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At the beginning of the year Island Offshore with their partner Baker Hughes entered a back-to-back agreement with VTT Maritime who had been awarded a contract for ground core sampling above – in what is to be – the world’s longest (25,5 km) and deepest (385m) subsea road tunnel, named Rogfast. Together with the end client Statens Vegvesen, (“Norwegian Public Roads Administration”), it was decided that Island Offshore’s new coiled tubing drilling method should be applied.  
Subsequently, Island Offshore has successfully started the revolutionary application of Coiled Tubing Drilling technology in Boknafjorden north of Stavanger, Norway, utilizing a monohull vessel.
This system can construct high angles in the well over a very short distance (up to 15 degrees over 30 meter drilled hole). In order to avoid a full marine riser spread, a state of the art subsea injector has been developed by Island Offshore. A second injector is also installed onboard the vessel in order to keep the coiled tubing between the subsea injector and the vessel in tension.
The work is currently being undertaken by Island Performer, Island Offshore’s newest vessel. A total of approximately 440 meters of core samples will be taken from four individual locations in order to obtain detailed information about the geological conditions of the tunnel route, with water depths ranging from 200 to 300 meters.
It is the first time an open coiled tubing system is used in a drilling operation offshore. New equipment and procedures have been developed in order to introduce a reliable and functional system.
New technology paves the way
Having completed one and recently started on well number two of the four wells contracted, Island Offshore and the end client Statens Vegvesen, register that this drilling method successfully paves the way for a unique and efficient core sampling method: “Statens Vegvesen is delighted to see the way an experienced oil & gas contractor such as Island Offshore has utilized and safely operated this advanced technology in a new application, providing a first class service while sampling cores of decisive value to us and our world record Rogfast project.” Tor Geir Espedal, Area Manager – Rogaland, Statens Vegvesen.
“This project provides Island Offshore a unique opportunity to qualify and test new technology and equipment that can contribute to a significant development of the Light Well Intervention services currently performed by Island Offshore. In addition, we see a number of other applications of this technology – such as pumping/acidizing, Plug & Abandonement and advanced core sampling. We will now offer this technological “breakthrough” to the market with a best practice reference to showcase,” says Robert Friedberg, Managing Director Island Offshore Subsea AS.
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