Maersk Drilling announced Friday that CNOOC has exercised a one-well option for the Maersk Innovator jack-up rig to continue infill drilling at the Buzzard field on the UK continental shelf.
The option, from the Chinese oil firm's CNOOC Petroleum Europe subsidiary, has an expected duration of approximately 100 days, which means the Maersk Innovator is now firmly contracted until February 2020, the Danish drilling contractor said.
Maersk Innovator is a CJ70 ultra-harsh environment jack-up rig delivered in 2003 and designed for year-round operations in the North Sea.
“This extension is yet another indication that the activity level is rising in the North Sea, leading to a tightening market for our high-quality CJ70 rigs,” said CCIO Morten Kelstrup of Maersk Drilling.
The CNOOC-operated Buzzard field is located about 96 kilometers northeast of Aberdeen in the central North Sea, in approximately 96 meters water depth. One of the largest oilfields in the North Sea, Buzzard came on-stream in 2007 and in 2018 reached daily net production of approximately 50,000 BOE/day.
CNOOC, together with partners Suncor (29.9% interest), Chrysaor (21.73%), Dyas (4.7%) and Oranje-Nassau Energie (0.46%), in 2018 reached a final investment decision (FID) on Buzzard oilfield Phase II, and the oilfield is expected to commence production in 2020.
BPII is a subsea development of the Buzzard northern area, approximately 5 kilometers northeast of Buzzard platform consisting of a 12-slot manifold (eight production slots and four water injection). The development will be tied back to the existing Buzzard complex with a pipeline bundle assembly incorporating pipelines, manifolds, subsea controls and chemical injection. A brownfield module is to be installed on the production platform for processing and export via current export pipeline routes.
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