Equinor (EQNR), SLB Reach Milestone in Autonomous Drilling

Equinor ASA EQNR and SLB SLB have achieved a milestone in autonomous drilling operations during a well section drilling offshore Brazil.

The achievement is considered the most autonomous drilling operation to date, showcasing the successful integration of digital technologies.

SLB’s digital technologies were used for surface automation and autonomous drilling, allowing 99% of a 2.6-kilometer section to be drilled in autonomous control. This led to a 60% increase in drilling speed over five wells, making well delivery faster, and cutting costs and carbon emissions.

The achievement was accomplished at Equinor’s Peregrino C platform, a significant step toward fully autonomous drilling operations. Equinor, holding a 60% operating interest in the Peregrino heavy-oil field, collaborated with SLB to conduct a five-well program.

The achievement underscores the industry’s progression toward fully autonomous drilling operations, leveraging artificial intelligence and advanced digital workflows. The integration of interconnected autonomous software packages proved instrumental in optimizing drilling efficiency.

The autonomous workflows involved using various components, such as the DrillPilot software, for automating pipe handling and equipment sequencing on the rig floor. AI-driven technology in the DrillOps automation solution improved on-bottom drilling performance, while Neuro autonomous solutions determined the best trajectory and provided well plans.

These plans were executed precisely by adjusting steering sequences and drilling parameters, as outlined by the comprehensive well construction planning solution, DrillPlan. The cloud-based applications, DrillOps and DrillPlan, are part of the Delfi digital platform. This platform seamlessly combines apps, AI, physics-based science, and flowing data to enhance exploration, development, drilling, production and new energy operations.

This accomplishment is a big step toward making fully autonomous drilling the standard. Teamwork among experts and advanced tech is making drilling safer, more reliable and efficient, while cutting down on the carbon footprint in the oil and gas sector.

Zacks Ranks & Stocks to Consider

Equinor currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Investors interested in the energy sector may look at some better-ranked companies mentioned below. The three companies presently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Vaalco Energy EGY is an independent energy company principally engaged in the acquisition, exploration, development and production of crude oil and natural gas.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for EGY’s 2024 EPS is pegged at $1.49. It has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2024 in the past 60 days. The company’s earnings for 2024 are expected to surge 325.7% year over year.

Energy Transfer ET is a publicly traded limited partnership focused on diverse energy assets in the U.S. Their core operations involve natural gas midstream services, transportation, storage, crude oil facilities and marketing assets.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ET’s 2024 EPS is pegged at $1.17. It has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2024 in the past 30 days. The company’s earnings for 2024 are expected to rise 13.5% year over year.

Disclaimer: This article has been written with the assistance of Generative AI. However, the author has reviewed, revised, supplemented, and rewritten parts of this content to ensure its originality and the precision of the incorporated information.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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