Jennifer Pallanich, senior technology editor, Hart Energy: I am Jennifer Pallanich.

Jaxon Caines, technology reporter, Hart Energy: And I'm Jaxon Caines.

JP: And we are here at the 2024 OTC (Offshore Technology Conference) in Houston, talking about some of the latest trends in technology.

JP: I'm here at OTC with Bernt Eikemo, from Enhanced Drilling. He's the vice president of sales and marketing. And what are we talking about at OTC today?

Bernt Eikemo, VP of sales and marketing, Enhanced Drilling: We are going to talk about our system EC-Drill Dual MPD (managed pressure drilling). This system is something we introduced to the market last year. It's based on our EC-Drill system where we now take the EC-Drill system, which is a controlled mud level based MPD system and merge it with a surface back pressure system to one complete system. Then you get the best of two worlds into one system. And what you see here is actually the pump module that we use for this. We put it on the drilling riser and then we can manipulate the level inside the riser and that way we can manipulate the bottomhole pressure and that opens a lot of opportunities for our clients. And here in the Gulf of Mexico, Shell is our biggest client, and we are now just coming on one of the Stena rigs that are also going to drill for Shell. So we are now on three rigs in the Gulf of Mexico with this system, and we are helping our clients with drilling more efficiently. They can also drill sections of the well that they otherwise couldn't drill, and we're helping them with completing them later on so that they get a good completion job, which increases production in their wells.

JP: Well, that sounds pretty magnificent. What's next for the technology?

BE: Well, it's kind of getting out to the world, because we see now that Shell have kind of understood it, but we need to get the other majors around to see all the benefits this system can bring. So we want to develop this into a standard system on all drilling rigs.

JP: Sounds like something to watch out for. Thank you so much for your time. And that's a wrap here at OTC.

JC: I'm here with Fugro’s Dimitris Kaltsas to discuss their brand new Blue Dragon sea floor drill, which recently won the OTC Spotlight on New Technology award. To start things off Dimitris, what is the Blue Dragon and how does it really work?

Dimitris Kaltsas, Blue Dragon product owner, Fugro: So the Blue Dragon is the next-generation sea floor drill that Fugro is currently developing. It's one of the most impactful and prestigious innovations that Fugro has ever developed, and it works through vessel deployment in deepwaters to tackle frontier areas for geotechnical site characterization.

JC: Now why would you say that the industry needs this?

DK: I think the industry is pushing the boundaries towards new geographical areas with more weather-exposed areas and also more areas require more versatile technology, and the Blue Dragon is going to tackle that.

JC: So what makes Blue Dragon different?

DK: So with the Blue Dragon, we are incorporating continuously evolving technology with automation and robotics, which will make our operations much more efficient and more safe offshore.

JC: Thank you, Dimitris. It was amazing to learn about Blue Dragon.

DK: Thank you so much.

JC: And that's a wrap here with Fugro.

JP: I'm here at OTC with Adam Collavo, who is the international business development manager for Oil States Energy Services. And what are you talking about at OTC Today?

Adam Collavo, international business development manager, Oil States Energy Services: Today I'm talking about our proprietary TEAS and A-TES systems.

JP: TEAS and A-TES, what does that stand for?

AC: Both of them are wireline access products. TEAS is Top Entry Access System and A-TES is our Articulated Top Entry System, which is an evolution of a traditional wireline top entry system that goes below the top drive. The main difference being is that the TEAS itself allows full functionality of the top drive because it's placed above the top drive and allows wireline through it, both of which are designed to save the operator time and money.

JP: Okay. Tell me about a recent deployment.

AC: At any given time, we have systems deployed all over the world, most recently Brazil, Namibia, Suriname, and we currently have one being prepped to go to Egypt, all of which are designed to save the operator money. And I know I've already said that, but whenever we're talking about current drillship rates, well over $400,000 a day, any time we can save multiple days for the operator, it's a lot of money that they can use for other things.

JP: Makes a lot of sense. Now, when we were preparing for this interview, you said something about remote operations and remote areas.

AC: Right. So when we're talking remote operation and remote areas, when we have small logistical support, the fact that the TEAS system itself has a very, very small deck footprint and can be placed on the ship allows for significant time savings versus having to ship it from the U.S. or any other shore base. It's already there, and it has a very, very short rig uptime of less than two hours. So whenever by the time the wireline unit makes it to the boat in a stuck pipe situation, we're already there and ready to go.

JP: All right. Well thank you so much. I hope you have a good OTC.

AC: Thank you, you too.

JC: I'm here at OTC with Eric Junkers, President of HYTORC, to talk about their award-winning lightning pump. So to start things off, what exactly is the LIGHTNING Pump and how does it work?

Eric Junkers, president, HYTORC: So the LIGHTNING Pump is our first battery-powered hydraulic pump unit. So we've been in the bolting space since 1968, developing and coming up with different innovative approaches to industrial bolting. The goal is always the same, make it safer, make it faster, make it better. And so over that time, we've come up with a number of different innovations. The LIGHTNING Pump is the single biggest innovation that we've made on the pumping side of it, which is really the heart, the brains and the muscle to the hydraulic system.

JC: Why would you say that the industry needs this?

EJ: Well, it's all about trying to find ways to improve, and trying to find ways to advance things. Again, with the idea being ‘make it safer, make it more efficient.’ And so with today's technology, for instance, the battery technology in this case, we were really able to take things forward in a big way. So the obvious advantage that comes with a battery-powered pump unit is portability. You get unmatched portability. Typically you would have to have a power source or an air source to run a hydraulic pump unit. Now you don't have to have any of that. And so that is really a big advantage for industry: portability, versatility and user-friendliness.

JC: Now all of this sounds amazing, and I mean it looks amazing, but it couldn't have been easy to sort of come up with this. So what are some of the challenges you guys have in developing this and how'd you sort of get past those?

EJ: Yeah, there were big challenges because the situation with battery-powered tooling and equipment, it seems there's always that trade-off, right? You've got performance versus longevity with the battery. And so it's a lot of times it's almost a decision between one or the other. You get the performance, but you don't have the longevity in the battery. You get the longevity, but you don't have the performance. And that's a lot of what we've seen in our space before. There are other battery pumps, but none of them that reach that level that we desire to reach as far as performance and longevity is concerned. So that was the biggest challenge. That's what took so many years of development to get to and that's largely what we have come to. We've found that sweet spot where this is the best performing pump that we have available in our lineup, and it also has a longevity that is appropriate for a heavy industrial hydraulic pump unit.

JC: So what is the status of the LIGHTNING Pump, and what are some of the next steps you guys look to take?

EJ: So this is really the unveiling of the pump at the OTC show here. So we were recognized with an award for innovation here at the show. Just yesterday accepted the award. And this is really the release. We're looking at May 15 as the official release where orders are going to start being accepted by the company, and then over the corresponding months it's going to be released out into the marketplace. So the next steps just simply have to do with production and making sure that we've filled the demand that we know is going to be quite incredible because this is a big step forward for industrial bolting that many of our customers have been looking for a long time coming.

JC: That's a wrap with Eric Junkers of HYTORC.

JC: I'm Jaxon Caines.

JP: And I'm Jennifer Pallanich.

JC: And that's a wrap on the latest technologies at the 2024 OTC. Check with us at as we drill into the tech that fuels the oil patch.