Transocean Drills 'First' Fully-automated Hole Section of Offshore Well

Offshore drilling firm Transocean said Thursday it had recently drilled its first fully-automated hole section of a well.

The milestone, which Transocean described as significant, was achieved in the Norwegian Sea, offshore Norway.

The company used the Transocean Encourage harsh environment semi-submersible drilling rig for the operation.

"This new technology automates important sequences in the drilling process, simplifying the workflow, further improving safety, consistency, and performance, and lowering emissions through increased operational efficiency," Transocean said in a social media post on Thursday. 

No further details were shared on the project. AIS data shows the rig as being at Equinor's Heidrun field site in the Norwegian Sea. Data on the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate shows that the rig spudded an injection well at Heidrun on April 19.

The DSME-built offshore drilling rig, on contract with Equinor, was recently awarded a new nine-well contract with the same client in Norway, at a rate of $350,000 per day. The new contract runs from November 2023 to February 2025.

In other Transocean-related news, the company last week said it was looking to expand into the offshore wind sector with plans to convert some of its offshore drilling vessels into wind foundation installation vessels. Read more here.

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