Tullow looking to hire another rig for Ghana drilling

Tullow has recently hired the Maersk Venturer drillship

Offshore drilling companies, struggling to find work for their units in the oversaturated drilling market, will be holding their fingers crossed for this one.

Oil and gas explorer Tullow on Wednesday said it was thinking of hiring another offshore drilling rig to support its drilling operations in Ghana.

While the company last week hired the 2014-built Maersk Venture drillship for development drilling on the Jubilee and TEN fields offshore Ghana, one rig might not be enough for what Tullow has in mind.

As previously informed, the Government of Ghana approved the Greater Jubilee Full Field Development Plan in October 2017, allowing Tullow and its partners to prepare for a multi-year drilling program to boost and sustain oil production and gas export.

Also, Tullow has been given the approval to resume drilling in the TEN fields off Ghana, following a maritime border ruling brought in September 2017, and Tullow is also looking to start a multi-year drilling program there too.

“A multi-year incremental drilling program will be started this year, seeking to ramp up production from the TEN fields to utilize the full capacity of the FPSO and sustain this over a number of years,” Tullow said.

Tullow will start drilling with the Maersk Venturer in February and will use the rig for work on both TEN and Jubilee.

Tullow will start drilling with the Maersk Venturer in February and will use the rig for work on both TEN and Jubilee.

The first well planned is a Ntomme production well in the TEN fields followed by a Jubilee production well located in the north-eastern area of the field.

As for the future wells, Tullow and partners are working on finalizing the sequence of further wells to optimize output from both the Jubilee and TEN fields. They’re also trying to figure out whether to hire another rig to speed things up.

“Tullow and its Joint Ventures Partners continue to evaluate the business case for contracting a second rig that would allow the acceleration of drilling on the TEN and Jubilee fields,” Tullow said.

This might be good news for deepwater offshore drillers, as recent reports have suggested that 2018 will see a decrease in offshore exploration spending. 

Worth noting, fewer planned wells mean more rigs competing for the same work, which might lead to a drop in rig dayrate. However, as Bassoe’s David Carter Shinn has suggested earlier this week, the drillers might be willing to accept work at a break-even dayrate.

“Dayrates for ultra-deepwater drillships will remain in the $150,000 to $200,000 range for the year (and beyond), and owners of such rigs will aggressively compete for contracts which, even at break-even rates, offer better financials than long-term stacking,” David Carter Shinn said earlier this week in his 2018 outlook for the offshore drilling industry.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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