Rig: Well-Safe Protector

Name Well-Safe Protector
Owner Well-Safe Solutions
Manager Well-Safe Solutions
Rig Type Jackup
Sub Type Independent Leg Cantilever
Jackup Type High-Specification
Max Water Depth (ft) 400
Max Drill Depth (ft) 30000
Dimensions (ft) 256.5 x 296 x 35
Leg Length (ft) 541
Competitive Yes

Current Location

Country UK
Region NWECS

Drilling Equipment

Drawworks Type Continental Emsco C3 Type II
Drawworks HP 3000
Mud Pumps Type --
Top Drive National Oilwell Varco TDS-6S
Hookload Capacity (lbs) 2000000

Rig Construction Details

Rig Design Gusto MSC
Rig Model CJ62-120-S
Year Built 1992
Country of Build Singapore
Yard Name Pioneer Yard I
Group Yard Name Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd.

Rig Contract Details

Operating Status Retired

Rig Images


14 Mar 2016

Consent to use West Epsilon for permanent well plugging

Statoil has received consent to use West Epsilon for permanent plugging of wells at Huldra 30/2-A, in production licence 051. Statoil has allocated 215 days for the activity, which will start in the second quarter of 2016. Water depth at the site is 125 metres. The PSA has now granted Statoil consent to use the West Epsilon mobile drilling facility for these activities. West Epsilon is operated by North Atlantic Drilling, formerly known as Seadrill Offshore AS. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway issued an Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for West Epsilon on 14 February 2003.

19 Jan 2015

Statoil to drill on Gudrun field with 'West Epsilon'

Statoil has received consent to use West Epsilon for production drilling on the Gudrun field. Gudrun is 50 kilometres north of the Sleipner Øst and Sleipner Vest fields. Water depth is around 110 metres. Gudrun has been developed using a facility with a steel jacket and first stage processing. It is tied to Sleipner A through two pipelines, one for oil and one for rich gas. Statoil formerly received consent to use West Epsilon for drilling and completion of well 15/3 on the Gudrun field and has now received consent to drill the remaining sections of well 15/3 – A- 14. The PSA has now granted Statoil consent to use the West Epsilon mobile drilling facility for these activities. West Epsilon is operated by North Atlantic Drilling, formerly known as Seadrill Offshore AS.

28 Sep 2011

All go for Gudrun drilling

The Gudrun project is reaching new milestones, with the West Epsilon rig busy drilling wells that need to be ready for production start in 2014. “The Gudrun field is characterised by high pressure and high temperature,” says Petter Kostøl, who is in charge of drilling and well operations in Stavanger. All seven production wells planned for the Gudrun field will be pre-drilled through the jacket before the topside is installed in 2013. Work commenced on the first well on 6 September. “Due to the field characteristics we have to pre-drill all wells before we start the actual production,” says Kostøl. “With this concept we have chosen a robust well strategy.” Production in 2014 The background for this strategy is not least to avoid depletion problems, which means reservoir depressurisation that would complicate further drilling. “This stepwise and repeated drilling operation leads to a more rational use of equipment and resources,” says drilling superintendent Nils Petter Norheim. “The result is improved learning and safety as well as higher efficiency.” Drilling through the jacket will continue for two years until the summer of 2013. Then the topside will be installed on the Gudrun platform, and the pre-drilled wells will be completed and prepared for production. The entire drilling programme will stretch into 2014, with plans calling for oil and gas production to start in the first quarter of 2014. In addition to the seven wells on Gudrun, an effort is currently being made to obtain approval for the drilling of a production well on the Brynhild discovery. “While the Gudrun project has been able to build on drilling experience from the Kristin, Morvin and Kvitebjørn high-pressure fields, the experience from Gudrun may be useful during the engineering and development of the Valemon field,” indicates Jan Einar Malmin, head of the Gudrun field development project. Like Gudrun, the Valemon field also has high pressure and high temperature, and production from this field is also scheduled for start-up in 2014.

