Jennifer Pallanich, senior technology editor, Hart Energy: How can autonomous operations help make drilling safer and more efficient? Find out in this Hart Energy LIVE Exclusive with me, Jennifer Pallanich. Why is autonomous drilling important for the industry?

Rafael Guedes, director of controls and automation, Nabors: So it's really to deliver wells on time and on budget and also to increase efficiency so you reach your decarbonization goals. So we are really trying to step up the way wells were drilling in the past. And in the past we were very reliant on the people we had available on the rig floor, and their expertise and their knowledge. And that's really where automation comes in, where we can actually code in the product itself, in the automation sequence, your best practices. So all the time the operators spend on engineering together with the retractors, now we can digitally enable through solutions like SmartPLAN where you're getting a connection directly from your digital drilling program to deliver that well under that same program sequence.

JP: I know most recently Nabors has been doing a collaboration with Corva on predictive drilling. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

RG: Yeah, and that's really the beauty about digitization because we have actually a platform. So SmartROS [Rig Operating System] is not only enabling the digital solutions that Nabors has developed, but also enabling digital solutions from our collaborators and partners. And one of those collaborators is Corva. They have developed a solution to basically optimize the rate of penetration. So basically how fast you drill, but they had this expertise and the solution, what was in the cloud and how do they bring the automation alive? And they had it running in advisory mode for some time.

And that's where the partnership and the collaboration came into place, that we had now a solution deployed in more than 150 rigs where they can quickly make a cloud connection to send the recommendations through the cloud and re cloud already connected to SmartROS to send those set points to the control system without any intervention from the driller actually on the chair to drive that optimization, that change of parameters. So that's something that we are really excited [about]. We have deployed this in one of our rigs and we drilled four wells in a pad and the result speaks for itself, like 36% incremental rate of penetration with Corva. And that's one of the partnerships.

JP: Okay. And what else? I believe you mentioned something with Halliburton.

RG: Yeah, so with Halliburton is a bit of a different approach. Halliburton in some regions of the world, they have what they call Halliburton project management and they wanted to partner with a recontract that they could now leverage to also deploy their digital technology. So we have an operations with them in Iraq where it's a third party rigs and non-Nabors rigs where we deploy the SmartROS in collaboration with them. And you start deploying the same level of automation we have on Nabors rigs on now on unknown Nabors rigs. And of course that is just the first step of that collaboration. And the next steps is really to enable the digital solutions that Halliburton has on that same rig and across the entire operations with HPM. So really exciting to be partnered with them for that.

JP: Well, that sounds like a big breakthrough for the industry.

RG: Yes, absolutely. It is really combining the strengths of what Halliburton has their expertise in subsurface with the expertise that Nabors has with drilling automation and rig operations.

JP: And that's your Hart Energy LIVE Exclusive with me, Jennifer Pallanich from ATCE.