Aker Solutions has entered a $1.9bn contract with Statoil to launch a new type of rig, designed to increase oil recovery from existing operating fields in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The category B rig, which falls between light intervention vessels (category A) and conventional rigs (category C), has been adapted to carry out well intervention and drilling operations in existing subsea wells.

Statoil executive vice president of technology, projects and drilling Margareth Øvrum said the new rig will make it possible to produce oil and gas that otherwise would be lost.

"The category B rig is the result of long-term, targeted technology development to increase subsea well recovery rates," said Øvrum.

The rig will be in service for eight years and is expected to start operating in 2015.

The contract also includes rental of the necessary equipment and services to carry out well intervention, sidetrack drilling, ROV operations, well testing and cementing.


Image: The Cat-B intervention rig will start operations in 2015. Photo: courtesy of Statoil.