As a relatively young business, Interwell is rapidly establishing a reputation for itself as a successful independent onshore drilling company.
Established just two years ago by three shareholders – Fabricom Oil & Gas, N.O.M. and Vos Investments – the company is capable of offering a comprehensive range of drilling services as an independent drilling contractor. Additionally, in co-operation with its shareholders, Interwell can provide a total care field development package from cradle to grave for the industry. Based in The Netherlands, the business provides its services to a broad range of customers across Europe.
Henny Cornelissen, general manager at Interwell looks at the formation of the company, and explains the benefits that such experienced shareholders can bring to a fledgling business: “We have a group of very strong mother companies that, when working together, enable Interwell to deliver a total care concept to clients both on and offshore. In this sense, we can provide a true cradle to grave solution for our customers that includes drilling the well, putting in an installation for the production, undertaking maintenance and repairs on site, and carrying out demolition and abandonment services.
“Our relationship with Fabricom, a member of the Suez Group, is particularly important,” he continues. “They are a very strong offshore company with a great deal of expertise in oil and gas operations. Working closely with them means that we actually have the ability to build our own rigs and equipment, and there are certainly not many small-to-medium sized drilling contractors that have this capability. Fabricom can help us throughout the process to undertake all of the construction and engineering work that we need in the manufacture of our own rigs, which is an amazing asset to be able to call upon.”
Henny explains that Interwell also relies on Fabricom’s experience in repair and maintenance operations: “Not only is Fabricom an excellent construction company, it is also very successful at on and offshore maintenance and operations work. For example, it has an extremely good maintenance tracking system, which we use for our rig, and it completely tracks all maintenance programmes and operations via an innovative computerised system. This is a real benefit for us in maintaining the operability of our rig and ensuring efficient operations, and it is something that very few new companies will ever get to use.
“In addition to this, we co-operate a great deal with GTI, an other company within the Suez Group, which is very experienced in the design and development of electrical systems,” he continues. “They have manufactured all of the electric installations on our rig and have built and supervised the complete electrical systems for the entire unit. These co-operative processes illustrate one of the key strengths of Interwell – through close co-operation we can construct everything that we need, can design and install all electric and other components, and can easily accommodate individual customer designs and requests with great flexibility.”
Interwell provides its services to a number of clients across Europe, although it is looking to expand into new markets in the coming years: “At this particular moment our main market is Europe, with particular emphasis on Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, the North Sea, and the UK. Of course we want to expand this, but we believe that it is very important to build a firm foundation on which to grow first. Areas of expansion that we are looking at include Eastern Europe, particularly Russia, Northern Africa and the Far East.”
As a relatively new drilling contractor, Interwell currently only operates one rig, although its future development programme will see further units added to the fleet in the coming years. Henny elaborates on the design and capabilities of the current unit: “Although we only operate one rig at present it really is a pretty unique concept, and is a beautiful design with great capabilities. It is a 250 tonne fully automated mobile drilling rig that is of a rack and pinion design and developed by Sense EDM, in which the rack and pinion can be compared to those of a jack-up rig. In our design, the electric motors with the pinions are fixed at the bottom of the mast, the rack is moved up the mast via a chain, and the top drive is attached to the rack.”
The rig design used by Interwell is a Double Range II rig by Sense EDM, featuring automatic pipe handling and racking capabilities. Able to drill to a standard depth of 3700 metres, and 4000 metres when using tapered string, the rig features a self-elevating, hydraulically powered mast and automatic pipe handler, and is transported in four main loads. Its mast is of the welded box type construction with an integrated electrical driven rack and pinion. The mast, which has an overall height with substructure of 39 metres, has a maximum rated static hook load of 250 tonnes.
