Independent Oil and Gas plc ("IOG" or "the Company"), (AIM: IOG.L), the UK gas company targeting high returns via an infrastructure-led hub strategy, as operator of its joint venture with CalEnergy Resources (UK) Ltd, is pleased to announce that it has awarded the rig contract for its Core Project Phase 1 to a subsidiary of Noble Corporation ("Noble"). This follows a competitive selection process by IOG's drilling and contracting teams, assisted by well management contractor Petrofac, involving extensive technical and commercial evaluation across several drilling contractors.
Noble's Hans Deul jack-up rig has been selected to drill the five Phase 1 production wells, one each of which are planned at the Blythe and Elgood fields and three at the Southwark field. The fields all lie in 20-30 metre water depth in the UK Southern North Sea ("SNS"). The Hans Deul has a track record of successfully and safely executing wells in the SNS.
The Phase 1 drilling campaign is scheduled to commence in Q1 2021 and, subject to actual well durations over the five wells, is expected to last into Q2 2022, with First Gas scheduled for Q3 2021.
The contract also includes extension options to drill up to two further wells on favourable terms, at IOG's election.
Alongside this, detailed well design is progressing, on track to be completed in early 2021 ahead of the first well being spudded. The Company has also contracted most of the key services, tangibles and logistics for the Phase 1 drilling campaign and is tendering and negotiating multiple associated contracts.
Andrew Hockey, CEO of IOG, commented:
"We are very pleased to have contracted the Noble Hans Deul rig for our Phase 1 drilling campaign. Noble is a highly experienced drilling contractor and the Noble Hans Deul is both technically and commercially a strong choice, with a safe and successful track record of delivering similar wells.
This rig contract is another key step in ensuring efficient execution of Phase 1 of our SNS Core Project, with optionality for further drilling activity on favourable terms. It also reflects good ongoing collaboration between our drilling and contracting teams and Petrofac, who are the approved Well Operator. We look forward to spudding the first well in Q1 2021.
Robert Eifler, CEO of Noble Corporation, said:
"We are proud to support IOG and their partners on the Core Project Phase 1 drilling campaign. The Noble Hans Duel has a proven history of successful operations in the North Sea and we look forward to delivering safe and efficient operations for IOG on this important project."