Shell and Diamond Offshore have “mutually agreed” the release of the Ocean Valiant rig from its contract.
Diamond’s most recent fleet status report, published in February, shows Ocean Valiant was supposed to be with Shell in the UK North Sea from November 2019 until March 2021.
A source said Shell had “shelved” plans to drill five wells and that the rig would be stacked later this month.
A spokesman for Shell confirmed Ocean Valiant would be released once it completes a well at the Gannet field.
But he said Ocean Valiant’s “agreed scope” would be transferred to Diamond’s Ocean Endeavor rig, which is already contracted to Shell.
Energy Voice reported in October that Shell was using Ocean Endeavor for drilling work at its Fram gas field as part of a campaign expected to last up to 110 days.
It’s understood the Ocean Valiant decision was “operational” and not linked to any spending reductions which may be triggered by the current crude price slump.