Shell Hires Valaris Rig for North Sea Drilling Job

Monday, February 5, 2024

Shell has confirmed that a rig contract has been signed with Valaris for the drilling of both the Selene exploration well and the Pensacola appraisal well in the North Sea, expected to start in summer 2024.

The two wells will be drilled using the Valaris 123, a heavy-duty jack-up rig, with Selene and Pensacola being drilled as a two well sequence.

The contract and mobilization will start in the June-July 2024 period, according to Shell’s partner Deltic Energy, which holds working interest in both licenses (30% at Pensacola and 50% at Selene).

With Selene and Pensacola being drilled sequentially, this creates the potential for operational efficiencies associated with being part of an extended program of wells.



Confirmation of the rig contract is a significant step forward for Deltic and a key milestone in the preparatory work required to support the exploration well on the Selene gas prospect and the appraisal well on Pensacola, following last year’s discovery.

The geophysical site survey on Pensacola has now received permitting approval, with the mobilization to the site already taken place, Deltic said. The survey is expected to last for approximately one month.

“Signing of the rig contract coupled with the firming up of the drilling schedule is another important step for Deltic as we move further down the runway towards the drilling of Selene and Pensacola.

“Confirmation that the joint venture has secured a high quality rig, with Selene and Pensacola being drilled back to back, represents another key milestone as we get closer to drilling in what is shaping up to be a very active and exciting year for Deltic,” said Graham Swindells, Chief Executive of Deltic Energy.

As reported earlier, Shell hit gas at the Pensacola prospect in January 2023, using the Noble Resilient jack-up drilling rig.

Categories: Energy Drilling North Sea Industry News Activity Europe Oil and Gas

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