Monthly eNewsletter from the IADC

Recap: 2023 Advanced Rig Technology Conference & Exhibition

On 14-15 September, IADC held the 2023 Advanced Rig Technology Conference & Exhibition at the Mövenpick Hotel in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This event served as a leading forum to explore the state of the art in rig technology, downhole operations, and integrating the two seamlessly with minimal human intervention. The event also reviewed the activities of the IADC ART Committee, which has steadily advanced drilling technology by exploring future technology, drilling control systems, automation, questions of reliability, and more. The committee has developed operational guidelines, assessed pros and cons of advanced drilling technology, and developed new definitions.

This year, the conference program focused on automation, human factors, robotics and rig technology, sustainable operations and energy efficiency, and more. The opening and keynote presentations were given by: 

  • Najeeb AlAbdulrahman, Vice President & Chief Drilling Engineer, Saudi Aramco
  • Ahmed Waguih, Director of Digital Drilling, SLB
  • Håkon Klepsvik, CTO, Odfjell Drilling 
  • Caroline Marie Alting, Senior Vice President Operational Excellence, Noble

Drilling Contractor Interviews from the 2023 Advanced Rig Technology Conference

Energy efficiency, human factors among key topics tackled by IADC ART Committee

At the IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Conference in Amsterdam on 15 September, DC spoke with ART Committee Co-Chairs Blaine Dow and Sarah Kern about their key takeaways from the conference, as well as ongoing and potential new projects under the Energy Efficiency Subcommittee and the Data, Controls and Sensors Subcommittee.

Seadrill project illustrates importance of human performance in implementing rig automation systems

Last year, Seadrill upgraded its West Saturn drillship with automated systems to boost performance and energy efficiency. The rig, which is currently operating offshore Brazil, illustrates that the human factors influencing the success of automated systems are just as important as the technologies being installed, said John Dady, Director of Technical Services at Seadrill.

In this interview with DC, Mr. Dady discusses the performance improvements Seadrill has been able to achieve with automated systems on the West Saturn. He also speaks about the ways in which automation changes the nature of a driller’s job, and the importance of communication among drillers, operators, and service companies for automation projects.

Modular dual jack lifting system designed to aid decom activity

To help operators better handle decommissioning challenges, Voll Marintek has developed its “Lean Machine” dual jack lifting system. Dennis Vollmar, Company Director, describes the system as a hybrid solution between a hydraulic workover unit and a modular drilling rig. It contains a series of modules designed to cover specific plug and abandonment tasks that can be stacked on top of one another, allowing users to perform sequential tasks at the wellsite, as opposed to mobilizing specialized equipment or workover rigs for each task.

In this interview, Mr. Vollmar explains the key differentiators between the Lean Machine and a standard modular rig. He also discusses the impact the system can have on nonproductive time during decommissioning activity, as well as the next steps the company plans to take before bringing the system to market.

Rystad forecasts long-term drilling activity decline will begin in 2025

The oil and gas industry has seen a strong post-pandemic comeback, with upstream CAPEX increasing by 50% since 2020, according to Rystad Energy. However, the firm estimates a decline in drilling activity over the long term, starting in 2025, said Reza Kazmi, Senior Analyst and Product Manager, Global Drilling and Wells Research. He attributes this decline to impacts that energy transition strategies will have on global oil demand. In this interview, Mr. Kazmi explains the specific factors behind the anticipated drilling activity decline and talks about how geothermal drilling and digitalization represent opportunities for the drilling industry to positively position themselves in a shifting landscape.

Thank you to everyone who attended, presented, exhibited, sponsored, and organized this conference!