17 Mar 2010

New rig contracts signe

Statoil has awarded a contract to Dolphin AS and a letter of intent to Seadrill for two rigs which will operate on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). The Bideford Dolphin rig has won a three-year contract with start-up from 27 January 2011. The contract is worth about USD 421 million. Statoil has an option to extend the contract from three to four years by 1 November 2010. The value of the contract will then increase to about USD 553 million. Dolphin AS is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fred Olsen Energy ASA. Seadrill’s West Epsilon rig has been awarded a letter of intent for a four-year contract to take effect on 29 December 2010. This contract is worth about USD 394 million. The agreement is conditional on partner approval. Statoil can extend the contract period to five or six years before 1 October 2010. There will also be an option to extend the contract for an additional two years. Both rigs are working for Statoil at present. “We have great expectations that these rigs will continue their improvement efforts in health, safety and the environment and in drilling operations,” says Geir Slora, senior vice president for drilling and wells in Exploration & Production Norway. Before the global economic problems took full effect Statoil found that the rig rates had increased too much, and they did not decrease correspondingly when the market circumstances changed. Anders Opedal, senior vice president for procurement in Projects & Procurement, says that the rig rates are now at a more sustainable level. “We see that the cost level for rig charter is better adapted to the current market situation and we look forward to continuing cooperation with the two rigs,” says Opedal. “They will play an important part in helping us reach out production targets for the NCS in the next few years.”

16 Nov 2009

Interesting North Sea find

Gas and condensate have been discovered by Statoil in the Beta West prospect, 1.5 kilometres from the main Sleipner West reservoir. Resources in the find, which lies four kilometres west of Sleipner B, are currently estimated at 37-63 million recoverable barrels of oil equivalent (six to 10 million standard cubic metres oe). “This discovery strengthens our prospects for finding more resources in the immediate vicinity of Sleipner West,” says Tom Dreyer, head of infrastructure-led exploration in the North Sea. Edvin B Ytredal, Statoil’s operations vice president for the Sleipner area, is very satisfied both with the discovery and with the opportunities it represents for Sleipner West. “Production from this field is coming of plateau, but the newly discovered resources mean that its future prospects are substantially brighter,” he says. Located in 108 metres of water, the well was drilled from the West Epsilon rig to a vertical depth of 3,760 metres beneath sea level. Hydrocarbons were encountered in a sandstone unit belonging to the Hugin formation.

13 May 2009

New North Sea discovery

More oil and gas have been discovered by StatoilHydro with an exploration well drilled about 35 kilometres east of Gudrun in the North Sea and roughly 30 kilometres south of Grane. Gas and oil with associated condensate were found in rocks interpreted to be Jurassic or Triassic/Permian. An exploration well proved gas and oil about 6.5 kilometres further north in the autumn of 2007, and the latest discovery probably forms part of the same hydrocarbon system. Preliminary estimates put total recoverable gas resources in these two finds at three to 10 billion standard cubic metres (scm). More detailed studies of collected well data will be needed to evaluate the resources and determine further activity around the discovery. “This represents a new and exciting play,” comments Noralf Steinsland, StatoilHydro’s licence manager for the North Sea. “It increases opportunities for further discoveries in a mature area where we have strengthened our position through new licences and farm-ins.” The discovery well was drilled from the West Epsilon rig to a vertical depth of 2,324 metres beneath the sea surface, in waters 109 metres deep. It will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. In addition to StatoilHydro, with a 40% holding, the partners in production licence 265 are Petoro with 30%, Det Norske Oljeselskap with 20% and Talisman Energy Norway with 10%.

13 May 2009

Encouraging gas discovery in Ragnarrock Graben

Det norske oljeselskap (DETNOR) has made an encouraging gas discovery in exploration well 16/2-5 in PL 265 on the Ragnarrock Graben prospect. Preliminary analyses indicate that the gas discovery in Graben could be connected to the previous gas discovery made in basement in well 16/2-4. If this is correct, the chances are good that the necessary volumes for a viable development are present. A full scale production test was carried out in the gas zone with maximum production of 120 000 scm per day, or 750 boepd, plus some condensate. The reservoir is however complex and consist of conglomerate from the pre Cretaceous. The production could thus vary considerably in different parts of the reservoir. An additional well is planned drilled in PL 265 and may offer additional information about the gas potential and flow rates in the basement. The information gathered so far indicates that there are considerable amounts of gas present in the license (Basement north and Graben). However, the reservoirs are challenging and more geological and technical work is necessary in order to mature an economical viable development. Det norske see the results from the well as positive for further development of the resources in PL 265. The gas discovery in 16/2-5 increases the probability that gas is present also in the southern part of basement (Basement south). This is the fourth exploration well in Production License 265. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,324 meters below sea level and into the basement. The water depth is 109 meter. Well 16/2-5 was drilled with the drilling facility West Epsilon, which will now sail to the Sleipner Field in PL 025 in the North Sea.

