Transocean rig continues North Sea tour

April 23 (UPI) — A Transocean rig will be moving from an exploration well in the North Sea to frontier territory near existing oil and gas discoveries, Norway’s government said.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the nation’s energy regulator, granted Wellesley Petroleum permission to move the Transocean Arctic drilling rig to a wildcat well, a well not previously known to contain hydrocarbons.

The well is located about 8 miles southwest of the Gjoa field and 7 miles east of the Byrding field. Both are existing oil and gas producing fields in the North Sea.

“The permit is conditional on the operator securing all other permits and consents required by other authorities before the drilling activity commences,” the NPD stated. “This is the first well to be drilled in the license.”

Wellesley has the Transocean rig scheduled to drill an exploration well in a North Sea prospect dubbed Kallåsen. Drilling is scheduled for early May and last for 28 days if the well is dry and up to 71 if a new discovery is made. Wellesley came up empty handed in a similar effort last week.

Wellesley has a steady string of drilling campaigns set for the year using the Transocean Arctic rig. Its data and information from surrounding reserves means “the range of possible discovery outcomes in the campaign is wide.”

Norway is one of the main suppliers of oil and natural gas to the European market, apart from Russia.

The National Petroleum Directorate, the nation’s energy regulator, said March oil production averaged 1.5 million barrels per day, based on preliminary figures, and about 3 percent below expectations for the year. Total gas production, meanwhile, was 2.3 percent below the previous month and 1.1 percent less than expected.