Norwegian drilling contractor Norshore is to carry out top hole drilling in the Malikai field in Malaysia as part of a contract with Sabah Shell Petroleum Company, Far Frontier Energy Sdn. Bhd.
Norshore said the contract was a breakthrough and is regarded as a new and important cost reducing measure by Shell.
“We have for years seen the potential within the riser-less drilling market and we are very pleased to have secured this first top hole drilling contract for Shell. We believe top hole drilling will contribute to cut the overall drilling costs of field developments. Norshore Atlantic (pictured) has been specifically built to accommodate safe and efficient riser-less drilling operations and we are looking forward to demonstrate the vessel’s capability for Shell at the Malikai field”, says Petter H. Tomren, CEO of Norshore.
The contract is expected to start in the middle of August 2014, and will see the Norshore Atlantic kept on hire for the majority of the rest of the year.
Norshore took delivery of its first vessel, Norshore Atlantic, early March 2014, from Otto Marine in Singapore.
The multipurpose drilling vessel provides riser-less drilling services and Norshore says it will provide cost savings for the oil companies both for field developments (top-hole drilling), as well as in the worldwide increasing market for plugging and abandonment of old wells, as well as all aspects of well intervention.
The delivery of Norshore Atlantic was partly financed through a US$150 million bond loan issued in February 2014.
Norshore Atlantic recently start work on a light well intervention contract with TAC Pertamina Blue Sky Langsa Ltd in Indonesia.
At the end of December 2013, Norshore ordered a second vessel, Norshore Pacific, from the Yantai CIMC Raffles yard, with delivery due in Q4 2016.
The with CIMC includes three optional vessels with attractive payment terms and delivery schedules. As part of its expansion plans, Norshore is expected to float on the Oslo stock exchange in late 2014/early 2015. Norshore aims to have five vessels by 2018.
“We are very pleased with the recent development. Norshore Atlantic has been delivered and performs well on its first contract, and we look very much ahead to commence preparations for the Shell contract. In combination with a market where the oil companies are looking for more cost efficient solutions and increasing industry interest, Norshore has an optimistic view on the reminder of 2014 and the time ahead”, says Tomren.