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Company history

Odfjell Drilling was founded in 1973 and began operating as a drilling contractor in 1974, with the first Aker H3 semi-submersible Deep Sea Driller. Over the past 45 years the business has built a rock solid reputation as a trusted drilling partner and services supplier – one that is focused on delivering quality, value and results for its growing customer base.

The firm has extensive contracting experience covering all aspects of operations and the manning of fixed and mobile installations, well services and platform engineering work. Odfjell Drilling is a truly international business, currently conducting projects in more than 20 countries, and has operational expertise of semi-submersibles, jack-up platforms and drillships, as well as modular drilling and well intervention rigs.

From the early seventies through to the present day, Odfjell Drilling has prided itself on pioneering new standards of excellence with respect to safety, health and the environment, while also leading the way in the continual evolution of the latest drilling technology. Our track record, particularly in the demanding environment of the North Sea, clearly demonstrates our commitment to safe, effective and responsible operations.

We are now proud to be a preferred partner for our clients, chosen for our experience and expertise.

Tracing the roots of Odfjell Drilling
Odfjell Drilling can trace its roots back a century, to the formation of a number of private companies by the Odfjell family in 1914. Initially these businesses were focused on transporting timber and operating dry cargo vessels. However, since 1937, when the first small chemical tanker was built, Odfjell began the process of continually increasing its focus on the transportation of specialised cargoes, mainly chemicals and liquid gases. 
In 1969/70 Odfjell expanded into the offshore drilling market.

Key milestones:
1969/70: Development of a new semi-submersible, self-propelled drilling platform. The result became known as the H-3 platform – a design that was taken over by the Aker Group and became the world’s most famous semi-submersible design, with a total of 28 units built. Odfjell participated in the building of 10 H-3 rigs and held part ownership in seven vessels.

1973: Odfjell Drilling was formally established in Bergen by the Odfjell family (as Odfjell Drilling & Consulting Company AS). At this time the company had entered into two major drilling contracts for the first two H-3 units under construction. Deepsea Driller, the first ever H-3, was delivered on 15th February 1974 for a two-year contract with ELF, while Deepsea Saga was delivered in 1975 for a two-year drilling contract with Saga Petroleum.

Against a background of increasing offshore exploration activities, the company became involved in the development, construction and management of several semi-submersibles and jack-ups, both in the North Sea and worldwide. Since 1973, Odfjell Drilling has been involved in the construction and operation of more than 30 drilling and production units.

1978: Awarded the drilling contract on the Statfjord "B" platform. This marked another milestone for Odfjell Drilling, as the firm became a fully comprehensive Norwegian drilling contractor. The contract was the largest in Norwegian drilling history, and also the first production-drilling contract awarded a Norwegian company. The company has subsequently grown to become one of the leading operators in this segment, securing a significant share of the Norwegian platform drilling market.

1981: Awarded a five-year drilling contract with Saga Petroleum in Benin, West Africa for the jack-up Amazone. The contract included the training of local employees both on and offshore.

Following site assistance and commissioning at CFEM in Dunkerque, Odfjell Drilling mobilised the then largest jack-up ever built, the STC Cicero. The platform secured a two-year drilling contract with Shell in the UK.

1983: Took delivery of the next generation of the H-3 platform - the Aker H-3.2 design semi-submersible Deepsea Bergen.

1984: Commenced production-drilling activities with the semi-submersible Deepsea Pioneer (ex. Deepsea Saga) with a five-year contract with Hamilton Brothers Oil & Gas Ltd on the UK Argyll field, offshore UK. 1986: Awarded a four-year production drilling contract with Statoil for the condeep newbuild Gullfaks “C”. Contract included two years of engineering, site assistance and commissioning prior to drilling mobilization in May 1989.

1989: Awarded a four-year production-drilling contract with BP Norway for the new Gyda installation. Contract included one year of engineering, site assistance and commissioning prior to drilling mobilization in Q1 1990.

Opened the Odfjell Drilling Singapore office, securing the company’s first drilling contract in South East Asia. Over the next six years, Odfjell Drilling was part owner and manager of several drillships, semi-submersibles and a jack-up in the region. 

During the 1980s and the 1990s, Odfjell Drilling engaged in offshore activities with semi-submersibles, drillships and jack-ups in the UK, the Mediterranean, offshore West and South Africa and in South East Asia. Following the company’s substantial increase in North Sea activities from 1995/96, Odfjell Drilling decided to reduce its international activity and concentrate on the ‘home market’.

