Statoil hiring rig for Gullfaks drilling

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 19
-- Statoil has signed a letter of intent to use a Songa Offshore semisubmersible rig for at least 3 years of drilling in aging Gullfaks oil field in the Norwegian North Sea.

The operator didn’t say how many wells it planned to drill with the Songa Dee semi but included an option in the agreement to extend the contract by 1 year.

In a presentation at the 2008 World Petroleum Congress, a Statoil representative said the company had increased the Gullfaks recovery factor to more than 60% and hoped to boost it to 70% and sustain production to 2030 (OGJ, July 14, 2008, Newsletter). He said much of the success came from drilling to targets identified via 4D seismic data and interpretation.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate estimates average 2010 production from Gullfaks at 72,000 b/d of oil and a total of 60,000 tonnes of NGL. The field, discovered in 1978 and on production since 1986, has three integrated, concrete-based platforms in 130-220 m of water. It produces from Middle Jurassic Brent Group sandstones at 1,700-2,000 m below sea level, mainly through waterflood. Statoil holds a 70% interest; Petoro AS holds the remainder.

Value of the drilling contract is about $378 million. The Songa Dee can drill to 30,000 ft in as much as 1,800 ft of water.

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