Statoil eyes dry tree alternative

Statoil has put its money where its mouth is and awarded engineering firm Kvaerner a concept study related to a standardized, unmanned dry tree wellhead platform for the Oseberg Future Development project.

Having an unmanned dry tree wellhead platform was discussed by Statoil's VP project management at the Underwater Technology Conference in Bergen in June as an alternative to subsea developments, against a backdrop of rising costs. Rising costs had also led Statoil to set a target for 20-30% cost reduction on projects. Read more: Subsea realities. 

The concept Kvaerner will look at is focused on minimization of facilities, equipment and costs in water depths of up to 150m.

Kvaerner says it has already worked on developing a cost efficient, standardised wellhead platform concept called "Subsea on a stick" (pictured). The new wellhead platforms could both increase recovery and utilize the new generations of jack-up drilling rigs, as well as reducing development costs, Kvaerner says. 

"We are excited about this new concept and pleased that Statoil has chosen Kvaerner as one of the concept study contractors for future solutions for cost efficient operations. The study confirms that we are being recognised for our solid expertise when it comes to platform solutions," says Sverre Myklebust, executive vice president for Kvaerner's Jackets business area. 

This project is expected to be the first in a series of new projects from Statoil where unmanned wellhead platforms could replace a traditional subsea project solution within the applicable water depths. 

The work will be carried out by Kvaerner's front end team in Oslo, Norway, supported by the Jackets Technology engineering team. The project has already started and will be completed in November 2014, with expected concept selection by year end. The contract party is Kvaerner's subsidiary Kværner Engineering. 


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