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Statoil: First well spud at Oseberg Vestflanken 2

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Oilfield Technology,

In the early hours of Sunday 25 February drilling started at Oseberg Vestflanken 2. On the Capital Markets Day on 7 February the project could boast break-even reduction from US$34 to US$16/bbl.

The investment budget for Oseberg Vestflanken 2 has been reduced from NOK 8 billion to NOK 6.5 billion. Recoverable reserves have increased, and several digitalisation measures have been initiated.

Drilling is performed by the brand new Cat J rig Askepott, purchased by the licence. This is the first job performed by this rig. “This state-of-the-art rig will increase the safety and efficiency of our drilling operations. However, with a new rig, new crew and a new drilling contractor, it is important that we spend time getting familiar with the equipment and crew in the initial phase,” says drilling superintendent Niels Hoogerheide.

The project has therefore invested in a drilling simulator on board Askepott.

“This will be a useful tool both for getting familiar with the drilling equipment prior to drilling operations, and to practise after a period off. The simulator is expensive, but I am positive that this will pay off through safer and more efficient drilling operations,” says Terje Masdal, project manager for Oseberg Vestflanken 2.

Unmanned platform

The rig will drill through the unmanned Oseberg H, which is Statoil’s smallest platform, and the first of its kind. The platform has no facilities, no helideck, and no lifeboats.

During maintenance visits in the operations phase all facilities will be located on the vessel connected to the platform, a solution that was also used in the hook-up phase last autumn. Also here, the project has organised simulator training prior to the operations.

“We have learned some from Sleipner B, the closest you get to Oseberg H in the current portfolio, but there will still be some groundbreaking work. This makes this drilling project particularly exciting. Oseberg H will be remote-controlled from Oseberg field centre, and good interaction with the field centre will be therefore be important,” Hoogerheide says.

One team

The collaboration with the project that built the platform and the suppliers KCA Deutag and Baker Hughes GE is good, according to Hoogerheide.

“We have managed to build a team that works closely together. This allows us to use personnel across the organisation, and people take ownership of deliveries. The Oseberg Vestflanken 2 well concepts were developed through teamwork with all parties, enabling optimal optimisation and standardisation,” he says.

Due to the weather situation in the North Sea the start of production drilling at Oseberg Vestflanken has taken somewhat longer than initially assumed.

“Safety is always our number one priority, and we take no chances when we perform these types of operations offshore. We have adjusted the drilling plan and will complete the project in accordance with the original plan,” Masdal says.

Cat J Askepott drilling activities on Oseberg Vestflanken 2 are planned to last for about 2.5 years. Oseberg H is the first location, and a total of nine wells are planned.

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