London-based offshore drilling contractor Noble Corporation said Shell has hired its Noble Globetrotter II ship to drill a well offshore Bulgaria beginning in the first quarter of 2019, reports SeeNews.
"Following the conclusion of the idle period, the unit will earn a dayrate based on a market index or the newly established floor of $275,000, whichever is higher," Noble Corporation said in a fleet status report on Monday. The dayrate will be adjusted every six months thereafter until completion of the contract. The estimated contract expiration date will be early September 2023.
In January last year, Shell said it is planning to start an exploration drilling programme in block 1-14 Khan Kubrat in the Bulgarian sector of the Black Sea in late 2018 or in 2019. The block spreads on an area of 6,893 sq km. Later in 2018, the local branch of Australia's Woodside Energy acquired a 30% non-operated participating interest in Block 1-14 Khan Kubrat from Shell.
"This opportunity targets an emerging oil and gas province close to existing infrastructure and markets," Woodside Energy said at the time, adding that planning was in progress to drill an exploration well in the second quarter of 2019. The block, previously named Silistar, was renamed to Knah Kubrat in 2017, when the exploration rights were transferred to Shell International Exploration and Development Italia from Dutch-based Shell Exploration and Production.