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Norway: NPD Supports Statoil’s New Rig Concept for Subsea Wells

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The NPD encourages licensees in Statoil-operated production licences to support Statoil’s plans for using a new type of rig that is specially adapted for maintenance of subsea wells.

A letter sent to the relevant companies points out that recovery from producing fields is an important commitment area for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. An increasing percentage of the oil production on the Norwegian shelf comes from subsea wells, and the number of wells is increasing. The NPD has noted that it could be challenging to both drill new sidetracks from the subsea wells and carry out maintenance.

“That is why the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is concerned with finding good solutions that can contribute to maintaining or increasing production from subsea wells,” says Torsten Bertelsen, director responsible for the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea.

Statoil has long worked on a new type of rig for subsea wells, a so-called category B rig. It is permanently equipped for cables, coiled tubing and slim hole drilling and is specially adapted to well intervention campaigns. This type of rig can be used on multiple fields with subsea wells.

Use of such a rig will contribute to improve rig capacity, increase the number of subsea wells and thus improve recovery from subsea wells.

In the letter to the licensees the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate asks the companies to support Statoil’s project or to present alternative measures or projects that can yield similar effects.

“A cooperation on the new rig type across production licences is considered good resource management,” says Bertelsen.

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Statoil Introduces New “Cat J” Jackup Rig for Norwegian Continental Shelf + [VIDEO]

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OSLO (Dow Jones)– Norwegian oil and gas giant Statoil ASA (STO) Friday said it is introducing a new drilling rig concept for mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, in a move to increase the recovery rate from its wells and reduce costs.

The new rigs will cut production costs by around 20%, cut yard delivery costs by 10%, and increase oil recovery, the company said, essential at a time when production from its existing fields is falling by about 5% a year.

The partly state-owned company said it is preparing an invitation to tender for the new jack-up rigs, known as category J, able to operate at water depths from 70-150 meters and drill wells down to 10,000 meters. Statoil will ask for offers for a minimum of two rigs, at an estimated cost of $450 million-$500 million each.

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The company said the new rig type could be used on fields such as Gullfaks on the Norwegian continental shelf and Mariner on the U.K. shelf, and that the future Johan Sverdrup field could also be a candidate.

“Statoil has huge ambitions on the Norwegian shelf. We want to maintain current production until 2020,” said Statoil’s Chief Procurement Officer Jon Arnt Jacobsen, adding that the new rigs will help rejuvenate the current rig fleet.

“Today, more than 50 of the rigs on the Norwegian continental shelf are more than 20 years old, which means more maintenance and higher costs,” Jacobsen said.

The most important measure to extract more oil on the shelf is to drill more wells, the company said. The Cat J concept “will have real impact on improving oil recovery,” said Statoil’s Senior Vice President for Drilling and Wells, Oystein Arvid Haaland.

Statoil said the rigs should be owned by the licenses for each field, since the rigs are part of the long term development of the field. The company has discussed this with partners such as the state-owned petroleum company Petoro, said Jacobsen, adding that Petoro “supports this approach fully.”

Statoil is currently developing several large fields, including Gudrun, Dagny, Valemon, Luva, Skrugard and Avaldsnes /Aldous. It also plans increased oil recovery projects on several fields including Snorre, Statfjord, Troll, Oseberg, Gullfaks and Asgard, and fast-track developments on fields like Stjerne, Visund Sor and Hyme, among others.

Statoil is the world’s largest offshore operator and has 44 developed fields on the Norwegian continental shelf that produced about 1.4 million barrels a day in 2010.

The invitation to tender will be issued in July and the contracts will be awarded in the second half of 2012. The rigs will be delivered in the second half 2015.

At 1051 GMT, Statoil traded 0.6% higher at NOK161.40.

-By Kjetil Malkenes Hovland, Dow Jones Newswires

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