• About Norwell Engineering

    About Norwell Engineering

    World leading Well Engineering & Project Management since 1989


Norwell Engineering is one of the longest established and most trusted Drilling Project Management & Well Engineering firms in the world.

Whether technical, operational or geopolitical, Norwell Engineering’s world-leading team of engineering and execution specialists has the in-house expertise to manage every aspect of your well engineering and operations – from concept through to field development, both onshore and offshore.

Our clients value us for being flexible, highly capable and commercially minded. Our globally experienced and long standing Well Engineering team have supported all Norwell projects over the past 20 years, designing, setting up and managing operations across six continents. Underpinned by a senior team that have been with us from the start, we have earned a reputation for successfully managing both stand-alone and multi-well drilling projects, delivering a stable experience for clients across long term projects and consistently innovative outcomes.

In 33 years Norwell have directly managed more than 500 wells in 45 countries for over 100 clients. These have included pioneering remote exploration projects in East Africa and major campaigns for leading operators, including more than 120 Deepwater wells worldwide since 1997.

We have twice broken the record for the world’s deepest water depth wells and set the performance benchmark for a remote exploration well onshore Kenya, improving on the previous record by 50%.

As one of the world’s longest established and most successful wells experts, we bring our extensive experience to solve the challenges of complex oil and gas decommissioning.

Wells are the highest cost and risk aspect of any decommissioning campaign, and an expert understanding of how to safely manage wells during the decom phase is critical. We have a long track record in the design, verification and deployment of cutting-edge well abandonment techniques to deliver the safe and efficient decommissioning of both onshore and offshore assets around the world.

Since we offer no third-party equipment or services, all decisions are based on technical merit and cost efficiency. This independence is reflected in our Well Examination, Well Verification and Expert Witness work around the world.

Norwell is certified to ISO9001:2015, ISO14001:2015 and ISO45001:2018 standards for Well Engineering & Operations, Project Management, Well Examination and Well Verification.


1989 - Norwell Founded

Norwell was founded in 1989 as a Well Engineering & Project Management consultancy. It has since grown to be one of the most successful and long standing firms in the sector, managing over 400 wells in 45 countries. Early projects included land wells in the UK, Portugal, Israel and the US before quickly expanding to work offshore China, North Sea and the Middle East. Since that time we have worked with over 100 clients worldwide.


1997 - First Deepwater and Africa Project

1997 saw Norwell's first deepwater project, offshore Angola utilising the Sedco Omega. This well marked our first project in Africa, starting years of activity on the continent that continues today. The 4/21-3-1 well for Ranger Oil was drilled in 560m depth of water to a TD of over 3,500m. We would go on to drill 14 wells in Angola between 1997 and 2004.

2000 to 2003

2000 to 2003 - Espoir Field Development

The Espoir field development consisted of 9 wells offshore Ivory Coast between 2000 and 2003. The Espoir field was a significant discovery for CNR and remains in production to this day. The development centres around two wellhead towers and an FPSO, the Espoir Ivorien. Norwell fully project managed the development, providing all planning, engineering and operations support.


2007 - Oudna, a World's First

In 2007 Norwell installed the world's first subsea jet pump completion offshore in Tunisia, as part of the Oudna field development. The project called for the design and manufacture of a range of bespoke equipment, allowing our client to greatly increase production rates. The Oudna well was a groundbreaking project and one of 6 wells Norwell has drilled in Tunisia.


2009 - Culzean & our 25th Land Well

During 2009 we engineered, planned and drilled a challenging HPHT appraisal well in the UK North Sea. This well has lead on to the Culzean field development partnership between Maersk, Nippon and BP. The field continues to be developed and will comprise of three bridge linked platforms when it comes online in 2019.

2009 was also the year of our 25th onshore well, 20 years after our first land project in Portugal. The Tafajarrt-1 well for Dana was drilled to 3,274m in remote eastern Morocco on the border with Algeria. This was our 38th well in Africa.


2012 - 50th Deepwater Project

Norwell drilled 18 wells in 2012, including the completion of our 50th deepwater well 15 years after our first deepwater project offshore Angola. The 50th well was drilled in 2,469m depth of water off the east coast of India. We drilled a company record of 15 deepwater wells this year, in addition to two exploration wells offshore Romania and a remote land well onshore Uganda.


2013 - World Records

In 2013 Norwell twice broke the world record for the deepest water depth well ever drilled. The NA7-1 well offshore India was drilled in a water depth of 3,165m to a final TD of 5,807m. We broke our own world record later in the year with the A-1 well in the same region. A-1 was drilled in a water depth of 3,174m to a final TD of 7,725m. Both wells were drilled using the Transocean DDKG-1.


2014 - 50th Project in Africa

We drilled our 50th well in Africa during 2014 with two remote exploration wells onshore Kenya and an appraisal well offshore Congo. After our first well on the continent in 1997, by 2014 we had managed projects in 9 different African countries. 2014 also marked our 75th deepwater project.


2015 - 80th Deepwater well and counting

2015 was a year in which Norwell drilled its 80th deepwater well (and 30th ultra-deepwater well). We also drilled our 34th land project which was our 51st well in Africa and our 4th well in Kenya.

In addition, during 2015 Norwell was recertified to the updated ISO9001:2015 and ISO14001:2015 standard for Well Engineering, Project Management, Well Examination & Verification services.


2016 - East Africa Growth

In 2016 Norwell continued to expand our footprint in East Africa delivering the NT-2 appraisal project in southern Tanzania for Aminex PLC. We also commenced work on the planning and well engineering for the Pate Island exploration campaign in northern Kenya and Lake Rukwa campaign in south eastern Tanzania for Midway and Heritage Oil respectively.


2018 - Deepwater Field Development

2018 saw Norwell commence the project management of the ONGC KG Deepwater Field Development offshore India. This project will extend until late 2021 and include the drilling and completion of 33 deepwater production wells. Norwell was a key partner in the exploration and appraisal of the KG basin between 2003 and 2015, and we are proud to be leading the engineering and execution of this field development.

1999 - Price of oil
$30.00 per barrel
Industry Cycles

Key Personnel

Our people are key to our success

Ken Fraser, Chairman

Ken founded Norwell in 1989 and has 45 years experience in the Oil & Gas industry. After starting his career with Shell in 1972 he worked his way up to Superintendent before leaving to join Holder as Drilling Manager in 1984. Ken went on to found Eco-Drill in 1986 followed by Norwell three years later. Ken is a published technical author and is recognised as a leading technical expert within the industry.

Iain Adams, Managing Director

Norwell’s Managing Director since 2000, Iain started his career with Chevron in 1979 working his way to Drilling Manager before joining Norwell as Project Manager in 1995. A leading technical expert Iain has been asked to provide testimony for a range high profile cases including the BP Deepwater Horizon trial during 2013/14.

Senior Engineering Team

The Senior Engineering team at Norwell bring experience from a range of technically challenging and high profile campaigns that have been managed in-house over the past 28 years. Ranging from ultra-deepwater exploration to remote land development projects, they are highly experienced and capable at delivering innovative and flexible designs & solutions.

Well Engineering Team

The long standing Norwell Well Engineering department has been providing technical excellence, innovation and continuity to clients for over 21 years. Experienced at designing conventional onshore/offshore, complex ERD, HPHT, Deepwater and horizontal wells the Norwell team act as an independent in-house drilling department for many long term clients around the world.

Examination Team

Norwell has been providing leading Well Examination & Verification services to the Oil & Gas industry since 1996. Drawing on experience in some of the world’s most challenging projects, Norwell’s in-house team act as Well Examiners for many international operators and regulatory bodies.