The Norwegian oil and gas giant said that it is increasing its use of wired drill pipe to gather subsurface real-time data during drilling operations. This, it says is in line with its corporate digitalization strategy and sets it up for automated drilling.

Equinor TPD Drilling & Well head Geir Tungesvik said: “This technology gives us a deeper understanding of what is happening inside and around the well during drilling, and makes it easier to make the right choices, based on real-time data, during the drilling operation.

“We will eliminate expensive mistakes, such as obstructions in the open hole during and after drilling and having to drill sidetracks. It also gives us a better understanding of the reservoirs and enables us to optimise the well placement.”

Both NOV and Schlumberger will provide the IntelliServ Wired Drillpipe for various installations of Equinor.

According to NOV, the agreement was driven by the successfully deployments of version two of Wired Drillpipe, which have shown the value of high-speed telemetry in various applications in Equinor’s working rigs. The initial agreement made by the parties is for three and a half years with five extensions, each of two years.

Equinor expects the total contract value to cross NOK1bn ($117.54m) during the first three years of the contract period.

NOV chairman, president, and CEO Clay Williams said: “As the industry places further emphasis on drilling automation and optimization, high-speed telemetry, which allows data to be transferred instantaneously from downhole to surface operations, is becoming an increasingly critical enabling technology.

“Partnering with a major national oil company interested in standardizing their operations with Wired Drillpipe is a testament to the value it brings versus conventional drillpipe.”

The oil and gas major has also made commitments on the use of wired drill pipe delivered by NOV for specific operations, that include the West Herkules exploration campaign offshore Norway, Mariner in the UK and Transocean Enabler’s drilling campaign on Trestakk.

Estimated value of the work scope is about NOK300m ($35.26m), said Equinor.

NOV claims that version two of IntelliServ Wired Drillpipe is capable of even higher uptime performance while having a design that enables easier handling in demanding drilling operations.