Cheaper subsea intervention

November 20, 2003, 08:30 CET

A cost-cutting new technology for light well intervention in subsea wells has been qualified this autumn by a maintenance campaign on several Norwegian fields operated by Statoil.

This solution allows downhole tools to be deployed under pressure directly from the seabed, without the need for a drilling rig and a riser.

It has been developed by Statoil in cooperation with drilling contractor Prosafe and manufacturer FMC Kongsberg Subsea on the basis of a research project.

That in turn formed part of Norway’s Demo 2000 programme, initiated in the autumn of 2000 to help enhance the profitability of Norwegian offshore operations.

Applying this technology will reduce the cost of subsea intervention to a third of today’s level, says Øivind Reinertsen,

senior vice president for the Tampen area of the North Sea.

“That’ll help to cut operating costs, extend producing life and improve recovery from subsea fields. The resulting increase in activity will help to safeguard jobs for the future.”

This autumn’s campaign was pursued with the MSV Regalia light intervention rig owned by Prosafe.

Operations on the Statfjord satellites and Visund in the North Sea, and on Åsgard in the Norwegian Sea, have confirmed that the technology represents a world-class breakthrough.

Statoil’s ambition is to improve the average recovery factor on Norwegian subsea fields from today’s 43 per cent to 55 per cent – equivalent to more than a billion barrels of oil overall.

Cutting the cost of drilling and production is important in reaching this target, and the adoption of light well intervention will make a big contribution to boosting subsea profitability.