Statoil Buys Into Deepwater Drilling Group

Statoil has acquired a twelve percent interest in Atlantis, a Norwegian company with a patented technology for deepwater drilling and production of oil and gas. Atlantis provides a solution for deepwater drilling and production based on reducing the distance between a floating installation and the bottom of the sea by installing an artificial seabed. A steel tank held at a depth of 300 meters provides a subsea platform for installing drilling and production equipment. That makes it possible to use known technology even when producing oil and gas located several kilometers beneath the surface of the sea. "This technology is being considered for a number of deepwater areas, both off Norway and internationally," says Martin Sigmundstad, vice president for industrial development in Statoil. The concept is the brainchild of Terje Magnussen, who currently serves as technical vice president at Atlantis. He has previously worked in Statoil's drilling technology department, and the group helped to develop his idea. The Atlantis approach allows rig operations to be carried out quickly and safely in deep water. This is partly because installation and operation of critical equipment are raised to a typical depth of 300 meters, with virtually unlimited access to qualified technology. BP and Shell are participating in planning and construction of the first Atlantis prototype, which will form the basis for possible use of the technology off western Africa. The Atlantis solution has been patented in roughly 30 countries, with applications pending in about 70 more. Other shareholders in the company are Andreas K L Ugland, O T Tonnevold, Aker Kvaerner and the Rogaland Research institute.

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