(PetroleoHoje) ExxonMobil intends to start in December the drilling of its first exploratory well in Sergipe, at the SEAL-M-428 block, which will also extend to the neighboring area of ​​SEAL-M-351. The oil company, which already has the rig ready to carry out the work, is just waiting for the release of the environmental license to start the campaign.

Drilling will be carried out at the Cutthroat prospect, in deep water. The campaign will be carried out by Seadrill’s West Saturn drillship, which drilled Titan and Opal for the oil company.

The unit was recently submitted to hull cleaning procedures in Angra dos Reis (RJ) and is currently sailing towards Ilha de Pai e Mãe, in Guanabara Bay, where it will be awaiting the process of release from the environmental authorities .

Sources state that the expectation is that the environmental drilling license will be released soon, in time for the campaign to start in 2021. The West Saturn drillship will continue its trip to Sergipe by its own propulsion.

Travel time to rental is estimated to be approximately five days. At first, ExxonMobil plans to keep the rig in Rio de Janeiro until the environmental license is released, but it will come as no surprise if the plan changes.

Originally, the oil company planned to take the West Saturn drillship straight to Sergipe, but recently changed the plan.

The drilling campaign for ExxonMobil’s exploratory well in Sergipe will take about two months. Operated by ExxonMobil, in partnership with Enauta and Murphy, the SEAL-M-351 and SEAL-M-428 blocks were auctioned off in the 13th round, in 2015.

In addition to these two blocks, the consortium maintains another seven exploratory areas in the Sergipe Basin.

Upon completion of the first well in the Northeast, the West Saturn drillship will terminate a contract with ExxonMobil. For the time being, there is no confirmation of the oil company’s plans in relation to new campaigns for the Campos, Santos and Sergipe basins.

The company is expected to reassess the data collected from the drilling of the three exploratory wells and return to the market to charter a new rig in the future.

Once the Sergipe campaign is completed, West Saturn will operate for Equinor, drilling the development wells for the Bacalhau project, in the Santos Basin. Before starting operations for the Norwegian oil company, the drillship will undergo minor upgrade works to meet the technical specifications of the contract.

The start of Equinor’s campaign is projected to take place between May and June 2022.

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