ExxonMobil Upstream Research has signed a joint development agreement with Hunting’s Titan Division to develop new autonomous tools technology focused on creating a step-change in well construction and intervention efficiency. The companies said they expect to produce the first commercial autonomous tools in a few years, with initial tools focused on perforating and pipe-cutting devices.
“We are continually researching and exploring new technologies, and autonomous tools is just one of several areas that ExxonMobil has been developing to increase well construction efficiency and improve safety,” said Sara Ortwein, President of ExxonMobil Upstream Research. “We are looking forward to working with Hunting on this new partnership to jointly develop autonomous tools technology utilizing their strengths as a leader in the energetic tools area.”
The agreement brings together Hunting Titan Division’s equipment manufacturing capabilities and expertise in tool development, energetics and safety systems and ExxonMobil’s autonomous tools technology and expertise in an onboard navigation system.
“Cooperation with ExxonMobil in this effort exemplifies technology breakthroughs so necessary to lower cost, improve production and share skill sets within our respective companies,” Hunting COO Jim Johnson said.
Autonomous tools eliminate the need for communication or physical connection of tools back to the surface using a proprietary onboard navigation system. Once the devices reach the target depth, the tools then perform designated actions. The unique design dramatically reduces the time required to perform multiple operations during drilling, completion, workover and abandonment activities.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, the new technology has potential to provide reduced costs, improved equipment utilization and simplification of logistics for remote locations.