A step-change in subsea well intervention has come to the offshore market courtesy of Aker Solutions.
Aker Solutions estimates it will be able to provide deepwater well intervention services at about half the cost of using a drilling rig.
Cost effective intervention alternative
Traditionally subsea well intervention has been performed from drilling rigs, an automatic extension of their role in drilling and completing wells. But the sky-high rates resulting from the offshore boom of recent years have made such operations very expensive, while rig availability has been limited.
The increasing water depths also mean that it has been necessary to develop alternative technology and more cost effective systems to access these deepwater wells.
So far the service industry’s response has been limited to the provision of the current riserless light well intervention services from monohull vessels, which can operate at water depths up to 800 metres. Aker Solutions today provides the wireline technologies for some of these vessels.
Deep and ultra-deep waters
Aker Solutions’ ambition is to service the deepwater and ultra-deepwater subsea market in water depths down to 3 000 metres. Over the past couple of years we have developed the technology to tackle well interventions at these water depths through a solution that is attractive in price, which will help increase the frequency of intervention operations and in turn enable the subsea wells to produce more oil and gas.
Aker Solutions’ subsea well intervention expertise incorporates the company’s subsea well control technology, including intervention work-over systems, which is essential for safely entering a well through a subsea tree and disconnecting quickly in the event of an emergency. In addition, Aker Solutions also performs downhole maintenance, notably wirelining and coiled-tubing operations through the company’s well service business.
The other key element in Aker Solutions’ subsea intervention strategy is the development of platforms specially designed for deploying the technology.
Through the use of our tailor-made deepwater intervention vessels, Aker Solutions estimates it will be able to provide deepwater well intervention services at about half the cost of using a drilling rig.
Our vessels can perform deepwater intervention services that oil companies previously needed drilling rigs to conduct. They will do it quicker and at a fraction of the cost. This, in turn, enables us to free up scarce and expensive rig time, which allows the rigs to perform more drilling operations while we carry out the intervention work.