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May 6, 2021

Wintershall calls off West Mira rig contract with Northern Ocean

Germany’s Wintershall Dea has terminated the contract with Northern Ocean for the West Mira semi-submersible drilling rig.

By Archana Rani

Owned by Northern Drilling’s spin-off company Northern Ocean, the West Mira drilling rig is managed by Seadrill.

The termination follows the extended downtime period due to an equipment failure reported in March on the Nova field in the Norwegian North Sea.

During the lowering process of production equipment to the well location, the rig experienced equipment failure. This resulted in the descending of the production equipment to the seabed.

Following the incident, Seadrill Europe Management and Wintershall Dea have agreed on a plan to secure the production equipment.

In a press statement, Seadrill said: “Seadrill has been working diligently with Wintershall Dea, and the rig’s owner Northern Ocean, to prepare the West Mira for a return to work.

“Seadrill will review the notice received and will continue our constructive engagement with both Wintershall Dea and Northern Ocean.”

As part of a contract signed in 2018, the West Mira rig was planned to drill a total of six wells at the Nova field located in the production licences PL 418.

Wintershall Norge with a stake of 35% is the operator of the Nova field. Capricorn Norge, a part of Cairn Energy, holds 20%, Spirit Energy owns 20%, Edison Norge has a stake of 15% while DEA Norge owns a 10% stake in the offshore field.

The operations with the semi-submersible drilling rig were planned for approximately one year.

The incident marks second for the rig. In March 2020, the rig was involved in an unintentional disconnection of the lower marine riser package (LMRP), which resulted in the discharge of a certain amount of oil-based drilling fluid into the sea.

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