Neptune Claims World Drilling First
UK independent Neptune Energy claimed a world first for an offshore well operation May 13, when it drilled two wells at the same time at the Fenja field in the Norwegian North Sea. It used Subsea's West Phoenix drilling rig (pictured), designed for that purpose, but it said many other rigs were able to do this: it just had not been tried before.
Oil and gas prices are at long-term lows, forcing most producers to cut their spending hard this year.
Neptune was able to accelerate the drilling operations, reducing costs and lowering operational emissions. Its director of drilling and wells in Norway, Thor Andre Løvoll said: “Several drilling rigs have two drilling facilities where these traditionally support one another. However, in the instance of our operations we decided to use these facilities independently to concurrently drill two wellbores.
"The experience of dual drilling on Fenja has been positive and could see this method adopted as a more standard practice in the future. The current challenges in the market encourage us to re-think the way we do things safely, efficiently and with lower carbon emissions.”
Fenja is Neptune’s first operated development project on the Norwegian Shelf and is estimated to contain 97mn barrels of oil equivalent (boe). Fenja will deliver around 40,000 boe/d at plateau. The field will be developed as a tie-back to the Njord-A platform 36 km away using the world’s longest electrically trace-heated pipe-in-pipe subsea development.