1993: Odfjell expanded into the Well Intervention/Snubbing market through the purchase of two K340 units. Following activities onshore in Germany, Odfjell succeeded in winning an eight-year well intervention contract with Statoil in 1994.

1995: Acquired all the shares in Norwegian Drilling Management AS (DND). Odfjell Drilling has since, through Deutag Norge Drilling's contract with PPCoN, carried out drilling services on the Ekofisk field. Odfjell Drilling acquired 100% of Deutag Norge Drilling in September 2001, renaming the company Odfjell Norge Drilling AS.

The semi-submersible Deepsea Trym was purchased and upgraded to Norwegian regulatory requirements, securing a five-year contract with Statoil on the Gullfaks field from 1996.

Norsk Hydro awarded a long-term field contract for production drilling and maintenance at the Brage and Oseberg fields. The contract also included two new floating field installations, Njord and Visund, for delivery in 1997 and 1998 respectively.

2001: Signed an agreement to purchase the semi-submersible rig West Delta from Smedvig ASA. The rig was delivered in April 2001 and renamed Deepsea Delta.

2002: Awarded a three + three + three-year production drilling contract at the Greater Ekofisk Area by PPCoN, encompassing production drilling and maintenance on all installations.

2003: Awarded a three-year contract (with two one-year options) by Talisman Energy (UK), covering platform drilling and platform maintenance services in the UK.

In the same year, the company secured an 18 months long contract for semi-submersible Deepsea Bergen with BP Exploration Operating Company Limited in the UK for the prestigious, and demanding, HPHT Rhum development project.

2004: Awarded contract for Deepsea Bergen with Marathon Norway for drilling on Alvheim, with drilling starting back-to-back with the BP Rhum project (duration 500 + 300 days). 
Awarded a drilling contract with Norsk Hydro for Deepsea Delta, covering an initial period of 18 months, plus an optional period of 36 months, starting summer 2004.

Award by Statoil of a four-year fixed, + three optional periods of two years, contract for platform drilling on Visund, Heidrun and Snorre A & B on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

2005: Awarded a pan-European contract by Shell for the provision of casing services and tubular rental for all of Shell’s European activities.

2006: Initiated the public company Odfjell Invest Ltd on Oslo Stock Exchange, with the main asset of a newbuild, highly-classed deepwater semi-submersible for delivery in Q1 2009.

Awarded a three-year fixed drilling contract for Deepsea Bergen from Statoil Norway, covering drilling on Halten Nordland and commencing in summer 2008.

2007: Awarded drilling contract with Statoil (through Odfjell Invest Ltd) for the sixth generation ultra deepwater semi-submersible Deepsea Atlantic under construction at Daewoo Shipbuilding Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., South Korea.

Odfjell Drilling entered into a three-year lease agreement with Det Norske ASA and Revus Energy ASA for the drilling rig Deepsea Delta, starting Q1 2009.

Declared an option for another sixth generation ultra deepwater semi-submersible - Deepsea Stavanger - at Daewoo, with delivery in Q2 2010.

2008: Awarded a two + one-year drilling contract for Deepsea Trym with StatoilHydro for commencement in Q1 2009.

Awarded a two + two-year extension to existing drilling and maintenance contract for Talisman Energy (UK) Limited’s North Sea platform activity.

Odfjell Drilling and Metro Exploration entered into a joint venture for the joint ownership of two ultra deepwater drillships, to be delivered from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) in South Korea in Q2 and Q4 2011.

Odfjell Drilling entered into a four-year contract with Al-Khafji Joint Operations (KJO) for the operation of the Scorpion jack-up Offshore Freedom in the Arabian Gulf, commencing in Q2 2009.

2009: Odfjell Drilling entered into a four-year contract with Al-Khafji Joint Operations (KJO) for the operation of the Scorpion jack-up Offshore Intrepid in the Arabian Gulf, commencing in Q2 2009.

Odfjell Drilling was awarded a five-year contract with three two-year options from BP for drilling and maintenance services on the Clair, Andrew, Harding, Bruce and Magnus platforms on the UK continental shelf. Newbuild Deepsea Atlantic is delivered from DSME in February 2009 and contracted with StatoilHydro until 2013.

2010: The ultra deepwater semi-submersible Deepsea Stavanger entered into the first deepwater drilling campaign ever conducted in Tanzania, East Africa, with Ophir Energy in Partnership with BG group.

