Norwegian drilling contractor Odfjell Drilling has announced that oil major BP has terminated the contract for its Deepsea Aberdeen semi-submersible drilling rig, which was due to expire in April 2022.

Odfjell will receive compensation from BP for an early termination and has secured new work for the rig from oil and gas producer Wintershall Dea.

Odfjell Drilling CEO Simen Lieungh said: “We would like to thank BP for their co-operation and support throughout the Deepsea Aberdeen contract thus far.  The teamwork and overall efficiency of the well execution has been impressive.

“The Wintershall Dea contract is an important addition to Odfjell Drilling and we look forward to once again working with Wintershall Dea in the Norwegian sector.  The contract is another recognition of Odfjell Drilling’s ability to provide efficient drilling operations in harsh environments.”

Wintershall Dea subsidiary Wintershall Dea Norge said that Deepsea Aberdeen would drill the Dvalin North and Bergknapp exploration wells, as well as drill a minimum of two infill wells on the Vega field.

This drilling programme is due to start next February or March.

Deepsea Aberdeen adds to Odfjell Drilling’s fleet of adverse environment and ultra-deepwater drilling units. Built in 2014, the semi-submersible is a sixth generation, dual derrick rig.

Wintershall Dea Norge managing director Alv Bjørn Solheim said: “Securing the Deepsea Aberdeen with Odfjell Drilling means we have a first-class rig and drilling partner to support our continued growth on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

“We are committed to generating value from our existing production fields, like Vega, and to continue growing our development pipeline in order to maintain our position on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.”

Deepsea Aberdeen is currently at the Coast Center Base (CCB) Yard outside Bergen and is in preparation for the new campaign.

In May, Odfjell Drilling signed an agreement with Total to suspend proposed drilling work off the South African coast, due to ongoing uncertainties related to the Covid-19 pandemic.