Norway-based oil and gas firm Statoil is introducing a new drilling rig concept for mature fields on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) to increase recovery rate from its wells and reduce costs.

Øystein Arvid Håland, head of drilling and wells, said: "The key to maintain today’s production level on the NCS towards 2020 is improved recovery from existing fields and fast and effective development of new fields. We need to drill more wells to deliver on our production ambitions."

The company is preparing a tender for the new jack-up rigs, known as category J, which will be released in July this year.

The rig design is currently being developed in collaboration with various industry players like hull designers, topside suppliers, construction yards and drilling contractors.

Contracts will be awarded in the second half of 2012 and rigs will be delivered after mid-2015.

Production costs are set to be cut by around 20% by the new rigs, which are more efficient than conventional models; Statoil will propose to take ownership of the rigs through licences.

They will be able to operate in water depths of 70m-150m and drill wells down to 10,000m.


Image: The new category J rigs will be able to operate at water depths from 70-150m and drill wells down to 10,000m; Photo: courtesy of Statoil.