Energy services provider 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 – the equivalent of 58 transatlantic flights.
While the oil and gas industry has introduced many digital innovations, tubular running services (TRS) is an area which has historically lagged. Expro, however, is driving greater rig floor automation thanks to its iTONG™ system. 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 iTONG system is the industry’s most technologically advanced single push button tubular make-up solution which allows the operator to control, execute, verify, and validate every connection make-up via a tablet or 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 – the equivalent of removing 58 10-hour flights from Oslo to Houston over the course of a year.
Expro experts are on hand this week at Stand 2200 at ONS 2022 in Stavanger to discuss the system with conference delegates.
Jeremy Angelle, Vice President, Well Construction, said: “iTONG offers seamless integration into existing automated rig operations and marks a key step toward fully autonomous tubular running. Digital solutions are increasingly being deployed to enhance operations, improve reliability for well integrity, and reduce personnel on the rig floor, which is resulting in improved safety and efficiency, with lower operational costs across the industry.
“Thanks to systems like iTONG, our highly skilled research and development teams are leading the industry in improving safety, reducing emissions and increasing savings across the globe. Some 47% of our R&D spend is directly allocated to carbon reduction projects, which shows our dedication to helping energy companies hit their targets.
“Not only does iTONG enhance the industry’s ability to improve service quality and reliability, but it is also a paradigm shift that revolutionizes the tubular running process, providing a fully autonomous solution to deliver operational excellence.”
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. Further studies revealed the technology can save an estimated 50 hours of rig time per year, which would equate to nearly $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 artificial intelligence to make data-driven decisions, ultimately determining whether the make-up has been successful.
Earlier this year, Expro received a Spotlight on New Technology® Award for its Autonomous Well Intervention System Galea™ at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, while last month it was announced Expro had been commissioned by a consortium formed by Ed. Züblin AG and Huisman Geo B.V, drilling and geothermal energy specialists, to deliver an integrated well services program for a new geothermal power plant in the Upper Rhine valley in Germany.
That partnership came as part of the company’s long-term strategy to continue to invest in transforming its business portfolio and reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, as well as its stated aim of achieving Net Zero by 2050 with a 50% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030.