Repsol pressing ahead with Yme redevelopment

Spanish oil company Repsol is set to resume work on the Yme field in the North Sea offshore Norway, after years of delays at the project.

The company has hired a drilling rig/production platform, and has ordered caisson support structure for the Yme New Development project.

Danish driller Maersk Drilling on Thursday said it has been awarded by Repsol a contract for the combined drilling and production jack-up Mærsk Inspirer.

With an estimated duration of five years and options for up to an additional five years, the contract covers drilling and production on the Yme New Development in Norway, Maersk said.

Following modification work to the production module, the contract is expected to start operations on the Yme field as early as 4th quarter of 2019, Maersk said.

Mærsk Inspirer was built in 2004 and converted in 2007 to offer simultaneous drilling and production services on the Volve field for Statoil. This contract was completed in early 2017 after 10 years of successful operations for Statoil.

Maersk said that the jack-up rig was the only asset in the North Sea with these unique dual capabilities offering the customers flexibility and a lower overall cost.

“This contract with Repsol is a very powerful example of early engagement between an oil company and a drilling contractor. Initial discussions started over two years ago and have required close collaboration between the parties involved to enable the project. It proves how we as an industry can deliver viable projects under continuous challenged market conditions by collaborating closely. We appreciate the opportunity to support Repsol’s business by leveraging our experience within combined drilling and production services,” says Lars Ostergaard, chief commercial officer of Maersk Drilling.


Seven years and $564m added to the backlog


The contract with Repsol follows a series of new contracts and contract extensions for Maersk Drilling the past months. During Q3, Maersk Drilling signed two new contracts and two contract extensions and in October, Maersk Drilling announced another two new contracts and two more contract extensions.

“With today’s announcement and the contracts signed during Q3 and after, we have added well over seven years and $564 million to the backlog. Maersk Drilling’s contract coverage remains one of the strongest in the industry and I am pleased to see that we are able to land important contracts in key markets in a very challenging business environment,” says Jorn Madsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling.


Kvaerner work

Apart from the Maersk deal, Repsol has this week ordered a permanent caisson support structure for the project. The structure will be built by Kvaerner in Norway.

Kvaerner’s scope includes procurement of materials and construction of the Yme support structure which is 38 metres tall and weighs 1 300 tonnes.

Planning, procurement and method work start immediately, while the fabrication in Verdal starts in January 2018. Delivery of the Caisson Permanent Support is planned for June 2018. Constructing the support structure will engage around 60-70 people at Kvaerner’s yard in Verdal in the building period.

“For the yard in Verdal this is an important contract, which in terms of capacity fits well with the construction of the drilling and process platform jackets for Johan Sverdrup and the four blisters for Njord, which will be delivered next year”, says Sturla Magnus, EVP in Kvaerner responsible for Structural Solutions.


Yme MOPUStor


Repsol will be hoping that the Maersk Inspirer will have a better fate than the previous production unit installed at the field had.

The Yme field, which used to be operated by Talisman, had been slated for first oil production in 2010.

Talisman had taken over operatorship of the field in 2006. Worth noting, the field was initially developed in 1995 by Statoil. The production period lasted from 1996 to 2001, when operation of the field was considered to be unprofitable.

Talisman then decided to take over the field and produce the remaining resources using a new jack-up production unit. This would have made Yme the first oil field on the Norwegian continental shelf to be redeveloped after having been shut down.

However, under Talisman’s operatorship the field never produced a single barrel of oil, due to several delays and structural issues with the production platform.

The platform, Yme MOPUSTOR, with MOPU an abbreviation for Mobile Offshore Production Unit, had been delivered by Dutch SBM Offshore to produce oil from the field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

However, following cracks found in the legs of the platform in 2012, the platform was abandoned, and the decision was subsequently made to remove and scrap the platform.

Spanish oil firm Repsol then took over Yme after buying Talisman in 2015. The Yme platform was removed by the giant Pioneering Spirit Vessel in August 2016.


Offshore Energy Today Staff