24 Feb 2009

Well spudding on Ragnarrock

Drilling operations at the Ragnarrock field in Production License 265 started February 22nd 2009. The well 16/2-5 is in proximity to the recent discoveries at the Ragnarrock field in the wells 16/2-3 and -4. The drilling operation is carried out wih the jack-up West Epsilon. StatoilHydro is operator and Det norske holds a 20 percent interest in the license. The result of the drilling will be anounced by NPD.

10 Jan 2008

New drilling campaign at Sleipner West

On behalf of the licencees of Sleipner West, StatoilHydro has elected to exercise an option to commence drilling with the drilling rig West Epsilon in the North Sea field. The option has a value of NOK 620 million, and the total value of the contract now entered into with Seadrill for Sleipner West since last summer now amounts to NOK 1.18 billion. The option to use the jack-up drilling rig West Epsilon allows StatoilHydro to drill five or six new wells at Sleipner West in the period leading up to 2010. There is strong activity on the Sleipner West field, and new seismics will be shot this year. StatoilHydro is utilising advanced seismics to reduce risk and become more effective in its drilling operations. The drilling campaign can contribute to increasing remaining reserves. The initiatives being implemented mean that production at Sleipner West is expected to continue well beyond 2020.

30 Nov 2007

NOIL Energy ASA: delineation of oil discovery in the North Sea

Det norske oljeselskap ASA (`DETNOR`) announces that the Ragnarock well 16/2-4 is at TD of 2000 m below sea level. Det norske oljeselskap`s affiliate, NOIL Energy ASA, holds a 30% interest in the 265 license. The current evaluation indicates considerable hydrocarbon volumes with a high uncertainty in recovery factor. A series of mini-DST well tests were conducted, which confirmed limited flow potential in the chalk reservoir. Oil and gas were also proven in low permeable crystalline basement. The main purpose of the well was to prove the extent of the moveable hydrocarbons and evaluate productivity within the chalk reservoir. More detailed evaluations are necessary to confirm the potential of Ragnarock and if commercial volumes can be produced. This well is located 35 km east of the Gudrun Field and was drilled with the West Epsilon jack-up rig. The water depth in the area is 113 metres. The partners in PL 265 are StatoilHydro ASA (30% and operator), NOIL Energy ASA (30%), Petoro AS (30%), and Talisman Energy Norge AS (10%).

17 Sep 2007

New oil find in Sleipner area

A new oil discovery has been made by Statoil in the Ragnarrock prospect near the Sleipner area in the North Sea. "It is encouraging that Statoil has made an oil discovery in a little-explored exploration model that is close to our North Sea infrastructure," says Frode Fasteland, acting exploration manager for the North Sea. The find was made in exploration well 16/2-3 in production licence 265, which lies 35 kilometres east of the Statoil-operated Gudrun discovery. "The oil was proven in Cretaceous rocks with complex reservoir conditions," says Mr Fasteland. "Together with our partners in the licence we have therefore decided to drill the appraisal well 16/2-4 in the structure when the first well is completed." Statoil has carried out an extensive compilation of data and taken samples which will be analysed. The well was drilled to a total depth of 1,856 metres below sea level. The water depth in the area is 113 metres. The exploration well is now being permanently plugged and abandoned by the West Epsilon jack-up rig. This is the fifth exploration well drilled by West Epsilon for Statoil this year and hydrocarbons have been proven in all of the wells. The licensees are Statoil, operator, with 30%, Petoro (30%), Den norske Oljeselskap ASA ( 30%) and Talisman (10%).

