Well testing as it should be

Wagenborg Foxdrill Remerij

Wagenborg Foxdrill and Remerij joined forces as WFR in January 2015 to maintain, inspect and certify NAM’s well test equipment. Now, a little more than a year later, the joint venture is well up to speed. High time to introduce our readers to the latest branch of the Wagenborg family tree.

The rig at the Coevorden-20 gas well is a small one: just a single multicyclone to separate the formation water and its contaminants from the gas, and two tanks for storing the separated products. NAM’s supervisor on this project is Klaas-Jan Ynsen. He supervises a small group of contractors who are conducting well tests for this well. “The problem with this well is salt accumulation,” explains Klaas-Jan. “Our job is to remove and dispose of the salt. We do that using nitrogen.” He points to a unit at the front of the rig. “You see those tanks? They contain liquid nitrogen. The unit next to the tanks converts the liquid nitrogen into gas and pumps it through a 3.5 kilometre-long pipe into the well. The nitrogen then pushes the accumulated salt, the formation water and the gas to the surface. The mixture passes through a number of phases, during which it’s separated into the individual products and stored in the tanks."


Klaas-Jan needs only four days for this job, including rig construction and dismantling. The sort of rig required depends on the type of activity, the well, and the nature of the contamination. “I need an entirely different rig to test a new well than I do to clean a well contaminated by sand or salt,” he explains. “So I always visit the site beforehand to see what I’ll need and how I have to place the rig. Then I draw up a list of the equipment we need and send it to WFR. WFR checks whether it has the equipment in stock and whether it’s not past its ‘use-by’ date. That’s because the equipment has to be recertified every year. The day before we start work, WFR delivers the equipment and we construct the flare. Then the unit can be placed precisely as I’ve instructed."


“In general, I think WFR has been very quick off the mark, and it’s left a very positive impression!”

Best of two worlds

WFR’s own team builds and dismantles the test unit. NAM contracted WFR to maintain the unit in January 2015. WFR is a joint venture between Wagenborg Foxdrill and Remerij. Edwin Zwart, Managing Director of Wagenborg Foxdrill, tells us how it happened. “We started working with Remerij because we were both competing for NAM’s tender to maintain, inspect and certify well equipment. We weren’t really supposed to be talking to each other, but we each knew that we couldn’t offer the whole package on our own. Wagenborg mainly specialises in maintenance, and Remerij in inspection and certification. So we approached NAM and asked whether we could cooperate on the tender. They agreed and so we launched WFR, or Wagenborg Foxdrill Remerij. And we were awarded the tenderThis is a fairly unusual joint venture for Wagenborg Foxdrill,” Edwin continues. “It happens more often abroad, but in the Netherlands we usually want to do 100% of the work ourselves. It’s been a positive experience. We’ve got to the point where we want to perfect our cooperation for NAM, and then we can offer a complete package of services to other companies too. It’s a cost-saving solution for customers. And if we can offer them this onshore, then why not offshore as well? That will make us competitive even in a shrinking market.”


Living together

Although WFR’s home base is Schoonebeek, its equipment is used in wells all around the Netherlands. Edwin Zwart stated that WFR has worked on 93 wells in the past year: 24 WT jobs, 3 offshore jobs and 66 Standalone jobs. “Our operations are based in Schoonebeek because it’s the most convenient place for both parties,” Edwin explains. “Initially, Wagenborg and Remerij had separate sites for their employees. On 1 January 2016 we moved to a single site in Schoonebeek, and the mood and efficiency improved immediately.” He explains: “It’s like having a relationship with someone. First you go on a few dates. Then you decide you like each other and you gradually start spending more time together. We’ve now reached the stage of living together, and we appreciate each other more all the time. We both have our own internal cultures, and we’re blending them to create a new culture all our own. It’s a nice thing to see.”


Klaas-Jan Ynsen is also very happy that Wagenborg Foxdrill and Remerij now occupy a single site. “The communication didn’t always go smoothly, that was noticeable. For example, a few times there was some confusion ordering equipment. It didn’t matter so much to me down on the ground, because a lot of the guys who used to do the same work for BOS had transferred to WFR. Everyone was pleased, because no one has to explain anything to them. They know precisely what they’re supposed to do. In general, I think WFR has been very quick off the mark, and it’s left a very positive impression.”