Category Archives: Well Intervention

Well intervention, workover or ‘well work’, is any operation carried out on an oil or gas well during, or at the end of its productive life, that alters the state of the well and or well geometry, provides well diagnostics or manages the production of the well.

Subsea well interventions offer up many challenges and requires much advanced planning. The cost of subsea intervention has in the past inhibited the intervention but in the current climate is much more viable. These interventions are commonly executed from Light/medium intervention vessels or Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) for the heavier interventions such as Snubbing and Workover drilling rigs.

Schlumberger, Helix, and OneSubsea form alliance

OneSubsea™, a Cameron and Schlumberger company, Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. and Schlumberger have entered into a letter of intent to form an alliance to develop technologies and deliver services to optimize the cost and efficiency of subsea well intervention systems.

Helix is a leading subsea well intervention provider, with the largest fleet size of well intervention vessels, and an unequalled track record in cost-effective subsea well intervention. OneSubsea, a preeminent solution provider for subsea well control, with a global footprint of executed major projects, has significant experience in the manufacture and supply of subsea well intervention equipment and services. Schlumberger is the world’s leading supplier of technology and services to the oilfield, including conveyance systems and in-well technologies for subsea applications.

Upon agreement on the final terms of the alliance definitive agreement, the alliance will leverage the capabilities of Helix, OneSubsea and Schlumberger, to provide a unique, fully integrated offering, combining marine support with well access and control technologies.

The alliance will focus on several objectives aimed at increasing the operating envelope of today’s subsea intervention technology. These objectives include the expansion of applications enabled by subsea well-access technology, and specific solutions for deep and ultra-deepwater basins and higher well pressure environments. An important consideration is the evolution in the capabilities of Helix’s vessels to provide well intervention and additional support services such as well commissioning, artificial lift support, and abandonment, which are usually performed using drilling rigs.
Helix President and Chief Executive Officer, Owen Kratz said, “Helix is proud to join OneSubsea and Schlumberger as industry leaders in a team to provide a truly comprehensive array of solutions in the area of well intervention. From well construction through production enhancement to decommissioning, this is an opportunity for our companies to work with our clients in realizing significant value creation through a fully integrated and collaborative team effort.”

Cameron Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer , Jack Moore said, “OneSubsea is very excited to be partnering with Helix, the leader in subsea well intervention; and Schlumberger, the leader in subsurface evaluation and construction technologies. This unique alliance will drive optimization in the complete subsea well intervention value chain. Together, we will develop leading technology to reduce operational risk, increase efficiency, improve recovery, and lower the overall cost of subsea well intervention operations for our clients.”

Paal Kibsgaard, Schlumberger Chief Executive Officer said, “This alliance reinforces our commitment, along with our OneSubsea joint-venture company partner Cameron, to help our customers improve production and recovery from their subsea developments. We are determined to drive further integration of our leading technology portfolio, backed by improved reliability and greater efficiency, to create a step-change in performance throughout the E&P value chain.”

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Island Performer getting ready to perform in Gulf of Mexico

A naming ceremony was held for the subsea vessel ‘Island Performer’ in Norway on Friday, June 27, 2014.

The Island Performer, owned by Island Offshore, is getting ready its her work for FTO in the Gulf of Mexico.

The vessel is equipped with a large intervention tower over the main moon pool, a 250-tonne AHC Offshore Crane and two deep-sea work ROVs.

With a length overall of 130m, and width of 25m, the vessel can accommodate 130 people.

The Island Performer is particularly developed to suit the scope in the FTO contract in which Riser-less Light Well Intervention and Inspection, Maintenance, Repair are main tasks.

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Huisman to Deliver Well Intervention System for Helix’s Q7000

Huisman, a Dutch specialist in lifting, drilling and subsea solutions, has secured a new contract from Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. for the delivery of a Well Intervention System onboard Helix’s new build Semi submersible “Q7000”.

The system, which is based on Huisman’s proven Multi Purpose Tower (MPT) design, will be built by the Huisman production facility in China.

The fully integrated 800mt Well Intervention System will be capable of handling the Intervention stack, the high pressure riser and other components. The Huisman Multi Purpose Tower has the same functionality as a normal derrick but offers improved accessibility to the well center, which allows for new improved handling procedures that increase efficiency and safety. The superior accessibility to the well center and the small footprint of the MPT are ideally suited for well intervention and subsea installation services. Subsea equipment can be skidded into the well center from three sides, offering enhanced flexibility.

The active heave compensation hoist system of the MPT provides excellent means for safe landing of equipment at the seabed while the passive heave compensation system provides a safe and redundant means to supply top tension to the risers. A guide trolley, travelling the entire length of the tower, guides the subsea modules during lifting operations. The system also features multiple transfer hatches that can be used to move equipment into the well center, and a skiddable work floor covering the moonpool flush with main deck.

The skiddable work floor allows large subsea modules to be deployed, without the need for a raised work floor. When large objects need to pass the moonpool the work floor can be skidded aside. In closed position, the work floor is flush with the main deck, which significantly reduces HSE risks and improves equipment handling on deck.

In addition to the Well Intervention System Huisman will also supply a 150mt Knuckle Boom Crane and a 160mt Pedestal Mounted Crane. Previous orders from Helix, amongst others, the Multi Purpose Tower onboard the “Q4000”, “Well Enhancer” as well as the cranes for the “Q4000” and “Q5000”.

Press Release, October 09, 2013

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Q7000: Helix Orders Semi-Submersible Rig from Sembcorp Marine

Sembcorp Marine’s subsidiary Jurong Shipyard has secured a US$346 million contract to build a second semi-submersible well intervention rig for Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. (Helix), a market leader in subsea well intervention services.

