Norwegian company Statoil has started drilling on the Oseberg Vestflanken 2 well in the North Sea’s Oseberg area.

The drilling will be carried out using a new Cat J rig Askepott, purchased by the licence.

The rig will drill through the Oseberg H, which is an unmanned platform remote-controlled from Oseberg field centre.

Drilling superintendent Niels Hoogerheide said: “This state-of-the-art rig will increase the safety and efficiency of our drilling operations.

“However, with a new rig, new crew, and a new drilling contractor, it is important that we spend time getting familiar with the equipment and crew in the initial phase.”

The company, which has initiated several digitalisation measures on the project, has reduced budgetary allocation for the well from Nkr8bn ($1.02bn) to Nkr6.5bn ($830.43m).

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By GlobalData

The project features a drilling simulator on-board Askepott to help with getting familiar with the equipment.

“This state-of-the-art rig will increase the safety and efficiency of our drilling operations.”

Oseberg Vestflanken 2 project manager Terje Masdal said: “This will be a useful tool both for getting familiar with the drilling equipment prior to drilling operations, and to practise after a period off.”

Suppliers for the project include KCA Deutag and Baker Hughes GE.

Cat J Askepott is expected to be engaged in drilling activities on Oseberg Vestflanken 2 for a 2.5-year term.

Statoil plans to undertake a total of nine wells, with Oseberg H the first location.

The Vestflanken 2 well is estimated to have reserves of around 110 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Approval of the development and operation (PDO) plan of Oseberg Vestflanken 2 was secured in June 2016.