Norske Shell AS has signed a letter of intent with AGR Drilling Services for a contract worth NOK 84m (£ 9m). AGR Drilling Services' excavation and trenching technology has been chosen by Shell for the next phase of its extension project in the northern part of the Ormen Lange field. Four new engineering positions have been created at AGR DS in Aberdeen as a result.
The work will involve seabed levelling and pre-lay trenching in the stiff soils of Europe's third-largest gas field. The ClayCutter X from AGR DS will be used on the project. John Sands, Vice President Trenching and Excavation, said: "We are delighted to have been selected by Shell to work with them on the next phase of seabed intervention on the Ormen Lange field.
"This new contract reflects Shell's confidence in both our unique ClayCutter X technology and the highly experienced AGR team."
AGR DS will start the offshore phase of the project in May. This is expected to take one month but there are options to increase the scope.
The ClayCutter X is perfect for levelling and trenching in the challenging soil conditions found on the Ormen Lange field. It has a powerful, seawater jetting system, plus three operating modes which can be selected using an ROV. This enables AGR's experienced operators to choose the right mode for the task in hand – whether it's general trench excavation, trench widening or excavation in very hard soils.
The system has previously been used with great success at 870m depth (2,854ft) on Ormen Lange's Southern field development.