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World’s first fully automated land rig drills first well

World’s first fully automated land rig drills first well


Nabors Industries Ltd. has announced its PACE®-R801 – the world’s first fully automated land drilling rig – has reached total depth on its first well, a horizontal well for ExxonMobil in the Permian Basin.

XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, contracted PACE-R801 to drill three horizontal wells on a test pad in Midland County, Texas, US.

This first well was drilled to a total measured depth of 19 917 ft. Consistent with the practices of drillers and operators on test pads, Nabors and ExxonMobil do not plan to publish performance data and results.

Jason Gahr, Operations Manager for Unconventional Drilling at ExxonMobil, said: “ExxonMobil’s collaboration with Nabors in deploying this automated rig in Midland demonstrates the ability to optimize drilling using the combined power of robotics, automation, computing, and data. This is a great example of enhancing the safety, efficiency and environmental performance of our operations through innovative technologies”.

Anthony Petrello, Chairman, President and CEO of Nabors, said: “There’s nothing else in the world like the PACE-R801 concept rig. Its combination of advanced automation, digitalization and robotics represents a trifecta solution for an industry pursuing the highest levels of safety, efficiency and environmental performance in order to attain ESG goals. Thank you to all our employees, partners and stakeholders that helped make this a reality.

“Successfully drilling with the world’s first fully automated land drilling rig marks the culmination of a five-year engineering journey for Nabors. The experience and insights gained from this concept rig will be used to forge the next generation of Nabors technology and to continuously improve the digital, automation and robotics solutions we already have in the field.”

Travis Purvis, Senior Vice President, Global Drilling, said: “Nabors is known as a technology leader and the PACE-R801 is an outcome of our commitment to innovating the future of energy. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner than ExxonMobil for this history making milestone. We share the same vision for safety, efficiency, sustainability, technology and innovation and want to thank ExxonMobil for their continued partnership.”

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE.  

Published: 15-10-2021

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