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

Wintershall Dea is planning to use Odfjell Drilling’s semi-submersible Deepsea Aberdeen to drill development wells in the Vega field, in block 35/8 (PL248), in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, instead of the Seadrill-operated West Mira, as was originally planned. A letter from the German operator to the Norwegian Environment Agency earlier this month said the decision to switch rigs had come “mainly to speed up well delivery and thus achieve earlier production from the Vega infill wells”. The West Mira is currently drilling development wells for Wintershall Dea in the Nova field, in block 35/9 (PL418). The semi-submersible started the campaign in late-October and is expected to be busy drilling six wells for some 400 days, which will likely take it until well into the fourth quarter of this year.


Spirit Energy has awarded Wood a five-year consolidated services contract, worth $130 million, to deliver late life solutions for the Morecambe Bay gasfields, comprising Morecambe North, Morecambe South and Rhyl, in East Irish Sea blocks 110/2a, 110/3a, 110/8a and 113/27b. The award will see Wood leverage its experience and capability in late life asset optimisation and management to extend field life, lower costs and reduce late life carbon intensity across the offshore assets and the Barrow onshore gas terminal. The contract will employ around 130 people offshore and onshore. John Cowie, Morecambe hub asset director, says: "There is still more we can do to extend Morecambe’s field life, while reducing its emissions and contribute to the UK’s net zero targets.”

Mediterranean & Africa briefing

OMV Petrom has confirmed that it is investing about €32 million ($38.8 million) to drill two new development wells in the Istria block, in the shallow waters of the Romanian sector of the Black Sea. A spokesperson for the operator confirmed the wells were being drilled with the GSP Saturn jack-up. The Romanian operator says drilling of the first of the two wells kicked off in late-December and work on the second was expected to start early this year. The pair of wells are being drilled to depths of 2,500 metres in about 60 metres of water, the company added. OMV Petrom, which is 51%-owned by Austria’s OMV and with the Romanian state holding 20%, said the new campaign continued a series of investments in the shallow waters of the Black Sea that had already seen it spend more than €500 million between 2014 and 2019.


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