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Category B project cancelled

A project to design and build a new Category B semisubmersible rig capable of year-round well-intervention work offshore Norway has been cancelled.

A project to design and build a new Category B semisubmersible rig capable of year-round well-intervention work offshore Norway has been cancelled.

Aker Solutions and Statoil have said the technology development needed to build the rig had “proven to be considerably more demanding than initially anticipated” and would not be able to be solved in the timeframe agreed for the project.

Per Harald Kongelf, regional president for Norway at Aker Solutions said: "Aker Solutions and Statoil have together concluded that the project can't be realized within the framework of the contract.

"Unfortunately, the technological issues weren't solved in the initial system definition phase of the project. We still believe in the concept of Cat B, but the technology needs more time to be developed.

"We will seek to use the experience we've gained to explore future possibilities for maturing and realizing this type of technology."

The contract for a new Category B rig was agreed in April 2012. It was going to be used by Statoil to perform a range of well-intervention and drilling services for an initial eight years, starting in 2015.

The Category B concept was developed to perform different types of well-intervention, with the aid of cable and coiled tubing operations. It had also been designed for through-tubing rotary drilling (TTRD).

"We still foresee a need to develop the supply of this kind of service,” said Ivar Aasheim, senior vice president for field development in Statoil. Statoil will now evaluate the project and consider alternative solutions.”

The cancellation of the contract will see Aker Solutions book a second quarter one-off cost of NOK 375 million (US$61.6million).

The Cat B project was within the company's oilfield services business unit, which Aker Solutions has said it intends to spin off. 

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