Rig: Sovereign Explorer

Name Sovereign Explorer
Owner Transocean Ltd.
Manager Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc.
Rig Type Semisub
Sub Type Deepwater Floater
Jackup Type --
Max Water Depth (ft) 4500
Max Drill Depth (ft) 25000
Dimensions (ft) 301 x 256 x 135
Leg Length (ft) --
Competitive No

Current Location

Country --
Region --

Drilling Equipment

Drawworks Type National Oilwell Varco 1625 DE
Drawworks HP 3000
Mud Pumps Type National Oilwell Varco 12-P-160 Triplex
Top Drive National Oilwell Varco TDS-4
Hookload Capacity (lbs) 1000000

Rig Construction Details

Rig Design Gotaverken
Rig Model GVA 4000
Year Built 1984
Country of Build UK
Yard Name Birkenhead Shipyard
Group Yard Name Cammell Laird Ship Repairers & Ship Builders Ltd.

Rig Contract Details

Operating Status Retired


26 Oct 2009

Venezuelan exploration campaign completed

StatoilHydro in Venezuela has completed the third and last well of the minimum exploration programme of Block 4, Plataforma Deltana, eastern Venezuela. The campaign initiated in December 2004 found gas-bearing sands in the Cocuina and Ballena areas. The Orca well was not successful. StatoilHydro and Total, based on thorough evaluations of the results of this exploration campaign have proposed to the Venezuelan ministry of energy and petroleum to retain acreage around Cocuina in order to assess commerciality. Plataforma Deltana Block 4 is a licence awarded to Statoil by the Venezuelan government in 2003. StatoilHydro, with a 51% interest, is the operator of the licence in which Total has the remaining 49%. Statoil has been present in Venezuela since 1995, and participates in Sincor, the most successful project in the Orinoco Belt that produces, upgrades, and commercialises extra heavy crude oil.

8 Jul 2007

Statoil completes the Ballena well

Statoil has completed the drilling of Ballena, the second of the three wells that are part of the exploration campaign in Block 4 of Plataforma Deltana, located offshore eastern Venezuela. Out of two intervals tested, one flowed gas at significant rates. The Ballena well was drilled in 350 meters of water. No well has been drilled in deeper water in Venezuela to date. The rig, Sovereign Explorer, will be moved to the next well location, Orca. This is the third and last well of the exploration campaign of the Block 4. "We are satisfied with the completion of the challenging Ballena well where hydrocarbons have been found, but it is too early to say if these are commercially viable volumes," said Thore E Kristiansen, Statoil Venezuela's country president. "Further evaluation of the results will be done in the coming months with a decision dependent on the outcome of the last well. This drilling campaign has generated more than 500 directly and indirectly related jobs in Venezuela." Plataforma Deltana Block 4 is a license awarded to Statoil by the Venezuelan government in 2003. Statoil, with a 51% interest, is the operator of the license in which Total has the remaining 49%. PDVSA Gas has the option to participate up to 35 % once a commercial discovery has been declared.

4 Jan 2005

First Statoil well off Venezuela

The first wildcat to be drilled by operator Statoil in block 4, part of the Plataforma Deltana area of the Venezuelan continental shelf, was spudded on 1 January from the Sovereign Explorer rig. This Ballena 1-X well is the first of three which the group is committed to drilling in this region off the east coast of the Latin American country. If it proves successful, Statoil is considering drilling one to three appraisal wells before a possible field could be declared commercial. The group is the sole licensee for block 4, which was awarded in February 2003 and covers about 1,435 square kilometres with water depths of 200-800 metres. Statoil is also a partner in two other Venezuelan production licences, holding 15 per cent of the land-based Sincor heavy crude project in the Orinoco Belt and 27 per cent of the LL 652 oil field in Lake Maracaibo.