Odfjell Drilling awarded a two + three-year drilling contract for Deepsea Stavanger drilling on Block 18 in Angola, with BP back-to-back with the Ophir Tanzania program.

Contract extension with Talisman for the remaining option of two years, plus a new contract for a three-year option of one year each.

Awarded three-year frame agreement with Statoil for Mooring Services on Statoil operated mobile units worldwide.

Awarded three to five-year North Sea drilling contract for Deepsea Bergen with Statoil, commencing summer 2012 and including a one-year option.

2011: Odfjell Drilling is awarded a contract with BP for drilling operations offshore Angola for the ultra deepwater semisubmersible Deepsea Stavanger.
The ultra deepwater drillship Deepsea Metro I kicks off it's first operations offshore Tanzania while its sister vessel Deepsea Metro II is mobilised for drilling services offshore Brazil for Petrobras.

2012: Odfjell Drilling secures a record breaking deal with BP for a new build, semi-submersible drilling unit for use in the UK’s West of Shetland region. The contract value is approximately $1.2 billion, excluding options, and represents the largest contract in Odfjell Drilling’s 40 year history. The full contract has a fixed duration of 7 years and is due to start in Q4 2014. The new rig is to be named Deepsea Aberdeen.
This year Odfjell Drilling enters into an agreement with Marine Accurate Well ASA (Maracc) for the operation, project follow-up and marketing of the rig Island Innovator.

Odfjell Drilling takes part in the Brazilian drilling program with SETE for the  three drillships under the names MS Guarapari, MS Siri and MS Itaoca

2013: The value of 40 years experience
Odfjell Drilling can celebrate 40 years in the drilling business. Today, the experience of our people is valued  by our partners worldwide.

Statoil awards Odfjell Drilling the contract for integrated drilling, completion and intervention services including P&A, maintenance and modifications on the Mariner field in UK. This is Statoil's first field development project on the UK shelf.

Deepsea Mooring, Odfjell Drilling's mooring business unit, is sold to HitecVision. Since its establishment as an in-house service unit in 2008 Deepsea Mooring has developed to one of three providers of mooring services to rig owners and E&P companies in Norway.

Odfjell Well Services is awarded three contracts for Tubular Running Services Tool Rental Services for Shell’s activities in Northern Europe and with Norske Shell. The first two contracts is four years with 2*2 years options and the second for three years with 2*1 year options. 

Island Innovator starts drilling on a three year contract with Lundin. 

Odfjell Drilling listed on Oslo Stock Exchange in September. 


BP UK extend the Platform Drilling Services contract in the UK for a further 4 years from December 2014, by declaring two 2-year options. 

Odfjell Drilling becomes the major shareholder in Robotic Drilling Systems AS (RDS).  

Deepsea Stavanger receives contract amendment for six wells with BP Angola. 

BG Group declares Deepsea Metro I as the best rig ever in the BG history in regards to efficiency and safety.

(September) Statoil awards Odfjell Well Services a frame agreement for Tubular running services with a duration of six years from January 2015 plus 2x2 years options. 

Odfjell Well Services Norway entered into a new frame agreement with Halliburton Norway for rental of down hole tools such as Hole openers, Jars & Energizers, Stabilizers and X-overs. The frame agreement is of 2 years with options for 2 x 2-year extensions. 

Odfjell Drilling takes delivery of Deepsea Aberdeen from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in Korea.

Odfjell Drilling establish and certificate the new business area Rig Inspection Services.



Odfjell Drilling is awarded the Drilling engineering sub contract with Aibel for the Johan Sverdrup drilling platform topside. 

Deepsea Bergen sets world record using a new drilling concept called Steerable Drilling Liner (SDL) with 1026 metres drilled.

IADC awards Odfjell Drilling the Platform Drilling Safety Performance Award 2014 for its 18 platform drilling activities in the North Sea. 

On 21st April,  Deepsea Aberdeen commenced drilling operations under its 7-year contract with BP on the Quad 204 field development project West of Shetland, UK. 

Odfjell Drilling wins contract for one deepwater well + options for Deepsea Metro I with VietGazprom in Vietnam. 

Deepsea Atlantic is awarded a three year contract for drilling production wells on Statoil’s Johan Sverdrup field. 

Statoil awards Odfjell Drilling a four year contract with options for platform drilling services on the Johan Sverdrup field. 

