From a drilling automation collaboration to a new formation evaluation tool, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space. 

SLB, Nabors Collaborate on Drilling Automation

SLB and Nabors Industries are collaborating on automated drilling solutions for oil and gas operators and drilling contractors, the companies announced Jan. 11. 

Under the deal, drilling automation applications and rig operating systems can be integrated to improve well construction performance and efficiency, the companies said. The new integration provides access to a broader suite of drilling automation technologies and greater flexibility to use existing rig control systems and equipment on either SLB’s PRECISE or Nabors’ SmartROS rig operating system.

The agreement marks the fourth drilling automation collaboration Nabors has announced in nine months, including with Corva, Halliburton and ROGII, Nabors said.

Halliburton Launches Formation Testing Service

Halliburton Co. on Jan. 10 introduced a new wireline formation testing service called Reservoir Xaminer.

According to Halliburton, the service gives operators a one-stop pressure gradient and allows them to obtain four times the data that other tools provide in the same stop. The probe section has dual quartz pressure sensors. It also includes real-time monitoring, larger area dual probes and high-strength straddle packers.

BP Expands Petrofac’s GTA Role

Petrofac announced Jan. 8 it won a three-year operations services contract from BP for the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) project in Mauritania and Senegal.

The multi-million-dollar master services agreement covers services including onshore and offshore management and supervision, provision of personnel and equipment maintenance.

The deal expands on work Petrofac has done for BP over the years, including operation services for the FPSO and deck crew services, the company said.

Intrinsically Safe AI Headsets Now Shipping 

Real Wear Glasses
A number of oil and gas industry companies have pre-ordered the Navigator Z1 hands-free computing solution, RealWear said. (Source: RealWear)

RealWear Inc. started shipping its ATEX/IECEx Intrinsically Safe Navigator Z1 devices, the company announced Jan. 9.

A number of oil and gas industry companies have pre-ordered the Navigator Z1 hands-free computing solution, RealWear said.

Navigator Z1 is powered by the Qualcomm SnapDragon 6490 chipset with a built-in advanced AI engine. The platform lays the foundation for RealWear’s broader AI Core vision for frontline workers, the company said. It also now complies with ATEX/IECEx requirements for intrinsically safe certification. Navigator Z1 also ensures voice recognition for fully hands-free use up to 100dBA.

A Thermal by FLIR thermal camera module is scheduled for release in March.

Valaris Announces Contract Wins

Valaris Ltd. announced new contracts and extensions in its Jan. 9 fleet status update.

Occidental’s subsidiary Anadarko Petroleum Corp. extended the VALARIS DS-16 drillship by two years, starting in June 2024 and continuing the existing firm program.

Equinor exercised a 60-day option for the VALARIS DS-17 drillship for operations offshore Brazil. That begins in March 2025 and directly follows the current contract.

Harbour Energy extended heavy duty harsh environment jackup VALARIS 120 by three years for operations in the U.K. North Sea, starting in third quarter 2025.

TotalEnergies contracted for heavy duty ultra-harsh environment jackup VALARIS Stavanger in the U.K. North Sea for 330 days, starting in March 2024. The approximate contract value is $48 million, including minor rig modifications.

Shell exercised two one-well for heavy duty harsh environment jackup VALARIS 121 in the U.K. North Sea. The options should begin in the summer of 2024, following the existing firm program, and last an estimated 406 days. The priced option periods have an estimated total contract value of approximately $55 million.

Ithaca Energy contracted heavy duty harsh environment jackup VALARIS 123 for one well in the U.K. North Sea starting in April 2024 and lasting between 45 and 72 days. The minimum total contract value is $6.3 million.

Eni contracted heavy duty ultra-harsh environment jackup VALARIS 247 for one well, starting in third quarter 2024 following the rig’s current program with another operator. The Eni deal has a minimum duration of 45 days at an operating day rate of $180,000.

An unnamed operator exercised a one-well option for heavy duty ultra-harsh environment jackup VALARIS 249 to work offshore Trinidad for a minimum of 35 days at a day rate of $137,500. A second contract, for 300 days at a rate of $162,500, for VALARIS 249 is expected to begin in the fourth quarter 2024 in direct continuation of a program with another operator. 

New Artificial Reef in GoM 

Arena Artificial Reef
(Source: Arena Energy)

Arena Energy, LLC established an artificial reef at South Marsh Island Block 192 in the Gulf of Mexico.

The South Marsh Island 192 A platform (SMI 192A) was installed in 1996 in 399 ft of water.  After producing oil and natural gas for almost 25 years, the wells were plugged and removed in 2022, and the production facilities were removed the following year. The upper 95 ft of the underwater structure was detached and the lower 300 ft of the structure remains in the water. 

In September 2023, Arena conducted an underwater survey of the reefed structure and found a thriving ecosystem of fish and coral living on and around the structure. Retiring the platform with traditional methods would have destroyed the marine habitat. 

“This was a great opportunity to work with the State of Louisiana and our partners in the federal government to preserve an existing marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Mexico," Brent Ozenne, CEO of Arena Offshore, said in a news release.

KCA Deutag, Pruitt Partner on MPD Opportunities

KCA Deutag and MPD specialists Pruitt signed an exclusive partnership agreement to collaborate on MPD opportunities globally, KCA announced Jan. 12.

The partnership provides Pruitt with access to KCA Deutag’s resources, rig engineering, and supply and manufacturing bases in Europe and the Middle East, while KCA Deutag will benefit from the inclusion of Pruitt’s MPD technology solutions into their drilling operations.

DeepOcean Buys Btwn

DeepOcean is acquiring digital transformation company Norway-based Btwn AS to grow its offerings for digitalization and automation of subsea operations, DeepOcean announced Jan. 11.

DeepOcean is acquiring 100% of the shares in Btwn from the company’s employees for an undisclosed amount. 

Btwn – pronounced “between” – is a digital transformation company that specializes in replacing manual processes with automated solutions.