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Saving on fluid costs

November 25, 1999, 08:00 CET

New Statoil contracts with suppliers of drilling and well operation fluids are starting to yield results in the form of reduced pollution and lower costs.

These deals require suppliers to conform with the group's environmental standards, and a multidisciplinary team in Statoil has been working since 1 April to check that these targets are being met during the life of a contract.

Together with suppliers, the group has constructed a system which makes it possible to measure and trace fluids at any given time.

The aim is to use fewer chemicals and to re-use fluids, while also cutting stocks and volumes of waste.

"Interest is high among both licences and suppliers," says staff engineer John Eirik Paulsen in Statoil's drilling and well services department. "Both sides achieve better profits and more efficient operation, at the same time as environmental burdens are reduced."

A pilot project for re-using water-based drilling mud has shown savings of roughly NOK 150,000 per well section. Total well fluid costs for a well section are usually NOK 3-4 million.

In addition comes the cost of waste handling, which can often exceed NOK 5 million per well when oil-based muds are used.

According to Mr Paulsen, Statoil expects to make major gains by reducing the flow of waste from drilling and well fluid operations, primarily by cutting waste at source but also through better waste handling.

However, the project is unable at present to put a figure on the potential savings involved.

Contracts worth more than NOK 2 billion for delivering fluids and well services have been awarded to Anchor/Macobar Imco Drilling Fluids, BJ Services and Halliburton.

These deliveries cover most of the fields operated by Statoil off Norway.