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Snøhvit drilling enters final phase

December 5, 2005, 11:55 CET

Drilling and well completion work on the Snøhvit development operated by Statoil in the Barents Sea is now entering its final phase.

The Polar Pioneer rig moved south to the associated Albatross reservoir on 20 November in order to drill three producers.

This unit has already drilled and partly completed six production wells and the carbon dioxide injection well on the actual Snøhvit field.

To ensure high output towards the end of Albatross’ producing life, two of its wells will be drilled and completed with a horizontal section.

These will run through the reservoir 1,430 metres beneath the seabed, and rank as the only highly-deviated wells in this phase of the development.

Drill cuttings are being transported to land for deposition.

“Our work so far has been successful,” reports Thor Bensvik, drilling and well manager for the Snøhvit project.

“The reservoir has been penetrated at the planned depth,” adds Lars Klefstad, who heads the petroleum technology department for the field.

“We’ve also gathered large volumes of data from a number of the wells, and set a Barents Sea record for core length by retrieving a continuous section 82.5 metres long.”

Well placement was analysed in detail with the aid of three-dimensional seismic data and advanced reservoir models.

Collection and analysis of well data are important for future reservoir management as well as for production planning.

All 10 wells on Snøhvit and Albatross will be ready for production to start in 2006, but are not due to come on stream until the Hammerfest LNG plant on Melkøya is completed in 2007.

This development comprises subsea production installation on the Snøhvit, Albatross and Askeladd discoveries, which lie about 140 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest.