Fiscal relief package triggers Vår Energi drilling activities

Source: press release, 16 July 2020

Sixth-generation semi-submersible rig ‘Scarabeo 8’
Sixth-generation semi-submersible rig ‘Scarabeo 8’ (photo: Saipem)

Vår Energi has resumed drilling activities in the Barents Sea and the North Sea, which this spring were postponed due to the Corona pandemic and oil price collapse. The decision has been made possible by the temporary changes in the petroleum tax, adopted by the Norwegian parliament in June. This triggers a positive employment effect in the rig market.

The drilling campaign, carried out by the Saipem-owned drilling rig Scarabeo 8, includes two production and one water injection well at the Goliat Field in the Barents Sea. In addition, the King Prince exploration well, near the Balder/Ringhorne field in the North Sea, will be drilled.

“After a period of difficult choices and decisions, we are pleased to announce that we are resuming parts of the drilling schedule that was postponed earlier this year due to the extraordinary situation the entire industry was in,” says Annethe Gjerde, VP Procurement at Vår Energi.

“The politician’s ability and willingness to find solutions, through temporary changes in the tax regime, have made it possible to reconsider such difficult choices,” Gjerde points out.

“The changes are important and necessary in order to maintain activity and employment. The Storting’s decision means that we can quickly turn around to carry out these drilling activities. We are happy and proud to see that this triggers much needed activity in the rig market as well as in the supplier industry. This in line with the Storting’s intention,” says Gjerde.

“The goal is for us to start drilling activity in the Barents Sea late autumn 2020. Good cooperation with suppliers is of course a crucial prerequisite for achieving this. We see a willingness to find good solutions despite the challenges we face,” Gjerde concludes.

Vår Energi AS is the largest independent E&P company on the NCS. Vår Energi is jointly owned by Italy-based energy company Eni (69.6%) and Norway-based leading private equity investor HitecVision (30.4%).