Transocean Secures North Sea Drilling Work

Published at 09:06AM - 14/12/15

Transocean has secured offshore drilling work, in the UK sector of the North sea, for one of its semi-submersibles.

The contract signed today (14th), will see the firm work with its John Shaw drilling rig, in the Northern North Sea for Independent Oil and Gas (IOG).

North Sea Drilling Work

Transocean have been tasked with drilling and appraisal well in IOG’s Skipper prospect, in UK block 9/21a.

The John Shaw rig will drill the well to a depth of 5,600 ft (1707m), with the aim of retrieving oil samples, allowing the company to design a full field development plan.

The work is planned to start between the end of January and the beginning of February 2016, with work scheduled to take around 25 days.

Commenting on the news, IOG CEO, Mark Routh, said: “Following our recent funding, the signing of this semi-submersible rig contract with Transocean is the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.”

“This allows us to drill the Skipper well in the New Year which will enable us to optimise the Skipper Field Development Plan in addition to targeting two exploration prospects at low cost. We hope to provide further updates regarding approvals from the OGA in the near future.”

Skipper Field

The skipper field is located 87 miles (140 km) southeast offshore Shetland, and 24 miles (38 km) off the UK Norwegian boarder.

Skipper has estimated reserves of 26 million barrels of oil from independent estimates, however IOG management estimate that reserves are much higher at 34.1 million barrels of oil.

The appraisal drilling work, also aims to target further reservoirs, directly below Skipper, in the Maureen and Lower Dornoch formations.  The two formations could add as much as 46 million barrels of oil to the fields reserves.

The Skipper fields is currently owned jointly by IOG and Alpha Petroleum.  IOG are currently in the process of purchasing Alphas stake, that will enable them to operate Skipper with a 100% ownership.

The deal is currently ongoing, with regulators giving the two firms until 21st December 2015 to finalise the contract.

John Shaw Rig

The John Shaw is a semi-submersible drilling rig. The self propelled driller was delivered in 1982 by Mitsui, Japan.

John Shaw has been designed to operate in harsh weather environments, and operate water depths up to 1,800 feet (549 meters), and drill to a depth of 25,000 feet (7,600 m).