Statoil has awarded contracts for new light well intervention (LWI) vessels. These "category A" units will contribute to increased recovery from Statoil's approximately 500 operated subsea wells on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).
Statoil has on behalf of relevant licensees awarded a contract to Island Offshore Management and Eide Marine Services for the charter of a total of three LWI vessels.
These purpose-built vessels are used for performing light well interventions, well operations and well maintenance without a riser-based system. Statoil can reduce well intervention costs by about 60 percent by utilizing a LWI vessel instead of a conventional rig.
"Performing these types of conventional jobs on subsea wells with low volumes of oil in place is expensive. The LWI vessels ensure both cost-efficient and safe operations," said Statoil's head of drilling and well Øystein Arvid Håland.
"Having more and new vessels of this category also helps increase recovery from fields on stream by opening new zones in the well, and stopping water production downhole."
The contracts are worth a total of $1.5 billion (NOK 9.4 billion). Island Offshore vessels Island Frontier and Island Wellserver, which already have contracts with Statoil, have been awarded new five-year contracts. Eide Well Intervention, a new supplier in this segment for Statoil, has been awarded an eight-year contract for their newbuild, which employs a completely new technology.
The contracts with both companies come into effect in the spring of 2015, and include two options to extend for another two years.
A growing number of discoveries are developed via subsea wells, and it is important both to have equipment capable of maintaining these and to avoid using conventional drilling rigs for this type of work.
The rig market on the NCS is characterized by an aging rig fleet, and it is necessary to ensure sufficient and adequate rig capacity at sustainable rates. To address this, Statoil has put light LWI vessels – category A units – into service on a large scale.
"We have great ambitions and a long-term perspective on the NCS. Using purpose-built rigs and vessels in our operations is an important part of Statoil's rig strategy. The high number of subsea wells in the future will require maintenance, and we are securing capacity in order to meet this need," said Statoil's chief procurement officer Jon Arnt Jacobsen.
"Island Offshore has delivered solid services and we expect the same going forward. At the same time we are pleased to have increased the number of suppliers in this market, and through the Eide Well Intervention newbuild we are also employing the latest available technology. Together these three vessels will provide us with an efficient service fleet for light well intervention services."
Statoil has been pursuing riserless well intervention in subsea wells since 2000, and the technology has steadily improved.
The category A units will perform services for Statoil and the partners on the Åsgard, Norne, Gullfaks, Oseberg, Heidrun, Snøhvit, Tyrihans, Tordis/Vigdis, Snorre, Statfjord and Sleipner fields.
The contract awards are contingent on partner approval.
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