Esgian Week 19 Report: New Offshore Acreage Offered

© Alexandre / Adobe Stock
© Alexandre / Adobe Stock

Esgian reports another busy week filled with a variety of updates, including new offshore acreage offered in the UK, Norway and Nigeria, in its Week 19 Rig Analytics Market Roundup.

Report Summary


ADES Holding Company has received a direct award of a contract from Suez Oil Company (SUCO) in Egypt. The SUCO award in Egypt’s Gulf of Suez is for a firm 21-month term expected to start in the coming weeks.

Noble 492-ft jackup Noble Innovator has been awarded a one-well extension with bp in UK waters at a dayrate of $145,000.

Diamond Offshore has secured marketing rights for three new 7th generation drillships; West Dorado, West Draco, and West Libra.

Diamond Offshore has signed an estimated 30-day, one-well contract with Foxtrot offshore Cote D'IVoire for the 12,000-ft drillship Ocean BlackRhino.

Seadrill 12,000-ft drillship West Neptune has secured a six-month contract extension with an independent operator in the US GOM, starting in the third quarter of 2025 in direct continuation of its current contract West Neptune has been working for LLOG in the US GOM since September 2021.

Seadrill Limited has secured a contract for its 10,000-ft drillship West Capella in South Korea.

Noble has secured a new contract with an undisclosed operator for its 350-ft CJ50 harsh-environment jackup Noble Resolve, which is currently operating in Denmark, for operations offshore Spain.

Drilling Activity and Discoveries

The Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NOD) has granted Aker BP a drilling permit for wells located in the Barents Sea offshore Norway.

Equinor began drilling the Argerich-1 exploration well last week in the Argentina Norte basin, 300 kilometres from the coast.

UK supermajor bp has started drilling the Pau Brasil prospect in the Pau Brasil pre-salt block offshore Brazil.

Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy) has begun drilling the Ocotillo exploration well on Mississippi Canyon Block 40 in the US GOM with Diamond Offshore 12,000-ft drillship Ocean Blackhawk.

Talos Energy plans to start drilling the Katmai West #2 well in the US GOM in the third quarter of 2024, in order to further appraise the field.

BW Energy stated that its DHBSM-2P pilot well on the Dussafu licence offshore Gabon has confirmed that the Hibiscus South deposit extends into the northern part of the field, increasing its reserve estimates at the field.


In the latest phase of the 33rd oil and gas licensing round, the UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has offered a further 31 licences made up of 88 blocks/part blocks in the Central North Sea, East Irish Sea, and the Southern North Sea.

Deltic Energy has been provisionally awarded two licences over eight blocks and part blocks by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) in Tranche 3 of the UK's 33rd Offshore Licensing Round.

Speaking at the Daniel Energy Partners Offshore Executive Series in Houston, Texas on 7 May 2024, TotalEnergies Vice President – Deep Offshore Jean-Herve Morard said the company planned to take a final investment decision (FID) on the development of Block 20/11 offshore Angola an Block 58 offshore Suriname in 2025 and was likely to take FID on the Venus development offshore Namibia in 2025.

Oil and gas company bp is targeting a final investment decision (FID) on the Kaskida development in the US GOM, according to Andy Krieger, senior vice president Gulf of Mexico and Canada for bp, speaking at the Daniel Energy Partners Offshore Executive Series in Houston on 7 May 2024.

Hartshead Resources has been notified by the UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) that it has been successful in winning 10 blocks in the recent UK 33rd Licencing Round.

The Norwegian Ministry of Energy has announced this year’s licencing round on the Norwegian continental shelf – APA 2024.

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has opened its 2024 Licencing Round, which is expected to last around nine months.

Mobilisation/Rig Moves

Saipem-managed 400-ft jackup Perro Negro 13 has started moving towards its drilling location in the Persian Gulf to start its contract with Saudi Aramco.

The Saipem-managed 12,000-ft drillship Santorini is en route to Cote d'Ivoire where it will continue operating under a contract with Eni.

Shelf Drilling's 300-ft jackup Main Pass I has reached Ras Al Khair, Saudi Arabia.

Valaris-owned 350-ft jackup Valaris 143 has arrived at Ras Tanura anchorage in Saudi Arabia, following the suspension of its contract with Saudi Aramco.

The COSL-managed 400-ft jackup Zhenhai 6 arrived at Ras Tanura anchorage in Saudi Arabia following the suspension of its contract with Saudi Aramco.

TotalEnergies is moving Vantage Drilling 10,000-ft drillship Tungsten Explorer and Odfjell Drilling 10,000-ft semisubmersible Deepsea Mira from Namibia to offshore the Republic of the Congo, following the company’s recent Venus appraisal and exploration campaign in Namibia’s Orange Basin.

Advanced Drilling Services (ADES)-owned 400-ft jackup Admarine 502 is being towed to Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia.

Vantage Drilling 375-ft jackup Topaz Driller has arrived in Singapore and entered the yard for what its owner has called a “significant upgrade project” ahead of a two-year contract with CPOC to begin in the third quarter of 2024.

The 10,000-ft semisubmersible drilling rig SSV Catarina left an anchorage in Vietnam on Wednesday and is now en route to an Eni-operated block to start drilling.

Rig Sales

Diamond Offshore has sold its 50-year-old 10,000-ft semisubmersible drilling rig, the Ocean Monarch.

Other News

Azule Energy, a joint venture created by bp and Eni in Angola, has signed a farm-in agreement with Rhino Resources for Block 2914A (PEL85) in the offshore Namibian Orange basin.

Noble Corporation reported net income of $95 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $108 million in Q4 2023 and $150 million in the first quarter of 2023.

China's CNOOC said Tuesday that the "Bozhong 19-6 Gas Field 13-2 Block 5 Well Site Development Project" had started production.

Baron Oil has been informed that its application, as a joint venture non-operating partner, in the UK's 33rd licencing round, conducted by the UK North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), has been unsuccessful.

VAALCO Energy has acquired Svenska Petroleum, whose primary asset is a stake in the Baobab deepwater field in Block CI-40 offshore Cote d’Ivoire.

Saudi Aramco reported net income of $27.3 billion for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $31.9 billion in Q1 2023.

Diamond Offshore stated that repairs on 10,000-ft semisubmersible Ocean GreatWhite are progressing well and the rig is expected to be back on well location with bp in the first half of June 2024.

Offshore drilling contractor Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. reported net income of $11.6 million for the first quarter of 2024, up from a net loss of $145.7 million in fourth quarter 2023.

Norwegian operator Vår Energi has agreed the sale of its Norne area assets offshore Norway to DNO Norge for a fixed after-tax consideration of $51 million, and DNO Norge will transfer to Vår Energi its stake in the Ringhorne East unit.

Vantage Drilling has reported a net loss attributable to controlling interest of $2.9 million for Q1 2024, as compared to a net loss attributable to controlling interest of $2.3 million for Q1 2023.

After receiving a two-year licence extension, Kosmos Energy is continuing pre-FEED work on the Yakaar-Teranga deepwater development offshore Senegal.

Japanese oil and gas company INPEX has signed an agreement with compatriot power generation giant JERA to study the feasibility of establishing a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) value chain involving the capture of CO2 in Japan and its transportation to Australia for storage.

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