New equipment enables drilling of new sidetracks through existing tubing on subsea fields.

”Now we see the result of 4-5 years of technology development in the company,” says Øystein Arvid Håland, head of subsurface technology in StatoilHydro.

He estimates the drilling operation to produce extra oil worth around NOK1.4 billion, based on the current price, from the Åsgard field alone. The new equipment is better adjusted to the task to be performed than the equipment currently used on ordinary drilling rigs.

“The new concept will highly improve the efficiency of this type of operations in connection with subsea well operations, and enables us to produce oil that we would normally not have recovered,” says Håland.

“In the autumn we plan to invite bids for a rig to be tailored to such operations, and the aim is to get the new rig into place in 2012/2013,” Håland says.

This new technology may be used in waters down to 500 meters. The goal is to reach even deeper.

“In the future we wish to utilise this technology in deep waters, for example in the Gulf of Mexico,” Håland says.