Statoil to buy stake in Norwegian deepwater drilling technology company


By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Apr. 23 -- Statoil AS has acquired a 12% stake in Norwegian deepwater drilling group Atlantis, which has a patented technology for drilling and production of deepwater oil and gas.

"This solution is based on reducing the distance between a floating installation and the bottom of the sea by installing an artificial seabed," Statoil said. A steel tank installed in 300 m of water would provide a subsea platform that is used for the installation of drilling and production equipment. This artificial seabed would be mounted on well casing that extends from the reservoir and is anchored at the seabed (see schematic, OGJ, Nov. 3, 1997, p. 26).

"This technology is being considered for a number of deepwater areas, both off Norway and internationally," said Martin Sigmundstad, vice-president, industrial development, for Statoil. The concept is the brainchild of Terje Magnussen, who currently serves as technical vice-president at Atlantis/

By using the Atlantis system, Statoil said, rig operations can be carried out quickly and safely in deep water, due mostly to its more-convenient depth at which critical equipment can be installed and operated.

Both BP PLC and Royal Dutch/Shell Group are involved in the planning and construction of the first Atlantis prototype, which will form the basis for possible use of the technology off West Africa.

The Atlantis solution has been patented in roughly 30 countries, with applications pending in 70 more, Statoil said. Other shareholders in Atlantis are Andreas KL Ugland, OT Tønnevold, Aker Kværner, and the Rogaland Research Institute.

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