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Rigged for the future

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Oilfield Technology,

To be competitive in today's oil and gas industry is first and foremost about upgrading the user experience and not by producing new rigs, says Andreas Grydeland Sulejewski, Neptune Software.

Just before the summer, Norwegian oil major Equinor initiated a design competition where key oil service industry players were invited to submit proposals for a new type of rig. According to Equinor, the rig should include modern technology and digital solutions, reduce the company's operating expenses by 50%, as well as reduce the company’s environmental footprint.

Although Neptune Software agree with Equinor that technology can help solve many of today's challenges in the energy industry, we do not necessarily believe that producing brand new rigs is the answer, particularly if another important objective is to make the industry greener.

According to the latest Baker Hughes survey, there are currently significant numbers of cold-stacked rigs around the world, and several drilling companies are struggling. Thus, rather than scraping old rigs and building new ones, installing user-friendly technical solutions on existing rig fleets is not only a cheaper and greener way of dealing with today’s challenges, it can also offer a competitive advantage for the companies that choose to do so.

This technology is already on the market

Neptune Software has developed a low-code software that is already used by a number of Norwegian and international players in the energy industry, including Aker BP, Exxon Mobil, Halliburton, Noble, and Dolphin Drilling to mention a few. The software allows companies to monitor activity, utilisation and productivity onboard. Thus they are capable of evaluating their entire production processes and uncovering areas for improvement, which in turn contributes to cost reductions – for both customers and suppliers.

As an example, employees and maintenance workers can receive continuous updates through a tailored mobile application where all relevant information is collected. The application gives continuous updates on equipment status, fuel consumption and any error messages, which increases the level of efficiency and makes it easier for the company to plan maintenance and repair work. For instance, Dolphin Drilling stated that by investing in a user-friendly and accessible application from Neptune Software the company saved at least ten minutes for each maintenance order.

For Noble, the company designed a customised solution incorporating several different components, including a tailor-made notification system: a panel that describes different work tasks and how they should be carried out as well as providing information on the latest measurements and inspections. Moreover, everything was integrated in one solution that can be extended to fit the company’s wants and needs whenever. Obviously, implementing a new system can seem like an extensive and difficult task, and many may conclude it might be just as easy to build a new rig from scratch. However, building technical solutions is less costly and with today's technology everything is possible. If Equinor and other players are really interested in saving money and contributing to a greener industry, new ideas are required instead of newbuilds. By utilising the technology that is already on the market the rig of the future is already here.

Author: Andreas Grydeland Sulejewski, CEO Neptune Software

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