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New rig concept to improve recovery

Statoil is preparing an invitation to tender for a new type of drilling rig for mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The new rigs, known as category J, will be jack-ups designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil.

Statoil will propose for licence groups to take on ownership of these rigs.

In order to realise the full potential of the NCS, increasing drilling activity on mature fields is important. Lower rig rates, greater drilling efficiency and access to rigs are key factors to meet this challenge. The new rig concept is designed to meet these requirements.

“The key to maintain today’s production level on the NCS towards 2020 is improved recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields. We need to drill more wells to deliver on our production ambitions,” says Øystein Arvid Håland, head of drilling and well in Statoil.

New tailor-made rigs
The new category J rigs will be able to operate at water depths from 70 to 150 meters and drill wells down to 10,000 meters. It is a tailor-made jack-up rig for operations in harsh environment on both surface- and subsea wells in the shallow-water segments on the NCS.

It will be a tool primarily for drilling and completion of production wells.

Driving technology and innovation
“Statoil has the capacity and competence to drive technology and innovation to drill more efficiently and rejuvenate the rig fleet on the NCS. The new category J rigs will deliver wells 20% more efficient than conventional rigs. We aim to achieve reduced cost and time per well with safe and efficient operations,” says Håland.

 The rig design is currently being developed in collaboration with various industry players like hull designers, topside suppliers, construction yards and drilling contractors.

Reducing costs by taking ownership
“Statoil is continuously working to secure a rig fleet with the right capacities and capabilities to suit our needs. However, upgrade and adaptions on many of the existing rigs appear 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 rigs meet the right requirements,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer in Statoil.

“Now we follow up our industrial approach by proposing to take ownership of the rigs through licenses to improve economics further. As a long-term industrial player on the NCS, we look forward to working with suppliers who have competence in building and operating rigs to develop new and cost-effective solutions,” says Jacobsen.

Statoil plans for invitation to tender for minimum two cat J rigs to be issued in July and for the contracts to be awarded in the 2nd half of 2012. The rigs are to be delivered in the 2nd half of 2015.

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