Hydro originally wanted the Petronord group to buy a Norwegian drilling vessel, whilst the French wanted to support their own shipyard industry. France’s Neptune drilling contractor had a rig under construction, but this would not be ready to start drilling on the NCS until the 1968 season. Since the Petronord group wanted to get started at once, it thereby had to acquire a different vessel for its first well.
The Phillips group had signed a five-year charter in September 1965 for a rig which was to be fabricated partly at Stavanger’s Rosenberg Verft and partly at Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen before being assembled at Nyland Verksted in Oslo. Rig chartering was also discussed during the negotiations between Petronord and the Phillips group on swapping interests in each other’s licences.
The two sides agreed to share responsibility for Ocean Viking, as the newbuilding came to be called. They were to use it turn and turn about from January 1967 until the end of 1968. In 1969, Ocean Viking discovered the Ekofisk field for the Phillips group.Elf opens officeSecond licensing round