Wintershall Norge AS awards Odfjell Drilling’s semi-submersible Deepsea Stavanger a contract for the drilling of production wells on the Maria field in the Haltenbanken area on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The firm contract is for six wells with an expected duration of 574 days and commencement in March 2017. 

BP is extended their contract with OWS for tubular running services by three years + 2 x 1 year options. 

Statoil is awarding OWS Norway increased scope of work on casing running on six new installations the Norwegian continental shelf. 


Odfjell Drilling can mark the 2015 QHSE performance as the best year ever. 

Deepsea Stavanger secures a one-well drilling contract in UK with a new client JX Nippon. 

Odfjell Drilling’s Bergen office is moving into new build offices at Sandsli close to the airport.   

Deepsea Atlantic starts drilling on the Johan Sverdrup field for Statoil. 

Exercise of Statoil Platform drilling contract options for Grane and Heidrun. 

Odfjell Drilling is awarded contract for Depsea Metro I with Malaysian company Petronas for one well + four options. 


After a 28 days voyage from Curacao, Deepsea Metro II arrives at Halsnøy in Norway to be laid up with Odfjell Drilling as manager. 

Odfjell Drilling Ltd completes refinancing of the senior term loan facility of $525 million secured by the drilling rigs Deepsea Atlantic and Deepsea Stavanger. 

Wintershall Norge AS awards Odfjell Drilling a contract for platform drilling services on the Brage platform located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The firm contract is for 4 years with 2+2 year options. 

Island Innovator wins contract with Lundin for drilling of one well on Edvard Grieg field. 

Deepsea Bergen is awared contract with Faroe Petroleum for one well plus optional well on the Brasse field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. 


Odfjell Drilling, on behalf of Golden Close Maritime Corp. Ltd., secured a one well contract offshore the Philippines for the ultra deep-water drillship, Deepsea Metro I, with Galoc Production Company WLL. 

During the Rystad Energy’s award ceremony in Oslo on 1 February 2017, Odfjell Drilling received the Oilfields Service award “Gullkronen 2017” as Business Success of the Year. 

Odfjell Drilling Ltd. decided to participate in “Deepsea Metro I” financial restructuring and enter into a four year management contract. 

Letter of award signed with Total Africa for drilling contract with Deepsea Stavanger offshore South Africa. 

Odfjell Drilling sign contract for Deepsea Bergen with OMV Norge for one firm "high pressure high temperature"-well ("HPHT-well") plus options for two additional HPHT-wells. 

Odfjell Drilling, on behalf of Golden Close Maritime Corp. Ltd., sign a two well contract with Repsol/Talisman for drilling with Deepsea Metro I in Vietnam. 

Odfjell Drilling enter contract with Wellesley Petroleum for one firm exploration well plus optional sidetrack and well testing with Deepsea Bergen. 

Odfjell Drilling signs contract with Statoil for drilling of one firm well + 12 optional wells with Deepsea Bergen. 

Odfjell Drilling is awarded a 2-year fixed contract with no limit of 1-year options from TAQA Bratani for Drilling and Maintenance services on five platforms on the UK continental shelf. 

Island Innovator wins one-well contract with OMV for drilling on the Wisting field in the Barents Sea. 

Odfjell Well Services signs contract with ConocoPhillips for Casing, Tubing Running and Pulling Services on the Ekofisk field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The firm duration of the contract is 4 years with  2x2 years options. 

Odfjell Drilling signs contract with Aker BP for approx. 9 months drilling at various locations in the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea with Deepsea Stavanger. 

Odfjell Well Services the Netherlands signs contract with DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG for Casing, Tubing Running and Pulling Services on the Mittelplate offshore location and with one Land rig drilling on various wells in Germany. The contract is for 2 years + 1 year option. 

Odfjell Drilling sells its 37 % shares in Robotic Drilling Systems (RDS) to Nabors. 

Island Innovator secure drilling contract  for a potential three-well program with Centrica Norway to drill Fogelberg appraisal well(s).

Odfjell Drilling UK awarded platform drilling contract with EnQuest for the Magnus platform in UK.

Odfjell Drilling enters a 5 + 5 years Drilling and Well Alliance with Aker BP for provision of semisubmersibles to all Client’s operation on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The first call under the Alliance agreement is a 12 months drilling contract for Deepsea Stavanger.


