Drilling & Completion News

The Hercules harsh-environment semi was recently mobilized to Namibia to drill two wells there for Galp. The first well confirmed a light oil discovery in January.

Galp confirms ‘significant’ oil discovery with new exploration well in Namibia

Galp and its partners NAMCOR and Custos have drilled and logged the first exploration well, Mopane-1X, in block PEL83 offshore Namibia. The well confirms the discovery of a significant column of light oil in reservoir-bearing sands of high quality.

In the coming weeks, Galp will continue to analyze the acquired data and anticipates performing a drill stem test to assess the commerciality of this discovery. In the meantime, drilling operations at Mopane-1X will proceed to explore deeper targets. Upon completion, the Hercules semisubmersible, managed by Odfjell Drilling, will be relocated to the Mopane-2X location to further evaluate the extent of the Mopane discovery.

Valaris adds new drillships to its fleet, citing positive outlook for ultra-deepwater floaters

Valaris took delivery of newbuild drillships VALARIS DS-13 and DS-14 in December for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $337 million. These deliveries increase Valaris’ drillship fleet to 13. The two rigs will be mobilized from the South Korean shipyard to Las Palmas, Spain, where they will be stacked until contracted for work. 

“Following the successful contracting of six of our stacked drillships since mid-2021, the purchase of VALARIS DS-13 and DS-14 increases our operating leverage to the attractive ultra-deepwater floater market,” said Anton Dibowitz, Valaris President and CEO. “Based on our positive market outlook, growing future demand and strong customer interest in these rigs, we believe that the purchase of these high-specification drillships at compelling prices will generate attractive returns.”

Seadrill rigs score Petrobras contracts 

Petrobras has awarded 1,064-day fixed-term contracts to Seadrill’s West Auriga and West Polaris drillships. The contracts are expected to commence in Q4 2024 and represent a total contract value of approximately $1.1 billion, inclusive of additional services and mobilization fees. The drillships will transition to Seadrill from the existing third-party managers before undertaking the campaigns with Petrobras.

Diamond’s Ocean BlackRhino drillship awarded new contract in Guinea-Bissau

Diamond Offshore Drilling entered into a drilling contract with an independent operator to utilize the Ocean BlackRhino for work offshore Guinea-Bissau. The Ocean BlackRhino was awarded a one-well contract with a minimum duration of 30 days, representing $15.4 million of additional backlog, excluding mobilization. Work under the new contract is expected to commence in July 2024 in direct continuation of the rig’s current contract with Woodside in Senegal.

Evaluation continues on Suriname Block 52 after new oil discovery by Petronas

PETRONAS has made an oil discovery at the Roystonea-1 exploration well in Suriname’s Block 52. The well, located about 185 km offshore in a water depth of 904 m, was drilled to a total depth of 5,315 m. It also encountered several oil-bearing Campanian sandstone reservoir packages. Further evaluation is being undertaken to determine the full extent of this discovery and its potential development synergy with the Sloanea-1 discovery, which was made in 2020 within the same block.

Sparta deepwater development in US Gulf advances as Shell and Equinor take FID

Shell and Equinor have reached final investment decision (FID) for the Sparta deepwater development in the US Gulf of Mexico. Production is expected to begin in 2028, with expected ultimate recoverable resources currently estimated at above 250 million bbl.

The development plan includes eight production wells tied back to a semisubmersible floating production unit. The Sparta platform is a replication of Shell’s Vito and Whale projects, enabling a standardized design approach.

Payara development begins production

In mid-November, Hess Corp announced the startup of production from the Payara development on the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. The Prosperity floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel is expected to reach its initial production of 220,000 gross barrels of oil per day (BOPD) over the first half of 2024 as new wells are brought online. Production capacity on the Stabroek Block is now approximately 620,000 gross BOPD.

In total, six FPSOs with a gross production capacity of more than 1.2 million BOPD are expected to be online on the Stabroek Block by the end of 2027.

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