Drilling Roundup: New Contracts and New Carbon Storage Activity

West Vela courtesy of Seadrill
West Vela courtesy of Seadrill

Esgian has published its Week 48 Rig Market Roundup highlighting that new contract awards were revealed for a Velesto Drilling jackup, two Seadrill drillships and a Dolphin Drilling semisub. Meanwhile, Wintershall Dea is planning to drill a new carbon storage well in Norway.


Malaysia’s Velesto Drilling has agreed on an extension of a contract with Carigali Hess Operating Company for another year and six months.

Seadrill has secured a short-term contract for 12,000ft drillship West Vela in the US Gulf of Mexico with QuarterNorth Energy, to run for around three months.

LLOG has extended its contract for Seadrill 12,000ft drillship West Neptune in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Dolphin Drilling has been awarded a contract by EnQuest in the UK for its semisub Borgland Dolphin.


Wintershall Dea has decided to drill the first well in the Luna carbon storage licence in the Norwegian North Sea, with a storage potential of 5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. The CO2 storage licence is located 120 km west of Bergen in a water depth of 200 metres. It is adjacent to the licence where the Northern Lights CO2 storage project is under development.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has granted Harbour Energy Norge a drilling permit for a well located offshore Norway. The wildcat well 15/9-25 Amethyst is located in production licence 1138 in the North Sea.

Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) has granted Equinor consent to use Transocean 1,640ft semisubmersible Transocean Encourage for production drilling at the Vigdis field. PSA has also granted Norske Shell consent to use the 3,900ft semisub Deepsea Yantai for plugging and abandonment operations at two fields offshore Norway.


Following a month-long yard stay in Norway, Stena Drilling’s 5,000ft semisub Stena Spey is returning to Ithaca Energy’s K2 location in the UK North Sea.

Valaris 12,000ft drillship Valaris DS-12 has left Angola after completing work for TotalEnergies in November 2023. The rig is now en route to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

Noble 12,000ft drillship Noble Voyager has arrived in Trinidad & Tobago after completing an exploration well offshore Mauritania in November 2023. Noble Voyager drilled the PannaCotta-1 well for Shell in Mauritania.

COSL Drilling’s 6th Gen harsh-environment 4,921ft semisub, COSLProspector, has arrived in Namibia’s Walvis Bay while en route to Norway.

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