Odfjell Well Services sign a 5-year contract with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to provide TRS, drilling tools, drillpipe, pressure control equipment and WBC for all KOC drilling and workover operations.

Island Innovator secure drilling contract with DEA Norway for drilling one well in the Barents Sea.

Odfjell Drilling awarded a 4-year platform drilling contract with Statoil for the Heidrun platform. The contract includes three options each for two years.

Odfjell Drilling enter into an agreement to purchase a new 6th generation harsh environment semi-submersible drilling rig “Deepsea Nordkapp” from Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.

Aker BP awards Odfjell Drilling a 2-year firm drilling contract with 1+1 year optional periods for Deepsea Nordkapp with commencement in May 2019.

Odfjell Drilling sign a Master Frame Agreement with Equinor for provision of any future requirement for semisubmersibles on the NCS. The first call under the MFA is an 18 months drilling contract with Deepsea Atlantic.

Odfjell Services Thailand (OST) wins 3 years TRS contract with Ophir with two one-year options.

Odfjell Drilling is awarded a HPHT drilling contract by OMV Norge for Deepsea Bergen.

On 14 August, the North Sea “workhorse” Deepsea Bergen spuds her well # 200 since the rig started on her first drilling program for Statoil on 22 February 1983.

Odfjell Well Services sign a three-year contract with Dragon Oil to provide tubular running, well intervention and downhole drilling tool rental to Dragon Oil’s current four-rig operation in the Caspian.

Deepsea Bergen is awarded a drilling contract with Ithaka Energy for drilling of one well in the UKCS.

Odfjell Drilling UK awarded platform drilling contract with Serica Energy for the Bruce platform in UK.

Deepsea Bergen is awarded a drilling contract with MOL Norge for drilling of one well on the NCS.

A global first, Odfjell Well Services (OWS) successfully complete their first Inflow Test in a High Temperature High Pressure (HPHT) well for a major IOC in Malaysia, with the DTectRTM Inflow Test Packer.

Odfjell Drilling’s management agreements for the semisubmersible Island Innovator and the drillship Deepsea Metro I ends.

The 4 + 6 years platform drilling contract on the Johan Sverdrup commences.

Odfjell Drilling Ltd moves migrates from Bermuda to United Kingdom and establish new head office in Aberdeen.


On 7 January Odfjell Drilling takes delivery of the new 6th generation harsh environment drilling rig “Deepsea Nordkapp” from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) in South Korea.

Odfjell Drilling /UK) is awarded a 2 + 2 year platform drilling contract with BP UK for production drilling on the Andrew, Clair and Clair Ridge platforms.

Deepsea Stavanger completes successful drilling of the extremely challenging Brulpadda project for Total in South Africa following announcement of a significant gas discovery that can lead to opening of a new petroleum province offshore South Africa.

Odfjell Drilling enter into a management contract with CIMC Raffles Offshore (“CIMC Raffles”) to take delivery of a new harsh environment semisubmersible Deepsea Yantai (previously Beacon Atlantic).

Following the management agreement for Deepsea Yantai, a drilling contract is sign with Neptune Energy Norway for 6 firm wells + 10 optional wells on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

IADC, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, awards Deepsea Bergen a prize as the best North Sea floating rig in 2018.

Deepsea Nordkapp commence drilling operations on the first well for Aker BP prior to being sublet to two newcomers on the Norwegian Continental Shelf; PIGMNIG and OKEA for their first wells ever on NCS.

In a very difficult refinancing market, Odfjell Drilling Ltd received firm bank commitments for a refinancing of USD 775 million related to its 2019 debt maturities.

Odfjell Drilling and Deepsea Stavanger is awarded a drilling contract with Total South Africa for further exploration drilling at the Brulpadda prospect.

Deepsea Yantai commence drilling operations on the first well for Neptune Energy Norge on NCS.

ConocoPhillips awards Odfjell Drilling a five years fixed contract for platform drilling operations, work-over campaigns, P&A activities and all preventative and corrective maintenance on three offshore platforms in the Greater Ekofisk Area. The contract has two optional periods each by up to three years.

Odfjell Drilling signs a drilling contract with Equinor for x wells with the Deepsea Atlantic drilling facility, contract to start back-to-back with existing contract.

Aker BP exercise the first 12 month option for Deepsea Nordkapp under the Contract entered into between the parties in April 2018. The option shall commence after expiry of the two-year firm period in May 2021.