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Further maturing the category B concept

March 31, 2011, 11:09 CEST

Statoil has had an ongoing tender process for the new category B rig type – a semi-submersible designed and equipped for subsea well intervention. The rig will be a highly anticipated contribution to the rig fleet on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).


Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil’s chief procurement officer

“The decision to allow more time to mature category B is motivated by input from the bidders. We see that an integration of additional services, combined with more time for an in-depth FEED phase, can improve the robustness of the concept,” says Statoil’s chief procurement officer, Jon Arnt Jacobsen.

“In reality, this is to be regarded as an extension of the bidding process where we according to plan will be able to award the final contract within 2011. Expected delivery from the yard should take place in 2014,” Jacobsen adds.

The design of the category B service unit is based on the bidders own FEEDs. The rig is designed for year-round well intervention operations for Statoil, providing a full range of heavy well intervention and light drilling techniques – including through-tubing rotary drilling (TTRD), wireline, coil tubing, high pressure pumping and cementing. Statoil is asking for a minimum of one rig of this type for work on the NCS.


Knut Gjertsen, responsible for Operations North field development.

“Traditional drilling rigs are not efficient enough for well intervention purposes, so Statoil has developed a new rig type for well intervention in collaboration with industry partners. This rig type will close the gap between light intervention vessels and conventional drilling units. The category B rig with its integrated service lines is expected to reduce well intervention operations costs by up to 40%,” Jacobsen says.

The key to maintaining the current production level on the NCS through 2020 is increased recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields. It is becoming more important to increase drilling activity in mature fields to attain the full potential of the NCS.

“Improved subsea well intervention methods are making vital contributions to increased recovery. Increased recovery is one of the most important contributions to keep up current production level at the Norwegian continental shelf," says Knut Gjertsen, responsible for Operations North field development.