STAVANGER, Norway – Repsol Norge, on behalf of the licensees for the Yme field in the Norwegian North Sea, has agreed to take over day-to-day operations of the jackup Mærsk Inspirer from Maersk Drilling.
The offshore drilling contractor will sell the rig to Havila Sirius, and the Yme licensees will in turn lease the rig under a bareboat charter.
The transaction remains subject to approval by the authorities.
Vidar Nedrebø, managing director of Repsol Norge, said: “Taking over the responsibility of day-to-day operations of Mærsk Inspirer enables extractions of further contractual and operational synergies on behalf of the Yme license.”
Certain employees will likely transfer from Maersk Drilling to Repsol Norge, and in the transitional period post-closing and for 12 months, Maersk Drilling will provide drilling management services against payment of a management fee.
Repsol Norge operates both the Yme field and the Yme new development project with a 55% interest, in partnership with Lotos Exploration and Production Norge, KUFPEC Norway, and OKEA.
Yme is in blocks 9/2 and 9/5 in the Egersund basin, 100 km (62 mi) offshore.
The current re-development involves engineering, procurement, construction, and installation of a new wellhead module on the existing facilities; modifications and upgrades to the Mærsk Inspirer; and subsequent hookup to existing wells and installations on the seabed.
Following an initial drilling campaign in UK waters, the rig – originally completed in 2004 – was converted to perform simultaneous drilling and production on the Volve field offshore Norway for Statoil (Equinor) from 2007 to 2017.
Between the fall of 2018 and late 2020 it was at Aker Solutions’ yard in Egersund for the upgrade program, before being installed at the Yme field on Dec. 31.
OKEA commented that the reorganization of operations should lead to operational synergies and improvements in cash flow for the license partners. Production is due to start later this year.