The Norwegian oil company Equinor has hired a drillship to drill the Monument prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

This was revealed by the offshore drilling contractor Pacific Drilling whose drillship Equinor has hired. The drillship in question is the Pacific Khamsin delivered by Samsung Heavy Industries in 2013.

The drillship is currently located in Las Palmas, Spain. According to Pacific Drilling, the drillship is currently ramping up for the contract.

The contract with Equinor is expected to begin in November 2019, and end in January 2020. Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Equinor seeking info on the drilling prospect.

Responding to OET, Equinor’s spokesperson Erik Haaland said: “Equinor is planning to drill the Monument prospect in the NW Walker Ridge area in the Gulf of Mexico, using the Pacific Khamsin rig, with spud planned for the fourth quarter of 2019. The prospect is located near the Shenandoah, Coronado, and Yucatan oil discoveries within the same mini-basin and with similar geologic characteristics.”

While Pacific Drilling did not disclose the dayrate, Norwegian rig broking firm Bassoe Offshore has estimated the dayrate for the two-month deal would be $175,000.

Apart from one firm well, Equinor will have an option to extend the drilling contract for three more wells.

As of the April 8 rig fleet status report, Pacific Drilling, which last year emerged from bankruptcy, had three rigs smart-stacked in Las Palmas and had four rigs with secured contracts (including the Khamsin).


Pacific Drilling drillships stacked in Las Palmas / Image by Rab Lawrence, Flickr – Shared under by 2.0