Global offshore drilling activity slipped slightly from its 11-month high attained last week, with contracted rigs falling by three units to 447
As reported by Westwood Global Energy’s RigLogix, the global fleet of jack-up rigs drilling in shallow water was 334, down one week-on-week during week 17 2021, with the North Sea, Middle East and southeast Asia remaining unchanged.
Floater activity, represented by semi-submersibles and drill ships, dropped two units in the North Sea week-on-week, with West Africa and South America – a hot spot of activity – both remaining unchanged.
Brent crude oil (ICE) ticked up, with June 2021 contracts up fractionally to US$66.93 as of EDT 8:07, according to Bloomberg.
During the week, Maersk Drilling secured work in South America, receiving a one-well contract by CGX Resources Inc, operator and joint venture partner with Frontera Energy Guyana Corp, for semi-submersible rig Maersk Discoverer to perform exploration drilling in the Corentyne Block offshore Guyana. The contract has an estimated duration of 75 to 85 days, starting in Q3 2021, in direct continuation of the rig’s current work scope. The contract contains one firm well in the Corentyne Block and one optional well for the Demerara Block. The optional well has an estimated duration of 40 days. Maersk Drilling and CGX are in discussions to add services and performance incentives to the scope.
“The D-rig series is particularly well suited to filling special niches around the Americas with its versatile capabilities of both being able to work in a moored and a dynamically positioned mode,” observed Maersk Drilling chief operating officer Morten Kelstrup. “With this contract, Maersk Discoverer is fully booked throughout 2021 allowing us to continue to build and leverage the experience of the crew as well as the special technical characteristics of the rig.”
Fully capable of drilling in water of 3,000 m, Maersk Discoverer is currently operating offshore Trinidad and Tobago for BP.
Following the contract with CGX, the rig will commence a contract with BG International, a subsidiary of Shell, in Trinidad and Tobago.
Tight AHTS market
Activity in the North Sea has been trending up in Q1 2021, said shipbroker Fearnleys in its offshore report for April, noting a slow start to the year before experiencing significant rate hikes and long-term contracts for anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels. “AHTS rates moved from below opex to above Nkr1,000,000 (US$121,000). The PSVs also experienced supply tightness, especially the larger units, where a near-sold out summer season saw term rates climb to Nkr170,000 (US$20,060) per day,” said Fearnleys. The shipbroker expects activity levels going forward to create sufficient demand to reactivate platform supply vessels (PSVs).
“Higher activity in the future is also expected, as more than 20 new field development plans are anticipated to be announced for the region going forward as energy companies seek to benefit from the temporary Norwegian tax relief scheme ending next year. This is of course welcome news for all vessel types operating in the region, perhaps especially so for subsea assets considering the increasing market share of subsea infrastructure” said Fearnleys.
Norwegian subsea contractor Havfram has installed the first two multi-flow base (MFB) structures on its Var Energi Balder EPCI project. Provided by its Balder project consortium partner Baker Hughes, five of these 240-tonne MFBs will be installed in 2021.
“Measuring 22 m x 15.5 m x 7.1 m, these are large structures where our project team will draw on their vast experience of handling complex, large subsea hardware in the North Sea, Africa and beyond, putting the CSV Viking Neptun’s 400-tonne crane and other high spec features to good use,” said Havfram in a social media post.
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