Statoil has received consent from Norway’s offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), to use the Songa Enabler rig for drilling a production well at its Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea.
Snøhvit is a Statoil-operated gas field in the Barents Sea northwest of Hammerfest. The field was developed using a subsea production facility with the gas being transported onshore through a 143-kilometer-long pipeline to Melkøya, off Hammerfest. Production from the Snøhvit field began in 2007.
Statoil previously received consent to use the Songa Offshore-owned Songa Enabler Cat D rig to drill three wells on the Snøhvit field in the summer of 2016. After completing those wells, the rig was put under suspension in late December.
The suspension period was estimated to end on April 1, 2017, when the rig was supposed to start working on the Blåmann well. However, it was cut short and Songa said in late February that the rig would resume drilling operations in the Barents Sea in early March.
The PSA informed on Tuesday that Statoil was given consent to drill a fourth well using the same rig it used before and that the well would be drilled in the same well template as two of the first wells in 318 meters of water.
According to the PSA, drilling is scheduled to begin in mid-March and will last for 65 days.
After heading to its offshore location in late February, the rig was confronted by activists from Greenpeace protesting against Statoil and the Norwegian government for opening up a new oil frontier in the Arctic.
The Songa Enabler is a sixth generation, high specification, harsh environment, fully winterized, midwater rig designed for year around drilling, completion, testing, and intervention operations in water depths up to 500 meters. The rig was Songa’s fourth and final rig in the Cat D Series, specifically built for and contracted to Statoil. It was built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in South Korea and delivered from the yard in March 2016.
The rig was issued with an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) by the PSA in July 2016.
Offshore Energy Today Staff