Statoil to invite tenders for a new type of jack-up rig

Written by Nick Blenkey

CatJmicroNorway’s Statoil is preparing an invitation to tender for a new type of jack-up drilling rig for mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). Statoil will issue a proposal for license groups to take on ownership of these jack-ups, designated as Category J.

The plan to build the new jack-ups, which will be able to operate in water depths from 70 to 150 m, follows Statoil’s earlier decision go ahead with a new series of Category D semisubmersibe rigs for mature fields. Those rigs are able to operate at water depths of 100-500 m and drill wells down to 8,500 m.


In order to realize the full potential of the NCS, increasing drilling activity on mature fields is important. Lower rig rates, greater drilling efficiency and access to rigs are key factors to meet this challenge. The new jack-up concept is designed to meet these requirements.

Øystein Arvid Håland, head of drilling and wells at Statoil, says,”The key to maintain today’s production level on the NCS towards 2020 is improved recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields. We need to drill more wells to deliver on our production ambitions,” says Øystein Arvid Håland, head of drilling and well in Statoil.

The new category J rigs will be able to operate at water depths from 70 to 150 meters and drill wells down to 10,000 meters. It is a tailor-made jack-up rig for operations in harsh environment on both surface- and subsea wells in the shallow-water segments on the NCS. It will be a tool primarily for drilling and completion of production wells.

“Statoil has the capacity and competence to drive technology and innovation to drill more efficiently and rejuvenate the rig fleet on the NCS. The new category J rigs will deliver wells 20 percent more efficient than conventional rigs. We aim to achieve reduced cost and time per well with safe and efficient operations,” says Mr. Håland.

The rig design is currently being developed in collaboration with industry players including hull designers, topside suppliers, construction yards and drilling contractors.

“Statoil is continuously working to secure a rig fleet with the right capacities and capabilities to suit our needs. However, upgrade and adaptions on many of the existing rigs appear too costly for our requirements and challenges on the NCS. We are therefore taking steps to rejuvenate the rig fleet and ensure that the right rigs meet the right requirements,” says Jon Arnt Jacobsen, chief procurement officer in Statoil.

“Now we follow up our industrial approach by proposing to take ownership of the rigs through licenses to improve economics further. As a long-term industrial player on the NCS, we look forward to working with suppliers who have competence in building and operating rigs to develop new and cost-effective solutions,” says Jacobsen.

Statoil plans for invitation to tender for minimum two cat J rigs to be issued in July and for the contracts to be awarded in the 2nd half of 2012. The rigs are to be delivered in the 2nd half of 2015.

March 2, 2012

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