Petronas awards $43 million offshore drilling contract to US giant

A subsidiary of Malaysian state giant Petronas has awarded a $43 million drilling contract to US-based drilling company Noble Corporation for a semi-submersible rig to be deployed in Block 52, offshore Suriname.

Noble said in a social media post on Thursday that it had been awarded a one-well contract from Petronas Suriname E&P BV (also the operator of Block 52), for the deep-water semisub rig Noble Discoverer to drill an exploration well in the acreage.

“The contract is expected to commence in August 2023, with an estimated duration of 90 days,” it stated.

Noble said the contract value of the drilling job is approximately $43 million, including additional services provided, mobilisation and demobilisation fees.

The contract contains a one-well option, it added.

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Blake Denton, senior vice president of marketing and contracts at Noble said the “near-term programme positions the ‘Noble Discoverer’ in the same block offshore Suriname where sister rig Noble Developer previously operated for Petronas”.

The Noble Discoverer is currently operating offshore Guyana for CGX Resources. Following its contract with Petronas, the rig is scheduled to commence a contract offshore Colombia with Ecopetrol, Noble added.

Block 52 covers 4749 square kilometres in the Suriname-Guyana basin, with water depths ranging between 50 and 1100 metres.

The Petronas subsidiary operates Block 52 with a 50% stake, while ExxonMobil holds the remaining 50%.