Drilling & Completion News

Equinor is planning to drill 10 new wells on the upgraded Njord.
Image source: Even Kleppa and Lizette Bertelsen/Equinor.

Equinor aims to double field life and production from reinvigorated Njord field 

The Njord field in the Norwegian Sea was officially reopened on 15 May after extensive upgrades were made to the platform and floating storage and offloading vessel (FSO) to double the field’s life – and more than double its production.

The Njord field started production in 1997 and was originally supposed to produce until 2013. However, systematic work with increased recovery means that there are still large volumes of oil and gas left. New discoveries in the area can also be produced and exported via Njord.

In 2016, the platform and FSO were disconnected from the field and towed to shore for upgrades. On 27 December 2022, production resumed from the Njord field.

“This is the first time a platform and an FSO have been disconnected from the field, upgraded and towed back offshore. We have now doubled the field life,” said Grete B. Haaland, Equinor Senior Vice President for Exploration and Production North.

Equinor says it aims to produce approximately the same volume from Njord as the company has already produced so far, around 250 million BOE. Ten new wells will be drilled on Njord from an upgraded drilling facility, and more exploration will be carried out close to the field.

In addition, two new subsea fields have already been tied back to Njord. Combined recoverable volumes from the Bauge and Fenja fields, which both started production in April, are 110 million BOE.

A second highly deviated deep well has been spudded as part of Utah FORGE’s continued efforts to commercially scale Enhanced Geothermal Systems technologies. Temperature at total depth is expected to reach 440°F.

Utah FORGE spuds 2nd highly deviated deep well

The Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), funded by the US Department of Energy, recently commenced the drilling of its second highly deviated deep well. This second well will serve as the production well of a two-well doublet and will mirror the existing injection well, which was drilled between October 2020 and February 2021. The new well will be located approximately 300 ft from the injection well.

Like the injection well, the upper part of this well will be drilled vertically through approximately 4,550 ft of sediments, at which point it will penetrate into hard crystalline granite. At about 5,600 ft, the well will be gradually steered at 5°/100 ft until it reaches an inclination of 65°. The total length of the well will be approximately 10,700 ft, with the toe reaching a vertical depth of 8,265 ft. The temperature at this depth will be 440°F.

“This is a crucial next step in the Utah FORGE project’s goal of de-risking the tools and technologies required for making Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) technologies commercially viable,” said Joseph Moore, Principal Investigator of Utah FORGE. “In the future, water will be pumped into the injection well, travel through the reservoir of tiny fractures that we previously opened, absorb the heat from the hard, hot crystalline granite, and then be pumped up through this new production well to the surface.”  

Once the well is completed, tests will be run to continue facilitating the development of the EGS reservoir and its long-term connectivity. Additional tests will also include determining the stress conditions through short-term injection experiments, during which microseismicity will be monitored.

$12.7 billion Uaru development in Guyana with 10 drill centers, 44 wells gets green light

Hess Corp and ExxonMobil have made a final investment decision to proceed with Uaru, the fifth development on the Stabroek Block in Guyana, after receiving government and regulatory approvals. Uaru will have a production capacity of approximately 250,000 gross bbl/day of oil, with production targeted to start in 2026.

The $12.7 billion Uaru development will target an estimated resource base of more than 800 million bbl of oil and include up to 10 drill centers and 44 production and injection wells. MODEC is constructing the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel for Uaru, which will be called Errea Wittu.

Guyana’s Liza Phases 1 and 2 production averaged  375,000 gross bbl/day in Q1. The third and fourth sanctioned developments, Payara and Yellowtail, are targeted for startup in Q4 and in 2025, respectively. A sixth development, Whiptail, is expected to be submitted for government and regulatory approval later this year.

ADNOC Drilling to add 2 jackups to its fleet as part of continued expansion

ADNOC Drilling has signed an agreement to acquire two premium high-specification Gusto MSC CJ46 design jackups. The rigs will be delivered into Abu Dhabi waters and become operational during Q4. 

With this $220 million combined rig acquisition, the company will have almost doubled its jackup fleet since early 2021, and further significant expansion is still expected from now until the end of 2024. ADNOC Drilling’s overall rig fleet has grown from 95 in October 2021 to 115 as of 31 March.

