West Navigator for Norne

February 3, 2004, 12:05 CET

The West Navigator drill ship has been chartered by operator Statoil, acting on behalf of production licences 128 and 159, for two wells in the Norne area of the Norwegian Sea.

Covering both an appraisal well and a wildcat, this assignment is scheduled to begin in mid-March.

The appraisal will delineate an oil discovery made during 1990 in the Alve prospect, which lies in a block bordering the Norne acreage to the south-west.

Due to be drilled north-east of the field, the wildcat will probe the Linerle prospect in a bid to identify supplementary resources which can be tapped via the Norne production ship.

“We’ve used this vessel before, including the Ellida well in the Norwegian Sea last summer,” reports Knut Christian Grindstad, exploration manager for Halten/Nordland at Statoil’s Harstad office in northern Norway. “It does the job well and is highly efficient.”

Owned 50-50 by Statoil and Stavanger drilling contractor Smedvig, West Navigator is equipped with dynamic positioning to eliminate the need for mooring.

This means that it can be easily moved. Twin derricks also reduce drilling time.

The latest charter is expected to last two-three months, and the ship will then depart for west Africa to start new assignments from the summer.