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Statoil preparing invitation to tender for new type of drilling rig for mature NCS fields

Statoil is preparing an invitation to tender for a new type of drilling rig for mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The new rigs, known as category J, will be jack-ups designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil. Statoil will propose for licence groups to take on ownership of these rigs.

Rendering of a Cat J rig. Click to enlarge.

A jack-up is a mobile unit that floats during transport but rest on the seabed during drilling and well operations. This is made possible by lifting and lowering the legs of the unit, and the rig is lifted above the sea surface to minimize influence of waves during operations.

In order to realize the full potential of the NCS, increasing drilling activity on mature fields is important, Statoil said. Lower rig rates, greater drilling efficiency and access to rigs are key factors to meet this challenge. The new rig concept is designed to meet these requirements; the rigs will deliver wells 20% more efficiently than conventional rigs, according to Øystein Arvid Håland, head of drilling and well in Statoil.

The key to maintain today’s production level on the NCS towards 2020 is improved recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields. We need to drill more wells to deliver on our production ambitions.

—Øystein Arvid Håland

The new category J rigs will be able to operate at water depths from 70 to 150 meters (230 to 492 feet) and drill wells down to 10,000 meters (32,808 feet). It is a tailor-made jack-up rig for operations in harsh environment on both surface- and subsea wells in the shallow-water segments on the NCS.

It will be a tool primarily for drilling and completion of production wells.

The rig design is currently being developed in collaboration with various industry players such as hull designers, topside suppliers, construction yards and drilling contractors.

Statoil plans for invitation to tender for minimum two cat J rigs to be issued in July and for the contracts to be awarded in the second half of 2012. The rigs are to be delivered in the 2nd half of 2015.



"The new category J rigs will be able to operate at water depths from 70 to 150 meters (230 to 492 feet) and drill wells down to 10,000 meters (32,808 feet)."

Such technology is stunning. One can only wonder what future steps are envisioned for oil to gouge all the traffic can bear.

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