Oseberg Øst enters innovative drilling deal

September 13, 2005, 12:40 CEST

Hydro has entered into a frame agreement with Baker-Hughes for its upcoming drilling campaign on the Oseberg Øst field in the North Sea. The contract is valued at about NOK 200 millioner per year and covers a broad spectrum of drilling tasks.

A combined total of NOK 1.9 billion will be invested into extracting more oil out of Oseberg Øst. The platform will, among other things, be upgraded to handle drilling operations without the use of support vessels.

The drilling campaign starts in December 2006 and is an important part of the emphasis on tail-end production and increased recovery from the field.

Because of a shortage of sleeping quarters on the platform, field management approached the drilling contract in an innovative way.

Baker-Hughes will become the total supplier of drilling services. It is usual to split such contracts among different suppliers, who are responsible for different areas of drilling activities.

"The contract with Baker Hughes covers all individual services, whether you're talking about directional drilling, downhole fluids, cementing or logging while drilling," says field manager Geir Slora.

It revoves around what is called an ISD contract (Integrated Service Delivery), where elements like total planning, cross-trained personnel and the transfer of work tasks onshore are central factors.

The frame agreement also entails the use of Baker-Hughes' operations center for onshore support, the Beacon Center in Tananger, Norway.

In addition, a project organization will be established at Sandsli to coordinate the drilling operations. These functions onshore will provide drilling personnel on the platform 24-hour service and contribute with special expertise in several skilled areas.

"There's limited space on the platform and Baker-Hughes takes the responsibility to cross train personnel so that one person can fulfil several tasks. The use of new technology calls for well-coordinated services, and opportunities to solve problems onshore," says Slora.

During the campaign, three injection wells and four production wells will be drilled. According to the plan, the drilling campaign will last two and a half years. The contract is for three years, but the parties have included two, two-year options for possible extensions in the agreement.