If one considers the drillbit to be the tip of the driller’s spear, then the drilling motor is the oomph that drives it. Chewing through expanses of nearly impenetrable rock at faster speeds for longer intervals puts tremendous pressure on the bit, motor and more. Through advancements in engineering and manufacturing technologies, the design and development of drilling motors has improved significantly. Those advancements are set to continue with the opening of a new manufacturing and technology center by Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), that is dedicated to advancing the performance, quality and reliability of downhole drilling motors.

In April the BHGE Motor Center of Excellence (COE) opened in Oklahoma City. To address the challenges placed on drilling motors to drill faster and longer, the company will incorporate “cutting-edge robotics, automation and process control to create a step change in drilling motor precision and quality,” according to a press release.

“We are excited to open the Motor Center of Excellence in Oklahoma City, in the heart of North America—the world’s largest market for drilling motors,” said Maria Claudia Borras, president and CEO for Oilfield Services at BHGE, in the release. “The technologies and engineered solutions we develop here will drive smarter well construction and deliver better drilling efficiencies to our customers throughout the world. We’re proud of the facility and the potential it brings.”

According to the company, advanced monitoring systems and a state-of-the-art plant control center at the Motor COE will enable BHGE to design and manufacture drilling motors to exacting tolerances, resulting in better motor quality. Co-located on BHGE’s Oklahoma City Supercenter campus, the 11,891-sq-m (128,000-sq-ft) facility includes manufacturing, engineering, repair and maintenance as well as an elastomer and materials laboratory.

At the grand opening of the Motor COE, the company’s next-generation Navi-Drill DuraMax high-performance motors also were introduced. The redesigned line of motors provides increased  horsepower and torque. The Navi-Drill DuraMax motor will be manufactured and maintained at the Motor COE, according to the release.

The Motor COE is the newest of research and technology centers for the company. Other centers include the Artificial Lift Research & Technology Center located in Claremore, Okla., for the R&D of electric submersible pumping systems under extreme downhole conditions. Researchers at the company’s Celle Technology Center located in Celle, Germany, perform engineering and testing of drilling systems, telemetry and LWD systems.