STAVANGER, Norway -- FMC Technologies has won the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s 2009 award for improved oil recovery. The clinching factor was a well control system FMC developed in partnership with Statoil to deliver safe, pressure-controlled drilling of sidetracks through subsea wells.
The two companies tested the technology last year on the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea in well P-4H, where what they claim to be the world’s longest through tubing rotary drilling sidetrack was drilled from a floating drilling facility.
”FMC has carried out focused work to develop cost-efficient solutions to improve recovery from seabed wells since 1999,” said Bente Nyland, NPD director general. “The company has invested significant resources to achieve this, without any guarantee of commercial success. The record well at Åsgard shows that FMC has developed a technology that works.”
Some of FMC’s expenses have also been met by oil companies and the Demo 2000 technology program.
There are currently over 700 subsea wells in service on the Norwegian shelf, and according to NPD, 34% of Norway’s oil production last year came from these wells.
”There are major opportunities for increasing production from seabed wells with improved maintenance and more efficient technology,” Nyland said. The average recovery rate for oil from seabed fields is lower than for fields with platform solutions, NPD adds, due to factors such as lack of cost-efficient technologies for well maintenance and drilling of sidetracks.