12 Jul 2001

Historic first for Faroes

Statoil Faerøyene AS started drilling the Longan well off the Faroe Islands yesterday, 11 July. This is the first well ever to be drilled off the Faroes. Rolf Magne Larsen is senior vice president for international exploration. "It is an honour to be a party to the opening of a new area for oil and gas exploration," says Rolf Magne Larsen. "This is an important development for the Faroes and its people." The Longan well is located in the Atlantic Margin area, stretching from Western Ireland to Norway, where Statoil holds substantial exploration acreage. The water depth for this operation exceeds 900 metres. "We have used Statoil's extensive experience as an operator in the North Sea in our preparations for the drilling. We therefore feel confident that the operations will be efficient and have minimal impact on the environment," says Mr Larsen. Statoil Faerøyene is drilling the Longan well on licence 003, which was awarded to the company by The Ministry of Petroleum of The Faroe Islands in August 2000. The prospect is located 130 kilometres south-east of the Faroes, close to the UK continental shelf. The rig used for the Faroese drilling is the semi submersible Sovereign Explorer. Statoil Faerøyene is operator and holds 35 per cent of the licence. The other partners in the licence are Phillips Petroleum Europe Exploration (30 per cent), Enterprise Oil Exploration (20 per cent) and Veba Oil & Gas Faroes (15 per cent).

29 Jun 2001

Duster off Ireland

Statoil Exploration Ireland has completed exploratory drilling of the Sarsfield Prospect off Ireland without finding any hydrocarbons. The well has been plugged and abandoned. Initial findings indicate that the Sarsfield Prospect does not contain reserves of oil or gas. Sarsfield is located in the Porcupine Basin, about 170 kilometres west of County Kerry. Over the coming months Statoil Exploration will analyse the data from the well to determine whether further exploration will be carried out in this area. Having completed drilling, the Transocean rig Sovereign Explorer is now on its way to the Faroes. According to Egil Endresen in Statoil Exploration Ireland, these results are disappointing. "But we were always cautious with our outlook. We have obtained valuable drilling data which we will study in the coming months to ascertain if further exploratory drilling in the area is an option at some future date", says Mr Endresen. Statoil Exploration is committed to the Irish continental shelf and has interests in seven licences. The Atlantic Margin, which stretches from off western Ireland to northern Norway, is one of the most important areas in the group's international exploration operations. Statoil Exploration Ireland holds a 42 per cent interest in Sarsfield and is operator on behalf of its partners Chevron, Conoco, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana Petroleum.

22 May 2001

Irish well spudded

The first exploration well on the Sarsfield prospect west of Ireland has been spudded by Statoil from Transocean’s Sovereign Explorer rig. Expected to take about 52 days to complete, the well lies in the Porcupine basin about 170 kilometres off County Kerry and in 650 metres of water. Doing the work on behalf of Statoil Exploration Ireland, Sovereign Explorer arrived off the Republic recently after completing an assignment in North African waters. The Sarsfield well ranks as the first to be drilled by Statoil on the Irish continental shelf since 1997. According to Egil Endresen, managing director of Statoil Exploration Ireland, the operation forms part of the group’s commitment to the Atlantic Margin. Extending from west of Ireland to northern Norway, this area is one of the most important for Statoil’s international exploration operations. Results from the well are expected in the autumn, once all the analyses have been completed. Statoil Exploration Ireland has a 38 per cent interest in Sarsfield, with Conoco, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana as its partners.

8 Mar 2001

Drilling off Ireland

Statoil plans to drill the first exploration well on the Sarsfield prospect on the Irish continental shelf sometime this spring. Drilling will be carried out by the rig Sovereign Explorer, which will arrive at the field in May. The Sarsfield prospect lies in the Porcupine Basin west of Ireland. Drilling will take place in licence no 8/95 at a water depth of around 650 metres. Other partners in the exploration licence include Conoco UK, Enterprise Energy Ireland and Dana Petroleum. Statoil has chosen Fenit harbour on the west coast of Ireland as the base to provide support for the rig in connection with drilling. According to Egil Endresen, head of Statoil’s exploration off Ireland, the main reason Fenit was selected was because the harbour lies near the field and is well developed. Statoil will be able to utilise the existing infrastructure at the harbour. Statoil has previously drilled one exploration well on the Connemara field in the Porcupine Basin. Results showed that it was not profitable to develop that field.

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