Neptune boasts world’s first dual drilling from subsea template

  • Exploration & Production

Oil and gas company Neptune Energy has conducted what it claims to be ‘the world’s first’ dual drilling operation from an integrated subsea template structure at the Fenja field in the Norwegian North Sea.

To remind, Neptune Energy kicked off its Fenja drilling campaign offshore Norway in late April with the spud of the first well.

In order to maximise the full capabilities of Seadrill’s West Phoenix semi-submersible, which is being used for the drilling campaign, the rig drilled two wellbores at the same time.

According to the company, many drilling rigs are equipped with dual drilling capabilities, but this was the first time dual drilling has been executed from an integrated subsea template structure.

Neptune claimed that this procedure accelerated the drilling operations, reduced costs, and lowered operational emissions.

Neptune’s 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”.

Neptune added that it recently conducted dual drilling operations on an exploration well on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and the experience was applied towards the Fenja subsea field development.

As for Fenja, it is Neptune’s first operated development project on the Norwegian Shelf and is estimated to contain 97 million boe, with plateau production expected to be at around 40,000 boepd.

Fenja project development
Fenja project development

Located in the Norwegian Sea 120 kilometres north-west of Kristiansund at a water depth of 320 metres, the subsea field will be developed as a tie-back to the Njord-A platform.

At 36 kilometres, it will be the world’s longest electrically trace-heated pipe-in-pipe subsea development. Production start-up at Fenja is expected by 4Q 2021.

The development plan combines two subsea templates with six wells, including three oil producers, two water injectors and one gas injector. The gas injector will be converted to a gas producer towards the end of field life.

Fenja operator is Neptune Energy with a 30 per cent interest. Its partners are Vår Energi with a 45 per cent stake, Suncor with 17.5 per cent, and DNO which holds the remaining 7.5 per cent.

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