Utilising a snubbing rig has proven to be cost effective for gravel pack applications on the Norwegian Gullfaks field. A snubbing rig is less expensive to use than the drilling rig, but more importantly, deploying a snubbing rig releases the drilling rig for drilling operations. Use of the drilling rig for sand control operations delays the drilling progress on the platforms and consequently delays the production from all the upcoming wells. The total cost of delayed drilling operations, including the impact on delayed production, varies between 1 to 5 Mill NOK/rig-day ( 150 000 - 700 000 USD/Day) on the Gullfaks field. These values will, however, change over time and will be less important as more wells are drilled and completed.
This paper describes the economical potential and the technical advantages of using a snubbing rig for gravel pack operations on the Gullfaks field. Field examples and experiences gained from different gravel pack operations are included.