The rig is equipped with the latest drilling technology, including fully automated pipe feeding, fully automated pipe racking, a fingerboard racking system for 200 stands, and one hydraulic system power pack to operate the rig-up and rig-down system, pipe handler, winches and tongues. Easy to operate, the unit includes an advanced driller control cabin, incorporating a large degree of automated drilling, comprehensive data acquisition systems, and integrated automated pipe handling, racking and iron roughneck systems. It also features a full range of mud pumps, systems and storage tanks.
The rack and pinion technology developed by Sense EDM offers considerable advantages over more traditional rig units. For example, it provides low noise operations and the selferecting concept allows for quick rig up and down times. Furthermore, its size means that it significantly reduces transportation costs and times, and requires a smaller rig crew, eliminating a number of safety risks.
Henny explains that the company intends to expand its fleet in the future: “We will certainly look to increase the fleet as Interwell grows. At this present time I believe that our future units will most definitely be of the same excellent design by Sense, but we are ideally looking for a variety of sizes and weights ranging from as low as 150 tonnes to 400 tonnes or more.”
As with any drilling company, health, safety and environmental concerns are paramount at Interwell. The company’s QHSE Management system aims to prevent all incidents and accidents that may cause harm to employees, customers and the general public, to carry out activities in a manner that prevents harm, and to adhere to all approved and adopted environmental legislations that are applicable to the area of operations. To maintain the high safety standards the company regularly reviews and improves its HSE policy to ensure that it is up-to-date with the latest industry legislation. The company complies with ISO 9001: 2000 and OHSAS-18001, and these certificates cover the management and execution of drilling and workover operations, logistical supply of spare parts, and safety, health and environmental protection.
Henny explains that the design of the Sense rig, and the features and operative aids it includes, make it a very safe unit to operate and contribute towards successful operations: “We chose the rig not only because it was an excellent design with great capabilities, but also because it has very good safety aspects incorporated into the design. For example, the large degree of automated technology available means that it can be completely operated by one person in the control cabin, which is a very important factor in risk reduction. Furthermore it has joystick operated pipe handling, pipe racking, iron roughneck, top drive and mud baskets, together with a low centre of gravity and a fail safe brake.”
As previously highlighted, much of Interwell’s success comes from the strong backing it receives from its parent companies. Fabricom Oil and Gas is a leading provider of expertise and solutions to clients in the upstream sector of the oil, gas and wind energy sectors. For more than 30 years Fabricom has been a leading offshore service and maintenance contractor with an extensive knowledge and resource base. Together with providing fully trained and qualified maintenance and operations personnel, it specialises in the construction and modification of plants andfacilities under EPCI contracts using innovative and novel solutions and technology.
In addition to Fabricom, N.O.M. is an organisation formed by the three Northern provinces in the Netherlands (Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and supports companies in the three Northern provinces. It has a fast network of contacts that is extremely useful to Interwell’s operations. Furthermore, Vos has considerable experience in supplying services to the oil and gas industry, and has included companies such as Foxdrill, Seafox and Workfox within its group.
Looking to build on the strong foundations in place, Interwell remains dedicated to operating and maintaining a fleet of drilling rigs that can economically and safely carry out a full range of exploration, appraisal and production drilling, well completion, maintenance, and abandonment services for the oil and gas, salt mining and geothermal industries. Through its continuous development and improvement programmes, the company aims to provide services that meet or exceed international and industry performance standards, remain competitive, emphasise pro-active co-operation with customers, and use state-of-the-art technology.
Reflecting on the rapid growth of the business, and its already excellent reputation in the industry, Henny looks to the future with considerable enthusiasm: “I believe that there are a lot of opportunities for the short and long term future of Interwell, particularly with the total care concept that we are able to offer. There are still a great deal of gas pockets that need to be drilled using inexpensive, efficient packages such as ours, and we aim to look further at developing price attractive options for the developments of small and mature fields, together with new innovations such as geothermal technology. Most importantly, we are a young company with a good family looking after us. We have a lot of drive to continue to be successful and I think that this is where our strengths will benefit us moving forwards,” he concludes.
Services: Onshore drilling contractor