Remotely controlled well completion operation wraps up in Nigeria’s waters, Optime Subsea and SNEPCo

Remotely controlled well completion operation wraps up in Nigeria’s waters

Shell Nigeria Exploratioration and Production Company (SNEPCo), a subsidiary of the UK-headquartered energy giant Shell, has completed the first remotely controlled well completion operation in 1,060-meter water depth offshore Nigeria.

ROCS operation at the Bonga field. Source: Optime Subsea

The operation, performed at the Bonga field, was conducted using a remotely operated controls system (ROCS), supplied by Norwegian technology company Optime Subsea.

According to Optime Subsea, ROCS eliminates the need for both the umbilical, which connects the surface to the seabed for controlling the tubing hanger in subsea well completions and the topside hydraulic control unit, said to cut costs and reduce the required amount of deck space for these operations. 

“We are very pleased with the performance of the ROCS. It means that we can perform well completion operations quicker, at lower cost, and with substantially lower CO2-footprint compared to conventional systems,” said Justus Ngerebara, Lead Well Engineer at SNEPCo.

Last year, SNEPCo took delivery of the first ROCS from Optime Subsea and the two companies worked closely to integrate the system into its operations.

According to the company, utilizing ROCS enables operators to cut around 50 tonnes of equipment from offshore transportation list, resulting in lower CO2 emissions. Additionally, it leads to reduced operational duration and less HSE exposure on the drill floor. Overall, this approach reduces both CAPEX and OPEX for operators.

Optime Subsea conducted numerous ROCS operations in the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, and this is the first one in African waters. The operation was led by Optime Subsea’s Nigerian team with support from the company’s headquarters in Norway.

Photo of Justus Ngerebara, Lead Well Engineer at SNEPCo (left) and Trond Løkka, chief innovation officer at Optime Subsea (right). Source: Optime Subsea

“To be able to free up valuable deck space immediately after the operation, through shipping the ROCS to shore, is a significant advantage for the rig operator,” said Rodger Hooker, Chief Service Officer at Optime Subsea.

“We are delighted to bring this technology to Nigeria and very grateful for SNEPCo’s innovative and ambitious approach to subsea well completion operations.”

Regarding the most recent news coming from Optime Subsea, thanks to the deal with Equinor, the ROCS system is expected to be implemented on the Rosebank field in June 2025. This is the first ROCS contract between Optime Subsea and Equinor.

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