Stena Drilling will begin installing equipment needed for 20,000 psi operations on its seventh-gen Stena Evolution drillship starting in 2026, the contractor announced March 26.

The Stena Evolution drillship is capable of operating in water depths up to 12,000 ft and drilling depths up to 40,000 ft.

Stena Drilling, together with Shell and equipment supplier NOV, will start the installation of the 20,000 psi subsea blow-out preventer and other key equipment in 2026. When the new 20,000 psi equipment package is installed, the Stena Evolution will be able to perform completion operations in the Shell-operated Sparta Field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

In May 2023, Shell awarded Stena Drilling a five-year contract for the Stena Evolution, starting operations in the second quarter of 2024.

The Sparta Field taps the Paleogene reservoir, and Shell reached final investment decision on developing the project in mid-December. The project features a 90,000 boe/d production semisubmersible, which is expected to go online in 2028.