“The acquisition of these premium jackup rigs will support one of our major customers, ADNOC Offshore, with its drilling and completion services requirements, as it delivers accelerated production capacity,” said Abdulrahman Abdulla Al Seiari, Chief Executive Officer of ADNOC Drilling. “These rigs further cement our position as one of the world’s largest offshore jackup rig fleet owners and supports our plan to grow our overall fleet to 142 owned rigs by 2024.”

Equinor and partners take $9 billion decision to invest in Brazil’s BM-C-33 project

Equinor, Repsol Sinopec Brasil and Petrobras have taken the approximately $9 billion investment decision to develop the BM-C-33 project in Brazil. 

Located in the Campos Basin, BM-C-33 comprises three pre-salt discoveries – Pão de Açúcar, Gávea and Seat – containing natural gas and oil/condensate recoverable reserves surpassing 1 billion BOE.

The concept selected for BM-C-33 is based on a floating production, storage and offloating unit (FPSO) capable of processing gas and oil/condensate and specifying these resources for sale without a need for further onshore processing, a first in the country. FPSO production capacity will be 16 million cu m/day of gas, with startup planned for 2028.

The FPSO will be Equinor’s second in Brazil using combined cycle gas turbines, significantly reducing carbon emissions during operations. The technology, which will also be applied in Bacalhau in the Santos Basin, combines a gas turbine with a steam turbine to take advantage of the excess heat that would otherwise be lost. By implementing this technology, the average CO2 intensity of BM-C-33 over its lifetime will be lower than 6 kg/BOE.

BM-C-33 is one of Brazil’s main projects to develop new supplies of domestic gas. It’s expected that gas exported from the project could represent 15% of the total Brazilian gas demand at startup. Its development will also contribute to the country’s economic development.

BSEE tests subsea blowout preparedness with GOM drills

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) completed two unannounced drills in May to evaluate the industry’s preparedness to respond to a subsea blowout. Each drill lasted between three and five days.

During the two drills, with Beacon Offshore Energy and Chevron, each company was required to deploy a capping stack from their respective storage locations to separate areas in the Gulf of Mexico. Once onsite, each operator lowered a capping stack onto a simulated well head on the ocean floor in about 6,000 ft of water, connected the capping stack to the wellhead, and pressurized the system to 12,500 lb/sq in to simulate well pressure.

BSEE said initial observations indicate the drills met requirements for deploying source control equipment but will issue a formal report later this year with a full evaluation.

Neptune boosts production from Adorf field in Germany 

Neptune Energy announced first production from its operated Adorf Z17 gas well in the municipality of Georgsdorf in northwestern Germany. The well is expected to increase Neptune’s production from the Adorf licence to around 6,300 BOED.

Construction of a dedicated processing plant at the site for treatment of the gas was also completed earlier this year.

Drilling of another well, Adorf Z18, reached a final depth of 4,773 m in April and is due to begin production in Q3.

Multiple new contracts announced for offshore rigs from Shelf, Odfjell, Stena

Shelf Drilling has secured a contract for the Shelf Drilling Barsk jackup with Equinor for operations at the Sleipner Vest field, located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The firm term of the contract is two wells, approximating to 270 days. The contract value for the firm period, excluding certain integrated services, is approximately $61 million. The contract also includes options for two additional wells, and the planned startup of operations is between May and July 2024.

Separately, Shelf also secured a short-term contract for the Adriatic I jackup for operations offshore Nigeria, with a firm term of 90 days and an estimated contract value of $11 million, excluding revenues for mobilization and demobilization. The contract is scheduled to start in early May 2023

DNO Norge, Aker BP and Longboat Energy have contracted Odfjell Drilling’s Deepsea Yantai semisubmersible to drill the Lotus (Kjøttkake) exploration well in Norway. Drilling is expected to commence in Q3 2024. Licence PL1182S lies in the prolific Northern North Sea, 4 km southeast of the recent Kveikje discovery. 

Shell has contracted Stena Drilling’s Stena Evolution drillship to operate in the US Gulf of Mexico starting in Q2 2024 for a primary term of five years.

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