Sonardyne International Ltd. has been awarded a contract by Noble Corporation to supply a Wireless Acoustic Emergency BOP Control System for its new deepwater drillship. The Noble Globetrotter II is the fifth Noble new-build vessel, along with other existing rigs, to be equipped with Sonardyne’s safety critical acoustic technology, providing reliable through-water wireless communications, positioning and BOP control in an emergency situation.
The Noble Globetrotter II is of similar design to its sister vessel, the Noble Globetrotter I. The vessel is due to begin work in the Gulf of Mexico in the second half of 2013.
Noble Corporation is one of the largest offshore drilling contractors in the world and operates a worldwide fleet of 79 rigs and drillships. The Noble Globetrotter II is currently en route to the Netherlands for tower and drilling system installation and once complete, will be capable of drilling in water depths up to 10,000ft. The vessel is due to begin work in the Gulf of Mexico in the second half of 2013 on long-term contract to Shell.
In the event of loss of normal communications with a BOP stack, Sonardyne’s self-contained, high security acoustic command and control backup system is used to execute emergency shutdown and riser disconnect procedures. The digital wideband acoustic signal technology incorporated into the supplied system has been proven to offer reliable performance in a well blow-out scenario despite intense noise pollution from a ruptured wellhead that would have severely limited the performance of an analogue acoustic BOP system.
“We have previously installed Sonardyne BOP control systems on several other Noble rigs so we’re delighted to be able to continue providing them with the critical positioning and control solutions they need,” said Ted Kenny, Business Development Manager of Subsea Control Systems at Sonardyne. “As the only provider with acoustic systems that are field-proven in the immediate vicinity of a major subsea blowout, we have the technology and in-depth knowledge to support Noble as it continues with its deep water exploration activities. The redundancy of the equipment chosen for the Noble Globetrotter II means that they will be able to reliably communicate with the BOP from either the rig or remotely from a standby vessel if the need ever arises.”
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With the addition, Statoil will control more than 350 leases in the Gulf of Mexico, further securing its significant leaseholder position
“We are very pleased with today’s outcome,” says Erik Finnstrom, senior vice president of Exploration for Statoil in North America.
“This addition of leases allows us to further build upon our broad-based strategy for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and further upgrades our core position in this prolific and proven basin.”
As the world’s largest offshore operator and a leader in subsea technology, Statoil has been a partner in several major discoveries, including Jack, St. Malo, Julia, Vito and Logan.
“The lease additions underscore our commitment to increased investment in North America, which we see as a core region for long-term growth. Our strategy involves acquiring prospects across a full range of plays – from those at the frontier level to very mature, drill-ready plays,” Finnstrom says. “Statoil’s growth in North America has been methodical, based on best practices and technological innovation honed from operating for 40 years in some of the world’s harshest offshore regions.”
Statoil has six producing fields and has eight fields under development. At the moment the company is drilling the Bioko prospect in the central Gulf of Mexico region and plans to drill two to three more wells within the next 12 months offshore Gulf of Mexico, while also participating in an additional two to three wells drilled by its partners.
Statoil is the operator of three of 2011’s 10 largest oil and gas discoveries globally and has a strong safety and environmental record. The company has been active in North America for 25 years and, over the six years since it began operations, has acquired a broad portfolio with offshore and onshore assets in Canada and the U.S.
The lease sale on June 20 was conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Statoil’s winning bids are subject to review and final approval by the BOEM. This may take up to 90 days.
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