WorldWide Drilling Resource

36 MAY 2022 WorldWide Drilling Resource® The World’s First Fully Automated Land Drilling Rig Breaks Ground Adapted from Information by Nabors Industries Ltd. Nabors Industries Ltd. announced its PACE®-R801 - the world’s first fully automated land drilling rig - has reached total depth on its first well, a horizontal well for ExxonMobil in the Permian Basin. Using Nabors proprietary Smart Suite of automated drilling software along with Canrig® robotics on this rig creates an unmanned rig floor removing crews from red zone areas while delivering consistent, predictable drilling performance. Similar to concept vehicles in the automobile industry, this particular configuration is built to showcase Nabors’ technology and push the boundaries of industry performance and possibilities. Insights gained from the PACE-R801 have been used to innovate and advance the next generation of technologies which focus on safety, efficiency, and the environment. In fact, the company’s SmartDRILL™ and SmartSLIDE™ drilling automation software was developed through the PACE-R801 initiative. Utilization of the full suite of Nabors drilling automation software - which includes SmartDRILL and SmartSLIDE - reduced drilling days for operators by four in the Permian and Williston Basins and has shown promise to reduce drilling emissions. Crew size on the PACE-R801 is similar to other Nabors rigs, but the duties change. One drill operator is required to supervise the operations of the rig while others continue to perform essential tasks, such as service, maintenance, inspections, and rig moves. The important thing is the crews are no longer in red zone areas. The advanced rig and its technologies provided opportunities for employees to learn a new skill, expanding the industry’s workforce. XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, contracted the PACE-R801 to drill three horizontal wells on a test pad in Midland County, Texas, as part of its own research and development efforts. This first well was drilled to a total measured depth of 19,917 feet. Jason Gahr, operations manager for unconventional drilling at ExxonMobil said, “ExxonMobil’s collaboration with Nabors in deploying this automated rig in Midland demonstrates the ability to optimize drilling using the combined power of robotics, automation, computing, and data. This is a great example of enhancing the safety, efficiency, and environmental performance of our operations through innovative technologies.” Anthony Petrello, chairman, president and CEO of Nabors said, “There’s nothing else in the world like the PACE-R801 concept rig. Its combination of advanced automation, digitalization, and robotics represents a trifecta solution for an industry pursuing the highest levels of safety, efficiency, and environmental performance . . . Successfully drilling with the world’s first fully automated land drilling rig marks the culmination of a five-year engineering journey for Nabors. The experience and insights gained from this concept rig will be used to forge the next generation of Nabors technology and to continuously improve the digital, automation, and robotics solutions we already have in the field.” G&O