Statoil Establishes Rig Pool for Tampen Area

Seven license groups in the Tampen area of the Norwegian North Sea have joined forces to establish a rig pool for three years beginning January 1, 2004.

Created at the initiative of Statoil as operator for all the licences, this venture includes the Statfjord East and North, Sygna, Snorre, Vigdis, Tordis, Borg, Visund and Gullfaks fields.

The pool is very beneficial for the licensees, says rig management head Tore Lea, and reflects excellent cooperation between the various partnerships.

"We've jointly succeeded in developing a cost-effective cross-license solution which represents a breakthrough for inter-license cooperation and integrated thinking in Norway's offshore sector."

Intermittent rig requirements and short contracts are expected to be the principal trend on the Norwegian continental shelf in future, he notes.

The pool model allows overall demand to be met with fewer rigs, while long-term and continuous operation of selected units lays the basis for good health, safety and environmental results.

Financial benefits for participants in the Tampen pool could reach several hundred million kroner over the next three years. This concept is also interesting for other parts of the NCS.

The collaboration embraces all rig activities relating to exploration and production drilling as well as well workovers.

It will initially cover Borgland Dolphin during 2004 and Stena Don from 2004 to the end of 2006. The latter is to be modified for work on Snorre's subsea production facilities. Additional requirements will be met by new charters for the pool.

This solution is in line with recommendations from Norway's government-appointed KonKraft committee on measures needed for future rig use on the NCS.