9 Jul 2007

More Ermintrude resources found

Operator Statoil has completed the drilling of two appraisal wells at the Ermintrude find in the North Sea. Gas, condensate and oil have been proven. Wells 15/6 A and B lie in production licence 303 seven kilometres north of the Sleipner area in the North Sea's central sector. Gas and condensate in sandstones of Jurassic age have been proven in well 15/6-9 A while oil has been proven in well 15/6-9 B in the same reservoir. "The two successful appraisal wells have increased our understanding of the promising 15/6-9 S oil find, carried out in May this year, confirming its size to be eight to 12 million standard cubic metres of recoverable oil equivalent reserves," says Frode Fasteland, acting head of Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) exploration. "Around half is gas/condensate and half is oil." According to Mr Fasteland, the results are encouraging. "This reinforces our belief that Ermintrude can add valuable additional resources to the Sleipner area and will be an important contributor to our ambition of producing one million barrels of oil equivalent per day from the NCS until 2015," he says. The wells have not been production tested, but comprehensive data gathering and sampling have been carried out. Statoil will evaluate the need for further appraisal of the find and to what extent its development can be tied back to existing fields in the vicinity. Both wells were drilled by the West Epsilon drilling rig in a water depth of 114 metres to a total depth of 3,580 and 3,870 metres respectively. Drilling was halted in rocks of the late Triassic. The wells were then permanently plugged and abandoned. Statoil has a 100% interest in production licence 303. West Epsilon will now drill appraisal well 16/2-3 in the Ragnarrock structure in production licence 265.

29 May 2007


Operator Statoil has made a promising oil discovery in the North Sea's Ermintrude prospect. Deposits are reckoned to be in the region of 50 million barrels of recoverable reserves. "Ermintrude can give valuable additional resources at the Sleipner area," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in Exploration & Production Norway (EPN). "The well is an important part of our exploration programme and can contribute to our ambition of producing one million boe per day from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) until 2015." Wildcat 15/6-9 S in block 15/6 lies 10 kilometres north of the Sleipner area in production licence (PL) 303. The well was drilled in a water depth of 114 metres to a total depth of 3,850 metres below sea level. Drilling was halted in rocks of Triassic age. The well was found to contain light oil in sandstones of mid-Jurassic age. A small gas find was also proven in sandstones of Tertiary age. "We will now drill a sidetrack well further up in the Ermintrude structure to establish if there is gas/condensate above the oil that has been discovered," says Mr Dodson. "A prospective development, and what solution is chosen, depends on what can be proven in the sidetrack." After its Ermintrude duties, the West Epsilon rig will continue its Sleipner area exploration programme. Statoil has a three-year contract with the Seadrill company for the hire of the jack-up rig. West Epsilon's exploration programme has so far yielded promising results, with operator Statoil proving gas and condensate in the Biotitt prospect in the Sleipner area earlier this spring. "Statoil has great faith in the NCS," says Mr Dodson. "Ermintrude shows that our NCS focus gives results." Statoil has a 100% interest in PL 303.

14 Mar 2007

Finds at Sleipner

Operator Statoil has proven gas and condensate in the Biotitt prospect in the North Sea using the West Epsilon rig, which is now continuing its exploration programme in the area. The 16/4-4 wildcat in production licence 339 was drilled to a total depth of 2,360 metres below sea level. Drilling was halted in rocks of Cretaceous age with gas and condensate being proven in the Heimdal formation of Tertiary age. "We will assess whether to produce the find using the Sleipner platform," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in Exploration & Production Norway (EPN). "An evaluation and analysis of the gathered data will now be carried out to determine the find's resource potential. A joint development with the 16/7-2 find south of Biotitt could be an option. "Biotitt is a good start in a comprehensive exploration programme in the North Sea in the next few years," he says. The Biotitt find lies approximately 20 kilometres north-east of the North Sea's Sleipner field. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned. The well was drilled using the West Epsilon drilling rig in 91 metres of water. Statoil has a three-year contract with the Seadrill company for hire of the jack-up rig which can operate at depths of up to 120 metres. West Epsilon is now being moved to its next location which is the Ermintrude prospect in block 15/6 in production licence 303, 10 kilometres north of the Sleipner field. The licensees in exploration licence 339, awarded in 2004, are Statoil with a 70% share and ExxonMobil with 30%.

