Global offshore rig activity has moved lower across both deep water and shallow water, with the total number of contracted rigs in both sectors down from 433 to 429 week-on-week
In its RigLogix platform, Westwood Global Energy reported 324 jack-up rigs and 108 floaters were contracted for week 40 of 2020. Jack-up activity in Southeast Asia and the Middle East was lower, while floater activity in the North Sea fell from 21 to 18 units week-on-week (w-o-w).
Some good news emerging from the North Sea for 2021 is that Aker BP and Oslo-listed Odfjell Drilling has signed a contract that commits further work to sixth generation, deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible Deepsea Stavanger under an existing frame agreement.
Based on a GVA 7500 design, Deepwater Stavanger is capable of drilling in 3,000 m of water. The initial contract scope is for five wells, with an estimated contract value of up to US$44M, plus incentives. The contract will start at latest by end of Q3 2021, coinciding with Deepsea Stavanger’s return from South Africa.
BP Exploration terminated a contract with Odfjell Drilling Shetland Ltd for the semi-submersible Deepsea Aberdeen that was due to expire in April 2022. In accordance with the contract terms, BP will compensate Odfjell Drilling with an early termination fee through monthly payments until April 2022.
Softening the blow of the BP termination, Odfjell Drilling reported that Wintershall Dea Norge AS has secured Deepsea Aberdeen for exploration wells at Dvalin North and Bergknapp fields and development wells at Vega field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. With a start date of February or March 2021, the contract consists of four firm and three optional wells with an expected firm duration of 300 days. In addition, Wintershall Dea and Odfjell Drilling have entered into a long-term frame agreement for potential future rig needs.
As the Wintershall Dea contract falls within the original BP contract duration, BP will be entitled to a reduction in termination fee payments while Deepsea Aberdeen is operating for Wintershall. In total, Odfjell Drilling expects to maintain the same net cash flow as would have been the case with continued operations under the original BP contract.
Subsea construction on Seagull
In the central UK North Sea, energy independent oil company Neptune Energy and its joint venture partners BP and JAPEX reported they have begun the subsea construction phase of the Seagull tie-back – the first step in the offshore execution of the project.
TechnipFMC, working under the Neptune Energy Alliance Agreement, has deployed the reel pipelay vessel Apache II to start the pipe-in-pipe installation, laying 5 km of pipe connecting the Egret manifold to the Seagull development.
Once the project is completed, it is expected to produce 50,000 barrels of oil equivalents (boe) per day.
In late August, TechnipFMC mobilised the light construction support vessel Normand Mermaid to provide pre-lay activities, surveying and boulder removal. Following the pipe installation, the anchor-handling tug supply vessel Normand Ranger will undertake trenching activities for the development.
Partially using existing subsea infrastructure, the Seagull project will be tied back to the BP-operated ETAP Central Processing Facility. Gas from the development will come onshore at the CATS processing terminal at Teesside, while oil will come onshore through the Forties Pipeline System to the Kinneil Terminal, Grangemouth.
Operator of Seagull, Neptune, hold a 35% equity interest, BP has 50% and JAPEX the remaining 15%.