Statoil to Invite Tenders for New Type of Drilling Rig

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Statoil announced Friday that it 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 jackups designed by the industry on behalf of Statoil.

Statoil will propose for license groups to take on ownership of these rigs.

In order to realize the full potential of the NCS, increasing drilling activity on mature fields is important, explained the company. It said that 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 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,” said Øystein Arvid Håland, head of drilling and well at Statoil.

The new Category J rigs will be able to operate at water depths from 230 to 490 feet (70 to 150 meters) and drill wells down to 32,800 feet (10,000 meters). It is a tailor-made jackup 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.

“Statoil has the capacity and competence to drive technology and innovation to drill more efficiently and rejuvenate the rig fleet on the NCS. The new Category J rigs will deliver wells 20 percent more efficient than conventional rigs. We aim to achieve reduced cost and time per well with safe and efficient operations,” said Håland.

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

“Statoil is continuously working to secure a rig fleet with the right capacities and capabilities to suit our needs. However, upgrade and adaptions on many of the existing rigs appear too costly for our requirements and challenges on the NCS. We are therefore taking steps to rejuvenate the rig fleet and ensure that the right rigs meet the right requirements,” said Statoil Chief Procurement Officer Jon Arnt Jacobsen.

“Now we follow up our industrial approach by proposing to take ownership of the rigs through licenses to improve economics further. As a long-term industrial player on the NCS, we look forward to working with suppliers who have competence in building and operating rigs to develop new and cost-effective solutions.”

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 second half of 2015.

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