UK-based offshore operator Neptune Energy has conducted a dual drilling operation from an integrated subsea template structure at the Fenja field, offshore Norway.

The company claims the project is the “world’s first” dual drilling subsea operation.

In line with the start-up of the Fenja drilling programme in April, Neptune teams extended the full capabilities of Seadrill’s West Phoenix semisubmersible drilling rig to drill two wellbores at a time.

A Neptune spokesperson said this dual drilling operation is the first one to be executed from an integrated subsea template structure.

Fenja is the first operated development project on the Norwegian Shelf by Neptune. It is estimated to contain 97m barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and will deliver approximately 40,000 boe per day at peak.

The Fenja oil and gas field includes the Pil and Bue oil discoveries in production license PL586, located in blocks 6406/11 and 6406/12 of the Norwegian North Sea.

The license is jointly owned by Neptune Energy Norge (30%), Var Energi (45%), Suncor Energy Norge (17.5%) and DNO North Sea (7.5%).

Neptune Energy Norway drilling and wells director Thor Andre Løvoll said: “Several drilling rigs have two drilling facilities where these traditionally support one another. However, in the instance of our operations we decided to use these facilities independently to concurrently drill two wellbores.

“The experience of dual drilling on Fenja has been positive and could see this method adopted as a more standard practice in the future. The current challenges in the market encourage us to re-think the way we do things safely, efficiently and with lower carbon emissions.”

According to Neptune, the offshore field will be developed via two subsea templates with a total of six wells. The development will comprise of water injection and gas injection flowlines, tied-back to the Njord A floating production facility.

Last month, Neptune Energy announced the start of a drilling campaign on the Fenja field offshore Norway, following spudding of the first well.

In February this year, Neptune Energy produced first gas from the L5a-D4 well in the deepest producing gas field in the Dutch North Sea.