Photo: West Mira rig; Source: Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Dea completes Nova top holes

Oi and gas company Wintershall Dea has completed the top hole drilling campaign on the Nova field located in the North Sea offshore Norway.

Wintershall Dea received consent from the Norwegian offshore safety body, the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA), for production drilling and completion on the Nova field using the West Mira drilling rig in early May 2020.

In late October 2020, Wintershall Dea started drilling the first of six wells on the operated Nova field.

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Wintershall Dea said on Wednesday that the campaign, carried out by the Seadrill-operated West Mira rig, involved drilling some 3,400 metres of top holes for the six Nova production and water injection wells on two different templates.

“Working together as ‘One Team’ with all involved, we were able to deliver the top hole campaign safely and two weeks ahead of schedule”, said Nils Petter Norheim, Wintershall Dea Norge Head of Drilling & Wells.

Five of the top holes were drilled in one batch with repetitive operations. After each operation the team evaluated the performance, capturing best practices and lessons learned to optimise the equipment and drill the next section even more efficiently.

According to Wintershall Dea, this approach helped to continuously improve the drilling performance.

High efficiency also translated into a more sustainable operation, with fewer days on the rig resulting in lower emissions. The reduction falls into a broader low-emission strategy, with the West Mira operating an energy-saving hybrid battery power plant, which increases the rig’s energy efficiency.

The oil company also noted that the two supply vessels that support the rig are also equipped with hybrid batteries, which further reduces the environmental footprint of the campaign.

“With all the top holes drilled, we have achieved another Nova milestone ahead of plan. We will continue drilling and the next step is to safely deliver the three production wells and three water injection wells before production start, which is planned for 2022”, said André Hesse, Nova Project Director at Wintershall Dea.

Nova drilling will last throughout most of 2021. When it comes on stream in 2022, Nova will be the company’s fourth subsea field in production.