How drillers are boosting efficiency by turning to tech

May 02, 2022 by Energy Connects

ADNOC Drilling’s success in setting new standards of operational excellence is resulting in record-breaking achievements and saving clients considerable time and money..

image is ADNOC Drilling

ADNOC Drilling’s success in setting new standards of operational excellence is resulting in record-breaking achievement. Picture provided by ADNOC Drilling.

In recent years, few, if any, drilling companies in the Middle East have managed to match the achievements and advances in operational excellence made by ADNOC Drilling.

Collaborating with its main shareholder, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Group, as well as other ADNOC subsidiaries, such as Offshore and Onshore, ADNOC Drilling has invested wisely to surpass industry standards and set new benchmarks of excellence since 2020, becoming the leading driller in the region, and a world leader.

By combining its key assets of human resources, technology and highly supportive customers – the company has managed to continuously break the previous bests, posting new Middle East drilling records to consistently consolidate its status as an industry leader and pioneer. For example, the company has delivered the region’s longest horizontal well on four separate occasions, most recently breaking the previous record in February 2022 upon completion of a well measuring 45,297 feet (13.7 km or roughly the length of 138 football fields). As a performance-driven organization that champions innovation, horizontally drilling at this depth was the latest ground-breaking achievement, and one that introduced ADNOC Drilling to new windows of opportunity.

With well-established operational efficiency, and a customer centric approach, delivering the region’s longest horizontal well for its customer has empowered ADNOC Drilling, positioning the company to drill with enhanced efficiency and generate more favourable cost benefits compared to conventional drilling.

Moreover, horizontal drilling has allowed for a reduced environmental footprint, with more drilling now being concentrated in areas. The record-breaking well was successfully delivered from a state-of-the-art island rig, a specific platform that enables extended reach and is a key part of the company’s drilling fleet. The benefits gained through these innovative techniques has been championed by ADNOC Drillings customers for many years now and have paved the way for these records to be continually beaten.

With nine island rigs in total, which do not need to be taken apart and reassembled for each move, ADNOC Drilling continues utilizing advanced, innovative, technology-led horizontal drilling methods to operate efficiently while reducing its environmental footprint and offshore rigs efficiency.

Across the driller’s rig fleet, which is the largest in the region and comprises 104 owned onshore and offshore rigs, leading-edge innovations like island rigs, as well as AI and Big Data-based solutions – such as ADNOC’s “Real Time Data Monitoring Center” – have driven incredible efficiencies: increasing yields, and dramatically reducing days of drilling operations (upwards of 30%). However, drilling records and rigs are not the only reasons behind the company becoming synonymous with enhanced efficiency.

Meeting the digital transformation mandate

A stalwart of the region’s energy industry for almost 50 years, the Abu Dhabi-based driller has gained further plaudits for activating an ambitious digital transformation journey to fortify the delivery of thousands more wells in support of the UAE's production capacity goals and self-sufficiency targets by 2030.

ADNOC Drilling’s technological transformation journey began in early 2019, following the inking of a strategic partnership with Baker Hughes, a relationship that enabled it to become the region’s first full-service drilling and well construction provider. As a supplier of Integrated Drilling Solutions (IDS), the company is now equipped with the tools and know-how to perform optimally and gain process efficiency across all areas of drilling operations. So far, the results have been impressive, with more than 1,100 days saved across IDS wells versus benchmark days to date.

In an industry where each minute costs considerable sums of money, the leveraging of insights and analytics has also proved invaluable in helping clients realize millions of dollars’ worth of savings, ensuring the most cost-effective well deliveries, and critically, the most efficient well delivery times. For instance, the delivery of a 6,263ft horizontal well within a record time of 24 hours saved a full day of drilling for a key client, as well as showcased the company’s engineering prowess.

In the last two years, the introduction of innovative technologies has accelerated ADNOC Drilling’s advances particularly in the areas of horizontal or directional drilling, where the company has garnered an increasingly strong reputation.

Underscored by a strong adherence to operational and safety performance based on 100% HSE, ADNOC Drilling is now exceptionally well placed become even more cost effective and competitive for its clients well into the future. With such outcomes in mind, industry insiders and businesses across the region have taken note of ADNOC Drilling’s growing portfolio of successes, a portfolio likely to inspire similar use cases and success stories across the regional industry in the years ahead.


Editor's Note: This article has been provided by ADNOC Drilling.

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