Equinor has received regulatory approval to use the Deepsea Atlantic offshore drilling unit for operations at Tordis and Vigdis fields in the North Sea, offshore Norway.
The Petroleum Safety Authority said Friday that the drilling and completion operations, approved by the authority, would start mid-March.
"The consent applies to plugging, drilling, and completion of wells using the Deepsea Atlantic mobile drilling facility," the PSA said.
The semi-submersible drilling rig is operated by Odfjell Drilling. The operations are expected to take 196 days to complete.
Deepsea Atlantic is a sixth generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible, designed for operations in harsh environments and at water depths of up to 3,000 meters. Equinor in December 2019 exercised three new well options for the Deepsea Atlantic.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in September last year granted Equinor consent to use the facilities on the Tordis and Vigdis fields beyond the approved lifetime.
Tordis has secured consent until December 31, 2036, and Vigdis until December 31, 2040. This means that the facilities will operate for a total of 34 years longer than originally anticipated.
Equinor is the operator of the fields, both of which are located in production license 089 in the Tampen area in the northern part of the North Sea. Statfjord, Snorre, and Gullfaks fields are the closest neighbors.
Tordis has produced since 1994, and a subsea multiphase pump was installed in 2007 to increase recovery from the field. Vigdis started producing in 1997, and the plan is to also install a subsea multiphase pump on this field in 2020.