Aker BP cleared to drill Volund well with Transocean rig

Norwegian E&P player Aker BP has received consent from the offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), to drill an exploration well off Norway with the Transocean Arctic semi-submersible rig.

PSA said on Thursday the consent was for the exploration well 24/9-11S and a potential sidetrack on the Volund field.

Aker BP is the operator of the field located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea some 220 kilometers west of Tananger. Volund was developed using a subsea facility tied back to the Alvheim FPSO unit.

The safety body added that the aim of the drilling was to investigate the potential of a formation 7.5 kilometers west of the subsea facility at Volund. Water depth at the site is 122 meters, and according to the PSA, the drilling work is scheduled to take 28 days. Any potential sidetrack will be in addition to this timeframe.

Drilling will be performed using the Transocean Arctic mobile drilling rig, owned and operated by Transocean Ltd.

The rig was hired for the use on Alvheim and Volund fields by Det norske back in November 2015. Det norske later merged with BP Norge to form Aker BP in December 2016.

The companies agreed on the drilling of four wells in the Alvheim area for a value of $44.75 million excluding options. The contract involves the drilling of one exploration and three production wells.

The Transocean Arctic was built in 1987 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan. The semi-sub was upgraded in 2004 and received an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in July of that year. It is registered in the Marshall Islands and classified by DNV GL.

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