Skandi Aker gets milestone well-intervention role

skandi akerJULY 25, 2012 — Aker Solutions' subsidiary Aker Oilfield Services has received a contract from Total E&P Angola for providing subsea intervention services from the oil services company's purpose-built intervention vessel, Skandi Aker. The agreement marks a breakthrough for vessel-based intervention services in deep and ultra-deep waters.

The agreement is valid for a period of two years plus options for three further one-year periods. The firm two-year part of the contract has an aggregate value of approximately $250 million. Start-up of operations is planned to take place offshore Angola in the first quarter of next year.

Delivered by STX Europe from its Aukra, Norway, shipyard in 2010, the 157 m Skandi Aker is the first well service vessel of its kind capable of performing riser-based subsea well intervention in deep and ultra-deep waters. She is also the first deepwater intervention vessel to classified according to DNV's WELL-notation, meaning the vessel is able to take hydrocarbons on board. As a result, the vessel can perform well-testing and clean-up, flaring off hydrocarbons through a flare at the stern.

Skandi Aker is fitted with a 42 meter tall derrick with an active heave compensated drawworks of 450 t, two heave compensated cranes of 400 t and 100 t (dual fall) capacity.

Traditionally subsea well intervention has been performed from drilling rigs. But the rigs' high day rates have made such operations very expensive, while rig availability has been limited. The increasing water depths also mean that it has been necessary to develop alternative technology and more cost effective systems to access deepwater wells.

"Skandi Aker is able to perform deepwater well intervention services that oil companies previously needed drilling rigs to conduct. More importantly we do it quicker and more cost effectively, which will increase the frequency of intervention operations and enable our customers' subsea wells to produce more oil and gas," says Karl Erik Kjelstad, president of Aker Oilfield Services and head of the Oilfield Services & Marine Assets (OMA) business area in Aker Solutions.

"We are thrilled with this award and to be able to deliver on our vision of developing a cost effective technology for intervention activities at deepwater subsea fields. We are humble about the trust placed in us by Total E&P Angola and their license partners, and look forward to deliver high quality services with the ultimate aim of increasing oil recovery ratios," adds Mr. Kjelstad.

Under the contract Skandi Aker will perform subsea intervention activities related to:

  • Well re-entry for testing operations
  • Well re-entry for interventions using wireline, coil tubing and well stimulations
  • Running/lifting subsea trees with cable or work-over riser
  • Suspension or plug and abandonment of wells

Provision of the downhole well services, well test services and ROV services will be provided through separate contracts, outside Aker Solutions' scope of services for Total E&P Angola.

"In recent years we have made significant investments in developing capabilities for vessel-based subsea intervention activities - both with regards to suitable deepwater technologies and services. We are pleased to see that these investments continue to materialise into contracts," says Mr. Kjelstad.

Aker Oilfield Services has built up significant resources for subsea intervention and subsea well intervention work. In addition to Skandi Aker, Skandi Santos has since March 2010 been operating very successfully on a 5+ year contract performing subsea intervention work offshore Brazil. Further, In April 2012 the company was awarded a long-term agreement with Statoil to provide a full range of heavy well intervention and light drilling services on the Norwegian continental shelf. The contract period is for eight years, with options for three further two-year periods Work will be performed from a new build Category B well intervention rig owned and operated by Aker Oilfield Services.

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