Scheduled for delivery in mid-2016, the semi-submersible light well intervention rig will be built based on a design jointly developed by Sembcorp Marine Technology Pte Ltd (SMTP), a fully-owned Research & Development subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine, and Helix. Featuring the latest technology, the rig – named Q7000 by Helix – is an efficient purpose-designed platform with capabilities to perform a wide variety of tasks, including conventional and extended top hole drilling, subsea construction, decommissioning well intervention, coiled tubing operations and twin ROV deployment.

The Dynamic Positioning (DP) class 3 unit has the ability to operate in deepwater operations worldwide, including the North Sea and West of Africa.

William Gu, General Manager of Offshore Division said: “We are honoured that Helix has chosen to build their second semi-submersible well intervention rig with us. This repeat order is significant as it testifies as to their trust and confidence in our design and building capabilities in rigs with well intervention and subsea capabilities that are customised to meet this new growth segment of the market. We are committed to build on our partnership with Helix and to meet their stringent standards of quality, safety and reliability.”

Owen Kratz, Helix’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are pleased to work with our trusted partner Jurong Shipyard on this second unit of the semisubmersible well intervention rig, to be named Q7000.”

The above is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of Sembcorp Marine for the year ending December 31, 2013.

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Ulstein Presents Benefits of Its SX121 Design

Advancement in technology is permitting the offshore oil and gas industry to move into progressively deeper and colder waters in remote locations. ULSTEIN supports this development by providing products and solutions that contribute to safer, smarter and greener operations.

A case in point is the versatile and flexible OCV/subsea vessel design SX121, which ULSTEIN is currently building customized versions of for GC Rieber Shipping and Island Offshore. The design can be tailored for a multitude of offshore construction and subsea operations in deep and ultra-deep waters both below and above the Arctic Circle.

Deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects occur outside of the continental shelf at water depths between 400 and 1,500 metres and depths greater than 1,500 metres respectively. Deep waters mean remote locations, harsh weather conditions and sensitive ecosystems. This type of environment requires vessels that are reliable and safe, cost-efficient and environmentally sound.

“We aim to develop ships that can operate reliably, safely and efficiently in harsh conditions with as small an environmental footprint as possible. The robust configuration, system integration and X-BOW® hull line of the SX121 ensure safety and comfort for the crew, an increased operational window and significantly reduced environmental impact,” says sales manager in Ulstein Design & Solutions, Lars Ståle Skoge.

Currently, there are four sailing SX121 vessels designed and built by ULSTEIN. The vessels, which operate in different segments such as offshore construction, riserless well intervention and inspection/maintenance/repair, have received very good feedback.

Gordon L. Wilkinson in Veolia ES said the following about ‘Viking Poseidon’’s work in the Gulf of Mexico: “She is the Queen of the Gulf.”

At the end of 2012 shipowner Island Offshore, together with their American partner Edison Chouest Offshore, ordered another SX121 vessel from ULSTEIN currently under construction at Ulstein Verft. “We’ve received very good feedback on our two operating vessels of this design, ‘Island Constructor’ and ‘Island Intervention’,” says Technical Manager in Island Offshore, Trond Hauge. “I’m confident that this type of vessel is a safe and comfortable platform for the performance of advanced work in the years to come.”

Optimized for heavier installations

“The SX121 is a compact vessel that can perform deepwater and ultra-deepwater operations for which currently larger vessels are frequently used, thus providing the customer with a more cost-efficient solution,” says Håvard Stave, Sales Manager in Ulstein Verft.

“The typical SX121 vessel operates at depths down to 3,000 metres, which comprises most current oil & gas activities. The need to deploy heavier equipment in deep waters such as offshore Brazil and Africa and in the Gulf of Mexico, has spurred market interest in OCV vessels with a 400-tonne crane, which we’ve now incorporated in the SX121 design.”

ULSTEIN has drawn on experiences from its latest SX121 projects, and optimized the utilization of the hull with regards to work from deck as well as crane construction work, resulting in an even more versatile OCV/subsea vessel.

The robust platform is optimized for efficient operations in deep waters with a crane capacity of up to 400 tonnes and a substantial remaining deck loading capacity, and it can be configured for a variety of mission equipment. There is a large deck area of 1,750 m2, and the area around the main moon pool is reinforced in order to sustain a VLS or module handling system. The ROV installation is designed and chosen for operations in significant wave heights of 4.5 metres or more. Two heavy-duty work ROVs are situated in the enclosed hangar, one to be deployed from the starboard side, the other through a dedicated moon pool.

Extended redundancy

A reliable vessel is key for cost-efficiency, as down-time and aborting on-going operations are costly affairs, particularly when operating far from shore.

The SX121 vessel meets the highest standard for position keeping, DYNPOS-AUTRO, with redundancy on all major components. Featuring the ‘Operation+’ concept, an increase in redundancy in AUTR operations if a single major failure occurs, the vessel will still maintain system redundancy throughout the most critical areas. The typical configuration is diesel electric propulsion powered by six identical medium speed main generator sets. The switchboard system, propellers and diesel motors can be configured in groups of two, three or four. If a major failure occurs, the vessel will only lose one third of its power and propulsion. The combination of system architecture and power stations, three side thrusters and three main thrusters, ensures that the operation can be safely completed using two thirds of its capacity.

Smart and safe

In order to optimize capacities and performance of the vessel, the freeboard has been increased by one metre compared with the previously built vessels of this design. This increase also improves safety and ensures a dry work deck. In addition, the helideck has been moved further back in order to increase the weather window for helicopter landings.

The vessel’s X-BOW provides good motion characteristics for safe operations. It also reduces the vessel’s environmental footprint through lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. With optimized resolution of the power generation plant, the vessel will have high fuel efficiency in all operational modes.

The vessel accommodates a crew of 130 and complies with all international requirements for comfort and safety.

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