Equinor extends Maersk jackup North Sea program into 2021

April 30, 2020
Equinor has awarded Maersk Drilling a four-well extension for the low-emission jackup Maersk Intrepid offshore Norway.

Offshore staff

LYNGBY, Denmark – Equinor has awarded Maersk Drilling a four-well extension for the low-emission jackup Maersk Intrepid offshore Norway.

In direct continuation of the rig’s current program at the Martin Linge field development in the North Sea, it will drill and complete three additional gas wells at the field, followed by P&A of one well.

The estimated 339-day extension should take effect this September. In addition, the two parties have agreed on the provision of integrated services for the campaign, including managed pressure drilling, slop treatment, cuttings handling, and tubular running services.

The contract value is around $100 million, including rig modifications and upgrades, but excluding the integrated services and potential performance bonuses. There is a further one-well option and another covering up to 120 additional days of well intervention.

According to Maersk Drilling, the contract extension is part of a new master framework agreement with Equinor supporting a long-term collaboration in Norway and internationally.

The two companies commit to collaborate on technology advances with a special focus on digitalization and automation, and on other initiatives to limit greenhouse gas emissions from drilling operations.

Equinor has designated the Maersk Intrepid as a preferred jackup with exclusive access to the rig if certain conditions are met.

Under the rig’s previously agreed work scope, Maersk Drilling will complete a series of upgrades to turn it into what it claims will be the first hybrid, low-emission rig. These upgrades involve combining hybrid power with low levels of NOx emissions, adding data intelligence to further reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

The project has financial support from the Norwegian NOx Fund, and benefits from Equinor’s decision to introduce compensation formats to stimulate emission reductions.

In addition, the Maersk Intrepid will be outfitted with the NOVOS drilling system to further enhance its digital profile. The system is said to assist the driller in executing processes consistently and allows interfaces with third-party advisory algorithms to improve drilling performance.

The Maersk Intrepid is a CJ70 design configured for year-round ultra-harsh operations in the North Sea. It was delivered in 2014 and has operated solely offshore Norway.