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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Esgian Week 18 Report: Confirmations, Terminations and Suspensions

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

May 5, 2024

© Arild / Adobe Stock

© Arild / Adobe Stock

Esgian reports an eventful week with contract confirmations, terminations and suspensions in its Week 18 Rig Analytics Market Roundup.

Report Summary


Burullus Gas Company, the self-operated joint venture between Shell Egypt, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Petronas, has agreed to move forward with the development of Phase 11 in Egypt's Nile Delta in the Mediterranean Sea.

QatarEnergy has exercised a one-year option for Borr Drilling 400-ft jackup Groa, keeping it working in Qatar into April 2025.

Following a letter of award announced earlier this month, Shelf Drilling North Sea has secured a contract for the 400-ft jackup Shelf Drilling Fortress with a North Sea operator for operations in the UK Continental Shelf. This campaign with an unnamed operator believed to be TotalEnergies is scheduled to begin following the completion of the rig’s current contract.

Dolphin Drilling has issued a notice of termination of a contract to General Hydrocarbons Limited (GHL) for the 6,000-ft semisub Blackford Dolphin.

Following a letter of intent (LoI), Transocean is working to firm up a new contract extension for its 10,000-ft semisub Transocean Spitsbergen in Norway.

Transocean has secured a contract for an additional four wells for 12,000-ft drillship Deepwater Atlas in the US GOM at a dayrate of $505,000.

ExxonMobil has exercised a six-month priced option offshore Angola for Valaris 12,000-ft drillship Valaris DS-9, starting in January 2025 in direct continuation of the rig’s existing firm program. Valaris DS-9 has been working for ExxonMobil offshore Angola since mid-2022.

Harbour Energy has sent a contract suspension notice to Valaris for 225-ft jackup Valaris 92, which has been working for Harbour Energy in the UK North Sea.

Equinor has exercised a 60-day priced option offshore Brazil for Valaris 12,000-ft drillship Valaris DS-17, starting in May 2025 in direct continuation of the rig’s existing contract.

Following the previously announced suspension of the Saudi Aramco contract for ARO Drilling-managed 350-ft jackup Valaris 143, ARO Drilling intends to terminate the contract and return the rig to its owner Valaris.

Valaris 350-ft jackup Valaris 144 has secured a 13-well contract offshore Angola, which will see the rig leave the US GOM in 2025 for the first time since 2021.

TotalEnergies has exercised a one-well priced option for the 400-ft harsh environment jackup Valaris Stavanger in the UK waters of the North Sea.

The 400-ft jackup Arabia I, owned by Borr Drilling, is currently on contract suspension for up to 12 months, and is on standby in Ras Tanura.

Drilling Activity and Discoveries

Following its positive appraisal of the Venus discovery offshore Namibia, TotalEnergies plans to take the final investment decision (FID) on the Venus development by the end of 2025.

Bursa Malaysia-listed Hibiscus Petroleum has made an oil discovery at the Malaysia–Vietnam PM3 CAA PSC.

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD) has granted Equinor a drilling permit for two wells in the North Sea off Norway. Included in the permit are exploration well 35/10-14 S and sidetrack well 35/10-14 A, targeting Kvernbit and Mimung prospects.

Wintershall Dea and its partners, Petoro and DNO, have spudded the Cuvette exploration well next to the Vega field in the North Sea with the 10,000-ft semisubmersible Transocean Norge.

Oil and gas company LLOG started drilling the Who Dat East exploration/appraisal well on Sunday, 28 April, using the 12,000-ft drillship Noble Valiant.

Deltic Energy, a partner in the Shell-operated Pensacola discovery in the UK North Sea, is struggling to secure a partner to help fund its share of drilling costs for the upcoming appraisal well amid fiscal uncertainty in the UK.

BW Energy has begun drilling the DHBSM-2P well offshore Gabon with Borr Drilling 400-ft jackup Norve.

Following its successful Mopane exploration campaign, Galp Energia is fast tracking plans for a four-well campaign for further exploration and appraisal of the Mopane complex on PEL 83 offshore Namibia.


Hess has stated that exploration activities are planned at Block 42 and Block 59 offshore Suriname in 2024.

Australian oil and gas company Santos, and its partners Carnarvon Energy and CPC, are working to optimise the project design for the first phase of the Dorado oil field development in Australia, to cut the costs and the time to first oil.

OKEA has handed over the plan for development and operation (PDO) for the Bestla oil and gas field, previously known as Brasse, to Norwegian Energy Minister Terje Aasland.

Transocean, one of the drilling contractors participating in recent tenders in Brazil, expects state oil company Petrobras to award contracts in its tender for floating rigs to work at the Roncador field during the third quarter of 2024.

Mobilisation/Rig Moves

Valaris 12,000-ft drillship Valaris DS-7 is en route from the Canary Islands to Angola, where it will begin an 850-day contract with Azule Energy.
The ME-ADS-owned 300-ft jackup Sea Challenger has been loaded onto the heavy lift vessel Seaway Albatross and is now moving to the United Arab Emirates from Greece.

Other News

Chevron affiliate Chevron Namibia Exploration Limited has executed an agreement to enter into a Petroleum Exploration License (PEL ) 82 offshore Namibia, assuming an 80% interest and operatorship of the license.

Transocean Ltd. reported a net income attributable to controlling interest of $98 million, for the first quarter of 2024, compared to a net loss of $104 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Norwegian Ministry of Energy has received applications from eight companies in connection with the announcement of two areas in the North Sea for potential storage of CO2 on the Norwegian shelf.

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) has issued Call for Bids No. NL24-CFB01, a call for bids for exploration licences in the Eastern Newfoundland region offshore Canada.

Valaris Limited reported net income of $26 million for the first quarter of 2024, down from $829 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 when the company received a tax benefit of $790 million.

Europa Oil & Gas was contacted by the UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) regarding the company's application for a licence as part of the 33rd UK Offshore Licensing Round that closed on 12 January 2023, proposing a marriage between Europa and another party for the licence.