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Statoil Charters Light Well Intervention Vessels to Increase Recovery

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Statoil has awarded contracts for new light well intervention (LWI) vessels. These “category A” units will contribute to increased recovery from Statoil’s approximately 500 operated subsea wells on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Statoil has on behalf of relevant licensees awarded a contract to Island Offshore Management and Eide Marine Services for the charter of a total of three LWI vessels.

These purpose-built vessels are used for performing light well interventions, well operations and well maintenance without a riser-based system. Statoil can reduce well intervention costs by about 60% by utilizing a LWI vessel instead of a conventional rig.

“Performing these types of conventional jobs on subsea wells with low volumes of oil in place is expensive. The LWI vessels ensure both cost-efficient and safe operations,” says Statoil’s head of drilling and well Øystein Arvid Håland.

“Having more and new vessels of this category also helps increase recovery from fields on stream by opening new zones in the well, and stopping water production downhole.”

The contracts are worth a total of NOK 9.4 billion (USD 1.57 billion).

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Island Offshore vessels Island Frontier and Island Wellserver, which already have contracts with Statoil, have been awarded new five-year contracts. Eide Well Intervention, a new supplier in this segment for Statoil, has been awarded an eight-year contract for their new build, which employs a completely new technology.

The contracts with both companies come into effect in the spring of 2015, and include two options to extend for another two years.

A growing number of discoveries are developed via subsea wells, and it is important both to have equipment capable of maintaining these and to avoid using conventional drilling rigs for this type of work.

The rig market on the NCS is characterized by an aging rig fleet, and it is necessary to ensure sufficient and adequate rig capacity at sustainable rates. To address this, Statoil has put light LWI vessels – category A units – into service on a large scale.

“We have great ambitions and a long-term perspective on the NCS. Using purpose-built rigs and vessels in our operations is an important part of Statoil’s rig strategy. The high number of subsea wells in the future will require maintenance, and we are securing capacity in order to meet this need,” says Statoil’s chief procurement officer Jon Arnt Jacobsen.

“Island Offshore has delivered solid services and we expect the same going forward. At the same time we are pleased to have increased the number of suppliers in this market, and through the Eide Well Intervention newbuild we are also employing the latest available technology. Together these three vessels will provide us with an efficient service fleet for light well intervention services.”

Statoil has been pursuing riserless well intervention in subsea wells since 2000, and the technology has steadily improved.

The category A units will perform services for Statoil and the partners on the Åsgard, Norne, Gullfaks, Oseberg, Heidrun, Snøhvit, Tyrihans, Tordis/Vigdis, Snorre, Statfjord and Sleipner fields.

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Norway: PSA Conducts Audit of Major Accident Risk in Connection with Light Well Intervention

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In December 2011 and January 2012, the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Statoil Petroleum AS (Statoil) and Island Offshore Subsea AS (Island Offshore). The audit was aimed at management of major accident risk and the barrier management system in connection with light well intervention on Island Constructor.

Each year, more than 500 well interventions are carried out on the Norwegian shelf, and this number is expected to grow.

There is a high level of risk associated with work on live wells (major accident potential) and many interfaces (multiple alliance partners).

A survey of well intervention activities carried out during the period 2003 – 2008 concluded that there was a significant need for well interventions on subsea installations. Verification on one of the facilities that carries out light well intervention was implemented to investigate HSE challenges linked with this type of operation.

Island Offshore Management and Island Offshore Subsea have an alliance with FMC and Aker Well Service for operation of the Island Constructor which carries out light well intervention on subsea wells for Statoil.

Objective

* Evaluate the companies’ understanding, knowledge and expertise as relates to major accident risk and managing barriers, on the part of both company management and among the employees.

* Evaluate strategies and principles which are to form the basis for design, use and maintenance of barriers so that the barriers’ function will be safeguarded throughout the entire facility lifetime.

* Verify that performance requirements are established and implemented.

* Develop the PSA’s expertise in following up management’s work to reduce major accident risk, and clarify the need to develop a framework and supervision methods.

* Contribute to the PSA developing its own methods that will form the basis for more effective barrier supervision.

Result

The audit activity uncovered three nonconformities and four improvement items as regards Island Offshore.

The nonconformities related to deficient analysis of defined hazard and accident situations, layout of kill and stimulation lines, and deficient basis for and documentation of maintenance.

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