Statoil unveils new rig design

Oil and gas giant Statoil is looking to “rejuvenate the rig fleet” with a new design specifically for the Norwegian continental shelf. Statoil wants the new type of rig to […]

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By Kelvin Ross

Oil and gas giant Statoil is looking to “rejuvenate the rig fleet” with a new design specifically for the Norwegian continental shelf.

Statoil wants the new type of rig to make drilling and completion of production wells less expensive, more effective and safer, and in turn boost oil recovery.

With discoveries on the Norwegian continental shelf getting smaller, oil firms need to increase drilling activity in mature fields, but this means lower rig rates, greater drilling efficiency and access to rigs are key factors.

“The rigs delivered to the NCS in recent years were first and foremost constructed for operations in deep water,” said Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil’s chief procurement officer.

“That means that they are big and too costly for our requirements and challenges on the NCS. We are therefore taking steps to rejuvenate the rig fleet and ensure that the right rig meets the right requirements.”

The specially-designed rig will be able to operate at water depths of 100-500 metres and drill wells down to 8,500 metres.

Statoil is now issuing a tender for contractors to build and operate two of the rigs. The contract will run for either eight years – with four, three-year options – or for a solid 20-year period.

“Statoil is taking responsibility for a long-term development of the NCS – we see that there are still big opportunities here,” added Mr Jacobsen.

“Now we need to think anew with regard to reducing drilling costs and we will see if it’s possible to achieve a more industrialised development.”

Statoil hopes to award the contract by the third quarter of this year and for the rigs to be delivered in 2014.