The design, manufacture and mobilization of all four rigs within 18 months of contract signing to the commencement of drilling, marks a milestone in KCA DEUTAG's continuing growth in Russia, due to the scope and complexity of the project.
Brian Taylor, KCA DEUTAG Director, Northern Business Unit, said: "Achieving this project milestone within such a short time frame is testament to our commitment and expertise in servicing the needs of the Russian market. It also underlines the hard work and diligence of all KCA DEUTAG personnel involved in the project, the overwhelming majority of whom, experienced staff and trainees, are Russians.
"By the end of this year, KCA DEUTAG will have a total of 10 land rigs in Russia, making the company the biggest western drilling contractor in the country."
After the TNK-BP contract was signed in December 2005, KCA DEUTAG placed an order for construction of the four rigs with rig manufacturer Bentec, which designed the drilling units. These rigs are a combination of proven Russian design and state-of-the-art western equipment, a concept which has successfully proven its viability on the Urengoi field development project for Achimgaz in 2006.
The four rigs were manufactured concurrently. The first rig, the T-501, was constructed ahead of schedule and arrived in Tyumen in July 2006, where it was fully rigged up on an industrial pad on the outskirts of Tyumen city.
This rig was used for training future rig crews hired by KCA DEUTAG for the TNK-BP project. In addition, the rig crews received theoretical training at KCA DEUTAG's training centre in Tyumen, which offers class training opportunities as well as the opportunity for crews to practice on the Mini-DART drilling simulator. KCA DEUTAG operates eight DART drilling simulators in various parts of the world which have been successfully used in preparation for start-ups of new operations.
At the beginning of October 2006 the next rig was mobilized to master points in Tobolsk, Omsk and Turtas. Several staging points were set up as two winter roads had to be used for mobilization of the rigs and all auxiliary equipment to the field during the short winter period.
The 2006-2007 winter was abnormally warm, resulting in the construction of pads and the winter road falling behind schedule. The equipment had to be transported within seven weeks instead of the planned three months, and a temporary storage site established in the field, as work on constructing the pad infrastructure was being undertaken at the same time. Despite all these challenges the equipment and other supplies for drilling were successfully delivered to the pad and the first rig commenced drilling the first well on 12 May 2007. The other three rigs have commenced drilling this month.
In addition to the four rigs operating for TNK-BP, KCA DEUTAG has one rig, the T-500, operating for Achimgaz (Wintershall/Gazprom) on a three well contract in Novyi Urengoi, two rigs – the T-390 and T-391 – working for Shell in Salym until the summer f 2009, with a third new rig T-392, commencing in the third quarter of 2007 under a four-year contract. KCA DEUTAG's T-2000, a fully winterised rig, is working under contract to VCNG (TNK-BP/Rosneft) in Eastern Siberia, and the company's T-505 rig has recently been tendered to several operators in Russia.
In far east Russia, KCA DEUTAG also provides platform drilling services to Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (SEIC) on the Molikpaq platform, under a seven-year contract which commenced in early 2004 following an extensive rig 'make ready' program, together with platform drilling services on the Lunskoye-A (LUN-A) and Piltun B (PA-B) platforms, scheduled to commence drilling operations in May 2007 and January 2008 respectively.
A model of the HR-5000 series rig will be on display at MIOGE, the Moscow International Oil and Gas Exhibition, from 26-29 June on the Bentec stand, number 2247 in Hall 2, Pavilion 2.
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