Statoil is awarding Aker Solutions a contract today for hiring of an entirely new type of rig, which represents an important technological advance for the industry.
The category B rig will represent an important contribution toward increasing recovery from existing fields. The rig with associated integrated services is expected to reduce operating costs for well intervention by as much as 40 percent.
Development of technology for increasing the recovery from operating fields is an area of commitment for Statoil. For the last year, the average oil recovery rate from Statoil-operated fields has risen from 49 percent to 50 percent.
The category B rig is designed and equipped for the industrialization of drilling and intervention services in existing production wells and represents a new service.
“This will be a very important part of the tool box for increased recovery on the Norwegian continental shelf, making it possible to produce oil and gas which otherwise would be lost,” said Statoil executive vice president of Technology, Projects and Drilling, Margareth Øvrum. “The category B rig is the result of long-term, targeted technology development to increase subsea well recovery rates.”
In cooperation with the supplier industry, Statoil has developed a new type of rig and well control system specially adapted to carry out well intervention and drilling operations in existing subsea wells.
This type of rig fills the gap between light intervention vessels (category A) and conventional rigs (category C).
The category B design with integrated services is based on Aker Solutions’ own studies with a background in Statoil specifications. The rig type is designed for year-round well service in Statoil-operated activities.
The category B design provides the option for a number of different types of well interventions using wire line and coiled tubing operations.
This type of rig is also designed to carry out sidetrack drilling from production tubing (through tubing drilling – TTD) in a manner that allows simultaneous production from both the new sidetrack and existing production tubing. The well services are conducted through existing subsea Christmas trees.
The key to maintaining the current production level on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) is increased recovery from existing fields, along with the development of new fields. Increasing drilling activity on mature fields is important in order to achieve the NCS’ full potential.
Statoil and the licensees will enter into an eight-year contract with options for three times two years for the category B service. The estimated value of the contract is USD 1.9 billion. In addition to rig rental, the contract also includes rental of the necessary equipment and services to carry out well intervention, sidetrack drilling, ROV operations, well testing and cementing.
The rig will be in service in 2015.