The Drill Must Go On


No matter how quickly governments and companies move to a fossil fuel free future, here will continue to be a demand for carbon-based energy. The challenge, then, is to find ways to make drilling for liquid energy, primarily oil, less of an environmental danger. Preparing the drilling site, and the drills themselves, in an environmentally sound and safe way is a start.

While the oil and gas industry has introduced many digital innovations, TRS (tubular running services), the making up of the drill casing tubes, is an area which has historically lagged. However, companies that service the wellhead are driving for greater rig floor automation. Thanks to its iTONG system, Expro is leading industry efforts to meet environmental targets with the development of a digital technology that can help drilling contractors and operators cut an estimated 146 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

In addition to cutting emissions, the iTONG system is designed to help protect personnel and is estimated to save operators nearly 50 hours of rig time and $2 million annually, per installation. The system is the industry’s most technologically advanced single push button tubular make-up solution that allows the operator to control, execute, verify, and validate every connection make-up via a tablet or from their control chair. It ensures joints of casing and tubing can be made to a specific torque, or broken out in an automated sequence, with the single push of a button.

With a reduction in the number of personnel required for tubing operations, a rig using iTONG can reduce annual emissions from rig time, travel, and accommodation by an estimated 146 tons a year. iTONG offers seamless integration into existing automated rig operations and marks a key step toward fully autonomous tubular running.

The technology has undergone significant field trials on a high-efficiency jack-up rig in the North Sea, taking part in 22 jobs, resulting in more than 1,600 connections being made. Studies revealed the technology can save an estimated 50 hours of rig time per year, which would equate to just shy of $2 million annually and 52 return helicopter flights for TRS crews.

In a further example of the company’s commitment to driving the industry forward, iTONG is coupled with Expro’s iCAM torque-turn tubular connection make-up system, which uses AI (artificial intelligence) to make data-driven decisions, ultimately determining whether the make-up has been successful.

System benefits

  • Reduced environmental impact – a rig using iTONG for all casing and tubing operations is calculated to reduce annual CO2 emissions from rig time, travel, and accommodation by about 146 tons a year
  • Integrates seamlessly with the iCAM system to offer AI-powered tubular connection analysis and control to ensure connections are made up right the first time, every time
  • Reduces HSE risks through automated tong operations, removing the need for people to enter the red zone during make-up or breakout operations
  • Achieves optimal make-up parameters that ensure the lasting integrity of connections to maintain wellbore isolation and attain desired production life
  • Enables consistent, uninterrupted operations and combines currently sequential operations to reduce connection times

Working for clients across the well lifecycle, Expro is a leading provider of energy services, offering cost-effective, innovative solutions and what the Company considers to be best-in-class safety and service quality. The Company’s extensive portfolio of capabilities spans well construction, well flow management, subsea well access, and well intervention and integrity solutions.

Today, Expro’s wells expertise and technologies are transferable to the low carbon and renewable energy industry. As the energy industry seeks to address the challenges of tomorrow, Expro believes it is well positioned to play a leading role in enabling its clients to achieve their carbon reduction goals in support of theenergy transition.

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