Statoil is sending out an invitation to tender for a new type of drilling rig. It is specially-designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil for use on mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).
The purpose is to make drilling and completion of production wells less expensive, more effective and safer, and thereby boost oil recovery.
Discoveries on the NCS are getting smaller and it is becoming more important to increase drilling activity in mature fields to attain the full potential of the NCS. To meet this challenge, 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,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer in Statoil.
“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 category D rig is able to operate at water depths of 100-500 metres and drill wells down to 8,500 metres. It will be a workhorse on mature fields, primarily for drilling production wells and well completion. In this way, Statoil and its partners can get more oil out of the fields.
The rig has been developed in collaboration with various industry players.
Statoil is issuing a tender for minimum two such rigs for work on the NCS. The contract will run for either eight years with four three-year options or for 20 years firm contract period. This is an unusually long period of contract which will reduce the risk for the drilling contractor who will build the rig. Statoil is also considering taking an ownership stake in the rig.
“Statoil is taking responsibility for a long-term development of the NCS – we see that there are still big opportunities here,” says 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.”