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.”
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.
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.
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.
- Breaking News: Floatel Superior Tilts. Statoil Evacuates Workers (Norway) (mb50.wordpress.com)
In her right element, the compact 106.5 m long and 24.5 m wide vessel looks very impressive.
The SX148 design will carry out a multitude of diverse tasks for Statoil, including inspection, maintenance and repair of subsea oil installations, alongside scale treatment and RFO operations. The top speed is 16 knots. The ship has a crew capacity of 90, and capacity to carry a litany of essential subsea tools, thanks to a clever configuration whereby hull space is maximised and equipment is integrated within the large hangar area.
HSE has been a major focus for the project partners, this includes a customized module handling system (MHS) integrated in the ship’s hangar for the safe launch and retrieval of subsea modules weighing up to 70 tons.
All operational personnel are gathered in one area directly above the hangar, with panoramic windows in the control room giving a full overview of this key activity area. Also, the ship has been developed to meet the highest working environment standards. She is a comfort class COMF-V (3) vessel, with low noise and vibration levels. The ship also carries the Clean Design notation.
Environmental initiatives have been taken, including the diesel electric propulsion, which reduces atmospheric emissions, while the ship’s electrical winches mean there will be absolutely zero emissions of hydraulic oil.
KBR announced that it was awarded a contract by Statoil Tanzania AS to perform pre-front end engineering and design (pre-FEED) studies for a prospective liquefied natural gas facility in Tanzania, East Africa.
The pre-FEED study is designed to help Statoil further assess the viability of developing an LNG facility to export natural gas from this East African region. The project is expected to be completed during 2013.
“We are excited to be selected by Statoil for this important project,” said Mitch Dauzat, president, Gas Monetization. “KBR looks forward to working together with Statoil to define their LNG concept for Tanzania.”
KBR has been working with Statoil for more than 30 years and has an outstanding record for successful project execution, predominantly for Statoil’s Gas Processing plants.
For the very first time, remote-controlled machines and an underwater welding robot have installed a new tie-in point on a live gas pipeline, without the pipeline being prepared in advance.
Subsea Hot Tap Video Link
These types of operations can save Statoil lots of money in the long run.
The hot tap installation is the first to be carried out in connection with preparations for Åsgard subsea gas compression in the Norwegian Sea, and thus also represents a milestone for the project. The tie-in point was welded on to the Åsgard B production flowline at a water depth of 265 metres.
After ten days on the field, the hot-tap operation team on board the Technip-owned vessel Scandi Arctic could confirm success in the pioneering operation.
Kjell Edvard Apeland, project manager of the remote-controlled hot tap development in Statoil and head of the operation on the Åsgard field. (Photo: Rune Solheim)
“For a subsea engineer, this can be compared with landing on Mars,” says Kjell Edvard Apeland. He is project manager of the remote-controlled hot tap development in Statoil and head of the operation on the Åsgard field.
Simply explained, a remote-controlled hot tap operation consists of a robot welding a T-piece on to the pipe, while gas is flowing through it. When that has been done, a remote-controlled drilling machine will drill holes in the producing pipeline, with no effect on pressure and production.
“When the compressor module and the manifold for Åsgard subsea compression are installed next year, we will connect the pipeline from these to the hot-tap tie-in point,” says Apeland.
The Åsgard subsea compression project will be realised in 2015, as the first of its kind in the world. Compressors will be installed on the seabed, instead of on a platform. This will improve recovery from the Mikkel and Midgard reservoirs by around 280 million barrels of oil equivalents.
Hot tap technology is a technological breakthrough, and a door opener for developing marginal fields, as well as extending the lifetime of other fields.
The ability to connect anywhere on a pipeline, without stopping production, yields considerable flexibility and significant savings.
Torstein Vinterstø, portfolio manager for subsea compression projects in Statoil. (Photo: Anette Westgård)
“Since we will be connecting a new compressor station on the seabed to an existing pipeline system on Åsgard, it is very beneficial to use the hot tap technology to avoid disrupting production,” says Torstein Vinterstø, portfolio manager for subsea compression projects in Statoil.
“The savings are measured compared with what it would have cost to perform a similar operation, including shutting down production in the pipeline we were working on. This would also have taken much longer than the ten days we spent now – possibly as long as three months,” he says.
The method was developed by Statoil, and there is no comparable technology.
The work to develop the technology started in 1999, and was developed in Statoil’s pipe technology environment at Killingøy outside Haugesund. Statoil’s expertise in tie-in and repair of pipelines is gathered there.
Open and constructive cooperation with our key suppliers has been instrumental in achieving this.
Statoil has already thoroughly tested the hot tap technology, with good results. Remote-controlled hot tap has previously been performed on Tampen Link on the Statfjord field in the North Sea and on the Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea, but then the T-piece had already been installed on the gas pipeline in advance.
- Statoil delays start of Chukchi drilling until at least 2015 (fuelfix.com)
- Norway: Statoil to Order New FSU Unit from Samsung Heavy (worldmaritimenews.com)