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Home / Hercules rig scores US$50 million Namibian drilling gig

Hercules rig scores US$50 million Namibian drilling gig

2023-05-08  Edgar Brandt

Hercules rig scores US$50 million Namibian drilling gig

Edgar Brandt

A Scottish-based drilling company, called Odfjell Drilling, is the latest international company to enter the red-hot oil race off the coast of Namibia. 

Odfjell on Friday, 5 March, agreed with a Portuguese oil and gas company, GalpEnergia to drill two wells off the coast of Namibia. The agreement, estimated in the region of US$50 million (over N$920 million), will see the SFL Corporation-owned Hercules rig moved from an ExxonMobil job in Canada. 

The semi-submersible Hercules rig is currently undergoing a special survey in Norway, being mobilised to Canada for a contract with ExxonMobil. Once complete with that assignment, it will start the transit to Namibia, where GalpEnergia managed to secure an extension for an exploration licence, located close to Shell’s Graff and TotalEnergies’ Venus discoveries. 

Galp conducted a 3D seismic campaign in the licence area in early 2019, comprising an area of around 3 000 square kilometres offshore deepwater offshore.

The drilling job is scheduled to commence in the last quarter of this year and has an estimated firm duration of 115 days, including mobilisation to Namibia. 

In a statement, Odfjell Drilling confirmed the drilling contract for two wells in Namibia. Kjetil Gjersdal, CEO of Odfjell Drilling AS commented: “Since taking on management and marketing for the Hercules, we have worked tirelessly on facilitating the vessel being ready for operations in Canada while also working to secure work after this. Agreeing this contract with GalpEnergia, the third contract for work in Namibia we have agreed within the last year, is very exciting for our company, and we look forward to working with SFL and Galp Energia to meet expectations safely and efficiently”.

Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management, commented: “We are pleased to announce this follow-on contract for the Hercules, which will keep the rig continuously employed until the end of the first quarter of 2024. The new contract illustrates the attractiveness and versatility of Hercules as a harsh environment oil exploration and development rig for the international market. With increasing demand and few available drilling rigs with Hercules’ capabilities, we see additional upside in day rates and contract term from 2024 onwards”.

The 2008-built Hercules sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible rig was constructed in South Korea and can accommodate 180 people. It can operate in water depths of 10 000 ft and its maximum drilling depth is 35 000 ft.

The Hercules has a state-of-the-art, highly efficient drilling system and is known for being a deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible. It also boasts highly advanced gear, including a full conventional mooring spread for operations in water depths of 100 to 500 metres.

The 5 200 mt loading capacity in all operating conditions ensures efficiency, with a reduced need for supply vessels. Successful operations can be performed in Barents Sea during wintertime, and the unit is prepared for winterisation Class notation for improved working conditions in an arctic environment.


2023-05-08  Edgar Brandt

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