Statoil has awarded the contract for theconstruction of two new drilling rigs for use on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) to Songa Offshore. The two “category D” rigs will be constructed by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea, with delivery expected in the second half of 2014.
Statoil envisions the rigs to be “workhorses” on mature fields, primarily drilling and completing production wells, and has signed each rig up for a fixed term of eight years, plus four three-year options.
The vessels will be capable of operating in up to 500 meters of water and drilling wells to 8,500 meters. A hull designer, several topside suppliers, yard and rig entrepreneurs participated in the development of the “category D” rig concept. Aker Solutions will supply the drilling equipment. The project concept and design has taken one year, and the implementation period is expected to take three years, including detail engineering, construction and transportation to the NCS.
“Stepping up our industrialization of the NCS, we are very pleased to announce that Songa will help realize our industrial approach, and we wish to give them recognition for their long-term perspective on this partnership,” Jon Arnt Jacobsen, Statoil’s chief procurement officer, said. “Through joint efforts we intend to rejuvenate the rig fleet on the NCS and ensure that we use the right rig for the right purpose.”
Statoil intends to put the rigs to work on the Troll field first. “Statoil and its Troll partners have high ambitions for the further development of the field, and we are pleased to have taken a decision to charter two specially designed rigs,” said Hans Jakob Hegge, Statoil senior vice president for Eastern North Sea operations in Development and Production Norway.
“We will now have a tool capable of performing the demanding tasks ahead. The rig capacity on the NCS is limited, and increased capacity is essential to ensure enhanced recovery. The new rigs are expected to operate 20% more efficiently than conventional rigs, and we look forward to having the new rigs up and running from 2014,” Mr Hegge said.
Statoil is considering including two more category D rigs in its portfolio and has secured options for two additional units from Songa, but the company also continues its evaluation of other bids. Statoil is also considering taking an ownership position in the rigs.