StatoilHydro to Replace Drilling Equipment at Statfjord B

The late life upgrade of the Statfjord field continues. Now it is time to replace the drilling equipment on the Statfjord B platform.

The investments currently under way on the Statfjord B platform in the North Sea are just one of the many projects integral to Statfjord late life.

These projects are intended to improve recovery and extend the production life-time of the installations in the Statfjord area. The projects are now halfway to completion.

"Upgrading the drilling equipment is essential if we are to implement the comprehensive drilling program for the Statfjord B platform. The new drilling equipment will also realize major benefits with respect to Health, Safety and the Environment," says Colin Briggs, project manager for the drilling equipment upgrades.

More robust

Primarily, the upgrade involves replacement of the electrical system, and installation of a new lift device and new drilling machine, which will ensure that the drilling equipment is more robust and reliable.

The drilling equipment on the platform has been shutdown while work is in progress.

When the equipment is ready to use again in March next year, it will be possible to drill with increased regularity.

In full operation

"As many as 80 people will be working on modifications while the platform is fully operational. We are well-prepared, and the plans for implementation of the first 80,000 work hours have already been finalized. The first major challenge will be at the beginning of July, when the new electrical module will be lifted onboard. Upgrading drilling equipment on the Statfjord platforms will continue until 2010. After modernization, the drilling equipment on the three Statfjord platforms will have the same functionality and equipment.

Improved working environment

"The next stage of the upgrade covers new equipment for handling drill pipes, and upgrade of the modules for drill mud. This will further improve the robustness of the drilling equipment, and significantly improve the working environment," comments Petter Kostol, head of Drilling and Wells Stavanger.

StatoilHydro is investing NOK 2.3 billion in the Late Life project in 2008, and will use an additional NOK 2 billion on operation, maintenance and modification of the field this year.

"We are investing heavily in maintenance and upgrades as part of our preparations for long-term operation of this important section of StatoilHydro operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This is just one of many projects which will contribute to efficient operation on the Statfjord B platform in the future," says Lars Petter Lundahl, head of Statfjord production.