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Statoil Signs LoI for AGR’s EC-Drill Managed Pressure Drilling System

Offshore technology provider AGR Enhanced Drilling, via its subsidiary Ocean Riser Systems, has entered into a NOK120m (USD20m) Letter of Intent (LOI) together with Statoil to deliver the next-generation EC-Drill® Managed Pressure Drilling system.

This latest contract will replace a purchase order made last year, when Statoil joined with Norway-based Enhanced Drilling to further develop its EC-Drill® Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) solution for floating rigs. The initial phase of the project was worth US$5.1m.

The next-generation EC-Drill® system incorporates state-of-the-art control system capability, enhanced riser integration and multiple other features. Testing of the system is due to commence in the autumn and it will eventually be used on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

EC-Drill® is a step-change MPD solution, solving a challenge commonly encountered in deep-water wells: drilling within a Narrow Pressure Window. EC-Drill® manipulates bottom-hole pressure by changing the level of drilling mud in the riser, enabling the operator to ‘walk the line’ between pore and fracture pressures. It provides a far greater degree of control than conventional drilling while enhancing safety, plus it is possible to cost-effectively hit deep targets that are simply impractical to reach with more traditional drilling techniques.

David Hine, Executive Vice President at Enhanced Drilling, said from the company’s head office in Straume: “This further commitment by Statoil is another significant endorsement of EC-Drill® as a game-changing technology and the benefits that it brings. This next-generation system is a further step in taking Enhanced Drilling towards the forefront of the MPD market.”

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Gulf of Mexico: Exxon, Statoil to Splash $4 Bln on Julia Development

Exxon Mobil Corporation is commencing development of the Julia oil field in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil giant announced yesterday in a press release.

Capital cost for the project, which is expected to begin oil production in 2016, is estimated to be more than $4 billion. The field was discovered in 2007 and is estimated to have nearly six billion barrels of resource in place.

“The development of Julia will provide a new source of domestic energy and well-paying jobs over the next several years,” said Neil W. Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Company. “Access to resources such as Julia will contribute to U.S. energy security for many years to come.”

The initial development phase is being designed for daily production of 34,000 barrels of oil and includes six wells with subsea tie-backs to the Jack & St. Malo production facility operated by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. Julia project front end engineering design has been completed and the engineering, procurement and construction contracts have been placed.

“Julia is one of the first large oil discoveries in the ultra-deepwater frontier of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Duffin. “This resource is located more than 30,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. Enhanced technologies will be deployed to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible development of this important energy resource.”

The Julia field comprises five leases in the ultra-deepwater Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico, 265 miles southwest of New Orleans. The blocks are WR-584, WR-627, WR-628, WR-540 and WR-583.

ExxonMobil, the operator, and Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC each hold a 50 percent interest in the Julia unit.

Over the past decade, ExxonMobil has drilled 36 deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico in water ranging from 4,000 feet to 8,700 feet.

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IMR vessel Seven Viking from ULSTEIN

The cutting edge Seven Viking vessel, designed for operations in the harshest environments is being unveiled and named at a ceremony in Stavanger, Norway, by Subsea 7, Eidesvik Offshore and Ulstein today, 30 January 2013.

The next generation Inspection, Maintenance and Repair (IMR) vessel, the Seven Viking, is co-owned by Subsea 7 and Eidesvik and has been constructed in partnership with Ulstein.

The ICE-C class vessel with a crew capacity of 90 and a top speed of 17 knots, will work for Statoil on a five year contract. It has been custom-built according to the operator’s specifications to carry out tasks including inspection, maintenance and repair of subsea installations in addition to scale treatment and RFO work scopes (Ready For Operations).

The vessel Godmother is to be Christine Sagen Helgø, the Mayor of Stavanger.

Subsea 7 Vice President for Norway Stuart Fitzgerald said: “The collective effort, and strong cooperation, between Ulstein, Eidesvik and Subsea 7, has resulted in the Seven Viking. The Seven Viking represents another class leading asset in the Subsea 7 fleet and captures Subsea 7’s unparalleled experience with IMR operations in harsh environments. The design and build of this state of the art vessel would not have been possible without the expertise and dedication of many people within both Subsea 7 and our project partners, and we take pride in their achievement. We look forward to many years of safe and efficient operations with Seven Viking for our Customer, Statoil.”

