Archer, the global oilfield service provider, has secured a contract with Statoil for the permanent plugging and abandonment of 12 gas wells on the Heimdal field in the Norwegian North Sea using Archer’s latest ground-breaking modular rig, the Archer Topaz. The Heimdal rig is operated by Statoil with partners Total, Centrica and Petoro.
The total contract value, including the startup, operating and decommissioning phases, is estimated at USD 115 million. Operations are expected to commence in the second half of 2014 and the contract duration is 34 months with four option periods of three months each.
Carrying out plugging and abandonment operations on a modular rig is a first for Archer and the industry as a whole. This is a major advancement for the industry and will see safer, faster, more efficient plugging and abandonment operations and less people on board.
The Archer Topaz, Archer’s second modular rig, has been designed and will be built in cooperation with German rig manufacturer Max Streicher GMBH, in line with current NORSOK regulations. It has been developed to meet the specific requirements of the Heimdal contract which includes flexibility for the client as regards quick installation and removal times.
Speaking about the deal, Kjetil Bjørnson, President & General Manager of North Sea Region, Archer, said: “This modular rig contract for Archer in the North Sea represents an important strategic move in the direction of offshore plugging and abandonment solutions. We are excited to secure our first modular rig contract in the North Sea, which is the market the modular rig was designed for.
“The award of this contract demonstrates the attractiveness of our modular rig concept which combines flexibility, efficiency, short rig-up and rig-down time, making it a unique proposition for our customers both for plug and abandonment services and production drilling from fixed offshore platforms.
“We have worked with Statoil since 1984, it is a strong and important relationship for us. We look forward to commencing work on the Heimdal field next year and further strengthening this relationship through the quality of our employees and our service offering.”
The new modular rig will follow the design of Archer’s first modular rig, the Archer Emerald, which was a breakthrough in the field. The Emerald is currently successfully operating for Shell Todd (STOS) in New Zealand on a production drilling contract since 2012.
Archer’s modular rigs are designed to stand alone and can be rigged up on most offshore installations and perform most drilling operations normally performed from a platform including completions and plug and abandonment. They are rack and pinion driven modular drilling and intervention rigs, a concept proven by Streicher on land rigs in Europe but a new concept for the North Sea.
This modular rig package is lighter and more compact than alternatives, reducing the platform size required, the size of the drilling crew and the construction costs. It can be tailored to meet well-specific requirements and provides operators with a cost efficient alternative to both mobile offshore drilling units (MODU) and traditional platform drilling rigs on existing and future installations.
Archer is a global oilfield service provider which specialises in drilling and well services. The company employs over 8,700 personnel through 118 global locations, with key regional bases in the North Sea, Middle East, Asia, North and Latin America.
Archer drilling teams secure the production on more than 32 offshore platforms across four continents. Archer creates new wells, or equips those already in service, to produce oil and gas profitably and safely, with no harm to people or the environment, across the longest possible timeframe.
Archer is listed on the Oslo stock exchange.