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Thomas V. Saue

Expert drilling project management and well planning and design execution on eight production wells deliver best-in-class performance results for Equinor’s drilling campaign in Volve field.

The challenge

A complex landscape, a cold-stacked rig and Equinor’s (Statoil at that time) first outsourced project.

Our Well Management team were approached by Equinor to deliver well management services for the second drilling campaign on the Volve field. Located in the southern region of the Norwegian North Sea, around 200km from Stavanger and in waters roughly 80m deep, the operation would use the Maersk Inspirer jack-up rig.

This was the first time that Equinor had contracted an independent well management company, and AGR was trusted to oversee operations which ran from September 2012 to May 2014.

The drilling campaign was defined by a range of complicating factors. Firstly, the operations couldn’t commence as planned due to the late deliveries of necessary equipment. Along with this, the drilling unit had been cold-stacked (that is, non-operational) for three years prior to this campaign.

Additionally, planning and execution were carried out with the ARIS framework, which had been introduced as the new governance documentation across the entire Equinor organisation.

And finally, the campaign was due to take place on a tight schedule, with dynamic planning dependent on the outcomes of the pilot wells. The schedule meant simultaneous operations – drilling and production – with limited space for personnel equipment.

The solution

Decades of well design and drilling experience to ensure operational excellence.

Leaning on our experience from over 550 completed well projects undertaken over the course of more than 30 years, AGR’s Well Management team was able to deliver the initial well drilling on eight wells, as well as two slot recoveries and a further four well completions.

The project would, of course, also need to meet the highest health and safety regulatory requirements – standards which must be met by all contractors, AGR’s onshore team, the offshore rig team and the rig owner.

thomas-saue Thomas V. Saue
General Manager AGR Consultancy Europe
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Project completed almost three months ahead of budget

The solution

The success of this project was underpinned by the excellent cooperation between Equinor and AGR’s Well Management team.

Despite the challenges faced across the project, AGR delivered all eight wells in just 390 days – that is, 85 days ahead of the estimated project time, in comparison with the first drilling campaign.

All of the eight wells were delivered with continuous excellent performance and with increased well performance. For example, oil production was increased by ~17,000 Barrels of Oil Per Day (BOPD), or 5m barrels of oil equivalent (BOE).

And despite starting the project with a cold-stacked rig, the Maesrk Inspirer became a best-in-class performer, from cold-stacked to third-best performance in the eight months of the campaign.

AGR also successfully carried out two slot recoveries and four well completions, and there were no Lost Time Incidents (LTI) or serious spills across any of the wells for the duration of the project.

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See more case studies