Safety watchdog gives green light for Songa Equinox rig

Songa Offshore, a Norway-based midwater drilling contractor, has received an approval from the Norwegian safety watchdog for the use of first out of its four Cat D drilling rigs, the Songa Equinox. 

Songa Offshore took delivery of the Songa Equinox from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering on June 30,  2015, and the rig arrived in Norwegian waters on October 22, 2015.

All four rigs are built for and contracted to the Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil.

The offshore drilling contractor has now obtained the Petroleum Safety Authority’s acknowledgement of compliance (AoC) for a rig which they hoped to get on dayrate until November, as the company said in its 3Q report.

The acknowledgment authorizes the rig for carrying out petroleum activities off the coast of Norway.

PSA tested the rig for technical safety, barriers and maintenance systems, emergency preparedness, working environment and the technical condition and management system.

DSME has, so far, delivered two out of four Cat D rigs to Songa; the second one being Songa Endurance delivered to the drilling contractor in August. Songa Endurance was scheduled to arrive in Norway in November, but Songa Offshore still has not informed of its arrival. According to Marine Traffic, the rig is located in the North Sea, offshore Norway.

The fate of the other two rigs being built by DSME remains uncertain as the two companies are in a dispute regarding alleged cost overruns during the construction. Songa received notices of arbitration from DSME and, as a response, recently announced it was considering a counterclaim against DSME.

The Cat D semi-submersible rigs are able to drill down to a maximum of 8,500m, in water depths up to 500m. The rigs were specifically constructed for the Norwegian Continental Shelf operations.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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