28 Dec 2006

Further North Sea exploration

Statoil has today, Thursday 28 December, commenced drilling of exploration well 16/4-4 on the North Sea Biotitt prospect. The drilling marks the start of a busy exploration programme for the West Epsilon rig which initially will drill four North Sea exploration wells for Statoil. "We've secured significant capacity in the North Sea over the next few years with the West Epsilon contract," says Tim Dodson, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). In the summer, Statoil signed a contract with the Seadrill company for the chartering of the jack-up rig for three years. West Epsilon can only operate at water depths down to 128 metres. The rig has now begun drilling the first well on the Biotitt prospect, south west in block 16/4 in production licence 339, awarded in 2004. The prospect lies north east of the Sleipner West field. Statoil is operator with a 70% stake, while ExxonMobil has 30%. The well will be drilled to a total depth of around 2,400 metres. The water depth in the area is around 91 metres. Exploration drilling is expected to take 40 days with the aim of proving gas/condensate which can be produced by the Sleipner A platform. Following Biotitt drilling, the rig will continue exploration in the southern part of the North Sea. Well number two will be drilled on the Ermintrude prospect in block 15/6 in production licence 303, awarded in 2003. Following that, it will be moved to the Ragnarrock structure in production licence 265, awarded in 2001. "The four exploration wells that will initially be drilled are in areas that could yield valuable additional resources near existing infrastructure," says Mr Dodson. "The wells are an important part of Statoil's exploration programme on the NCS." West Epsilon will also drill in the "cellar" under the Statoil-operated Huldra field in production licence 051. "West Epsilon's activity is important for us in achieving our goal of producing one million barrels of oil equivalent on the NCS in 2015," says Mr Dodson.

19 Jun 2006

Rig for Troll/Sleipner chartered

Statoil has signed a contract with the rig company Seadrill for the chartering of the West Epsilon jack-up rig from November 2006. The rig will be used for exploration and production drilling in the Troll/Sleipner area in the North Sea. ”This means that there will be full focus on further development of the Sleipner area," says Astrid Sørensen, senior vice president for the Troll/Sleipner business cluster. "The production from the Sleipner fields will be off plateau in a few years. Additional volumes will be developed and exploration for new volumes performed. West Epsilon marks a change of pace in the development of this part of the North Sea.” Under the contract with Seadrill Statoil gets to charter the rig for a total period of up to four years. The alternatives are two years of charter with an option to extend the contract for two years, or three years of charter, with an option for a one-year extension. The value of the contract is between NOK 1.5 and 2.0 billion, depending on what charter alternative Statoil goes for. West Epsilon is a jack-up rig that can operate in water depths of up up to 120 metres. Currently on assignment for BP the rig will be taken over by Statoil towards the end of the year.

5 Apr 2001

West Epsilon leaving Sleipner

The work of moving the drilling rig West Epsilon from Sleipner West in the North Sea to the Elf operated Frøy field in the Frigg area has begun. Statoil will sublease the rig, which has finished drilling the production wells on Sleipner West. The contract with Elf is for 280 days. There then remains about one year of the hire contract with rig owner Smedvig. West Epsilon has been specially adapted to operate on the well head platform Sleipner B on the Sleipner West field. Before the rig leaves the field, the derrick will be skidded back from Sleipner B on to West Epsilon. The rig will then be jacked down to sea level. The legs will be released from the seabed before the rig is towed ashore by two tugs. Both operations set strict requirements to weather conditions. On land, the rig will be prepared for the assignment on the Frøy field, which has a similar well head platform to Sleipner West. Statoil will carry out an turnaround on both Sleipner West and Sleipner East when West Epsilon is moved. The turnaround came into effect on Saturday 31 March. According to installation manager Einar Holmemo on Sleipner A, it will last eight days on Sleipner East (the A platform) and nine days on Sleipner West (T and B platforms). One of the major tasks is to replace the flare nozzles on the flare booms on Sleipner A and Sleipner T with new nozzles.

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