Norway's Equinor said it intends to ramp up its use of wired drill pipe to acquire subsurface real-time data during drilling operations as it prepares for automated drilling.
U.S. based firms NOV and Schlumberger have been awarded corporate frame agreements for global deliveries of wired drill pipes to Equinor. Both suppliers use solutions from IntelliServ, which is owned by NOV and Schlumberger.
In addition to the corporate frame agreements with the two suppliers, commitments have been made on the use of wired drill pipe delivered by NOV for specific operations, such as Mariner in the U.K., the West Herkules exploration campaign on the Norwegian continental shelf and Transocean Enabler’s drilling campaign on Trestakk. Estimated value of this work scope is around NOK 300 million ($35.2 million).
The contracts, which are in line with Equinor’s corporate digitization strategy, allow the technology to be used on all of the Norwegian energy company’s installations globally. Equinor noted that the total contract value may exceed NOK 1 billion ($117.4 million) during the first three years of the contract period.
“As the industry places further emphasis on drilling automation and optimization, high-speed telemetry, which allows data to be transferred instantaneously from downhole to surface operations, is becoming an increasingly critical enabling technology,” said Clay Williams, NOV Chairman, President, and CEO. “Partnering with a major national oil company interested in standardizing their operations with Wired Drillpipe is a testament to the value it brings versus conventional drillpipe.”
Geir Tungesvik, Equinor’s head of TPD Drilling & Well, said, “This technology gives us a deeper understanding of what is happening inside and around the well during drilling, and makes it easier to make the right choices, based on real-time data, during the drilling operation.
“We will eliminate expensive mistakes, such as obstructions in the open hole during and after drilling and having to drill sidetracks. It also gives us a better understanding of the reservoirs and enables us to optimize the well placement. We become more efficient because we can control the speed and power of the drilling against the limit values that are most suitable underground.”
Tungesvik said Equinor already has good experience using this technology during the Barents Sea exploration campaign last year. “That is why we are expanding the use of this technology, while we are upgrading all rigs and some platforms in 2018 and 2019 to prepare for more automated drilling. This technology is an important element of our digitalization strategy. I look forward to expanding the use of high-speed data transfer, which I believe will help ensure safer and more efficient drilling operations,” he said.
The wire inside the drill pipe allows high-speed data transfer. The signals transmitted through the drill pipe are estimated to be 10,000 times faster than the pressure waves of the drilling mud in conventional drill pipes.
Peggy Krantz-Underland, Equinor’s head of procurements, said, “We are pleased about awarding these global contracts and we are looking forward to the cooperation with NOV and Schlumberger. At the same time, we want the industry to keep developing this kind of technologies. Technology development in this segment is progressing fast and we are eager to see the development of other solutions in the market that may be relevant for us to test in the short or longer term.”