FORNEBU, Norway – Aker Solutions (Oslo Børs:AKSO) and Statoil (OSE:STL) have canceled a contract for delivery of a new type of semisubmersible rig, intended for year-round well intervention services offshore Norway.
In April 2012 Statoil commissioned Aker’s oilfield services business division to build the Category B (Cat B) rig. It was due to be available in 2015 for an initial eight-year program; however, Aker says the technology development needed to build the rig has been more demanding than expected.
Per Harald Kongelf, regional president for Norway at Aker Solutions, said: “Unfortunately, the technological issues weren’t solved in the initial system definition phase of the project. We still believe in the concept of Cat B, but the technology needs more time to be developed.”
Well intervention services to boost recovery rates from oil and gas production wells have traditionally been performed from fixed platforms.
In more recent years, new types of rigs and vessels have emerged to perform the same type of service on subsea wells where recovery rates have been lower. However, developing the subsea technology needed for Cat B to work as required in shallow waters proved to be more demanding.
Aker Solutions will book a one-off cost of $61.6 million, and will remove the charter period’s contract value of $1.84 billion from its order backlog.
According to Statoil, the Cat B concept was developed for different types of well intervention with the aid of cable and coiled tubing operations, and for through tubing rotary drilling.
“We still foresee a need to develop the supply of this kind of service. Statoil will now evaluate the project and consider alternative solutions,” said Ivar Aasheim, senior vice president for field development at Statoil.