Austrian operator OMV has contracted Danish offshore drilling rig operator Maersk Drilling’s ‘Maersk Integrator’ rig to drill its exploration well off Norway.

Under the contract, Maersk will drill one exploration well at OMV’s Ommadawn prospect located in PL 970 offshore Norway.

The $14.3m contract is expected to start in the mid of next year. It is expected to last for 52 days.

The contract also includes an option to add approximately 28 days of well testing programme.

Maersk Drilling COO Morten Kelstrup said: “We’re pleased to add this additional work scope for Maersk Integrator in 2021, and to enter into a new type of collaborative contractual set-up with OMV where we will focus on aligning incentives in the planning and execution of the drilling operation which again is expected to significantly reduce the uncertainty about overall well construction costs for our customer.

“We believe this kind of commercial model has the potential to increase exploration drilling activity in Norway and across the North Sea. The contract further shows the commercial value of our low-emission upgrades.

“By reducing fuel consumption, CO₂ emissions and NOx emissions we are not only making contributions towards reaching emission targets, but also create value for our customer under the incentive schemes established in Norway.”

Currently, Integrator rig is undergoing a set of upgrades to ‘combine the use of hybrid power with low levels of NOx emissions’.

The upgrades also include the addition of data intelligence to further reduce energy consumption and CO₂ emissions.

Maersk Integrator is specifically designed for operations in the North Sea.

The ultra-harsh environment CJ70 XLE jack-up rig was delivered in 2015. It is currently operating off Norway.

In September, Maersk Drilling announced to cut the ‘intensity’ of carbon dioxide emissions from its drilling operations in half by 2030.