Drilling/Production news briefs, June 9

Akita Drilling ... Akita/Equtak Drilling ... Inuvialuit Development Corp. ... Yukos ... Sulzer Pumps UK

Akita Drilling Ltd., Calgary, on Monday said its board of directors approved construction of a 5,000 m capacity rig for use in the Canadian Arctic. The rig is part of Akita's North of 60-degree Strategy. Planned cost of construction for the rig is C$13.4 million. Construction is subject to negotiation of a multi-year drilling contract with a "senior" oil and natural gas producer, says Akita. Akita/Equtak has entered into a letter of intent to negotiate a multi-year contract to provide drilling services with the new rig to an oil and gas producer. It expects to complete contract negotations before the end of August. Once an agreement is reached, the rig will be sold to Akita/Equtak Drilling, a joint venture between Akita Drilling Ltd., and Inuvialuit Development Corp. Each company holds a 50% interest in the venture.

Russia's Yukos awarded pump manufacturer Sulzer Pumps UK Ltd., Leeds, an order for two multiphase pumps to solve a production constraint at Priobskoye oil field in western Siberia. The constraint is caused by the limited capacity of a pipeline that links production from downhole pumps on the right bank of the river Ob with treatment facilities on the left bank. Driven only by the natural pressure of unprocessed effluent from the wellheads, the pipeline is limited to a throughput of 1.8 million tonnes/year, whereas the right bank will be capable of producing 4.7 million tonnes/year by 2001. Unlike conventional pumps, the recent development of the multiphase pump allows untreated effluent, containing gas and impurities as well as oil, to be pumped. That will increase capacity through the existing pipeline, Sulzer says.

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