Jan Fredrik Meling, CEO Eidesvik Offshore said, “We in Eidesvik are very satisfied with the close and constructive cooperation with Subsea 7. The relationship between our companies has developed over many years and has enabled us, together with Ulstein, to launch this outstanding vessel.”

Gunvor Ulstein, Ulstein Group CEO said, “Ulstein is proud to deliver a vessel of unmatched technical and operational capacity in its sector, and I am confident that the Seven Viking will meet Statoil’s expectations.”

The Seven Viking incorporates the X-BOW® hull line design to reduce motion in transit and gives increased stability in the potentially high waves that characterise the North Sea. Despite this enviable stability usually associated with size, this version of the Ulstein SX148 design has been crafted to be compact in stature – measuring only 106.5 metres long and 24.5 metres wide. The dimensions will allow the Seven Viking to manoeuvre with ease in confined spaces, such as between platforms, accessing difficult to reach areas.

Thanks to a clever configuration whereby hull space is maximised and equipment is integrated within a large hangar area, the Seven Viking and its crew have the ability to carry all necessary maintenance equipment on board, ensuring that operational downtime is kept to a minimum.

Safety, efficiency and environmental considerations have been the prime focus for the three partners when developing the Seven Viking, which carries the Clean Design notation.

A customised module handling system (MHS) has been integrated in the ship’s hangar for the safe launch and retrieval of subsea modules weighing up to 70 tons through the moon pool.

To facilitate cooperation and communication, all operational personnel are gathered in one area adjacent to the hangar, with panoramic windows in the control room giving a full overview of this key activity area. The Seven Viking has been developed to meet the highest working environment standards, and is classified as a comfort class COMF-V (3) vessel. Minimal noise levels in the hangar have been achieved by opting for electric winches for the ROVs, the MHS and other utility equipment.

Notable environmental initiatives include diesel electric propulsion, which reduces atmospheric emissions, and the electrical winches which nullify the risk of emissions of hydraulic oil.

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Update: Floatel Superior Stable Again. Will be Towed to Land, Statoil Says

After the PSA Norway today informed of Floatel Superior stability incident which occurred this morning in the Norwegian Sea, Statoil has provided a more detailed insight into the matter.

The oil company announced on its website that, after a hole was discovered in the rig’s ballast tank, causing the rig to tilt 3-4 degrees, the crew of 374 have mustered at the lifeboat stations and evacuation by helicopter is taking place.

“The rig’s stability is now re-established” Statoil said and added that Floatel Superior would be towed to land in due course.

Statoil has set up a personnel reception centre in Kristiansund. Six helicopters and an emergency response vessel have been deployed in order to assist the rig. In addition, an anchor handling vessel will be dispatched to inspect the damage.

Owned by the Swedish company Floatel, the Floatel Superior is a dynamically-positioned (DP-3) semi-submersible facility with a living quarters module aft and an open work deck forward.  The flotel can accommodate 440 people in single cabins when operating on the Norwegian shelf.

The PSA Norway in July 2012 granted consent to Statoil to use the  flotel at Njord Field in the Norwegian Sea.

Update: Floatel Superior Stable Again. Will be Towed to Land, Statoil Says| Offshore Energy Today.

Breaking News: Floatel Superior Tilts. Statoil Evacuates Workers (Norway)

Norwegian energy giant Statoil has evacuated workers from Floatel Superior accommodation rig due to a serious stability incident, the PSA Norway informs.

The operator informed the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway of the incident this morning explaining that an anchor had punctured one of the ballast tanks causing the flotel to tilt approximately 4 degrees.

There were 374 people on board when the incident occurred. The watchdog has set up an emergency response center in order to overview Statoil’s management of the situation.

Floatel Superior is located in the Njord A installation on the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea. It is a dynamically-positioned (DP-3) semi-submersible facility with a living quarters module aft and an open work deck forward.  The flotel can accommodate 440 people in single cabins when operating on the Norwegian shelf.

Breaking News: Floatel Superior Tilts. Statoil Evacuates Workers (Norway)| Offshore Energy Today.

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