Nabors Industries announced the introduction of its Navigator™ software platform after two years of successful testing on more than 100 horizontal wells in North America. The Navigator™ steering, visualization and tracking program provides a step-change improvement in the directional drilling process. Using Navigator™, operators can make faster, more accurate directional decisions and efficiently place their wells in the target zone. The Navigator™ platform automatically documents every directional drilling decision, and evaluates directional performance, assigning accountability and identifying areas for improvement.
Accurate well placement is critical for operators drilling horizontal wells in unconventional formations. The curve must be landed at the right depth, and laterals– which can be longer than 10,000 ft — must be drilled precisely through the most productive intervals. In traditional operations, success depends on the skills and experience of the directional driller and the quality of directional decisions made as each stand is drilled.
The results of this process can be inconsistent, with incomplete documentation of decisions making it difficult to analyze performance on a given well and hard to identify areas that need improvement. Additionally, using the traditional process, oil company operators can recommend rules or best practices but have no means to enforce them or verify whether they have been followed.
The Navigator™ platform is an automated directional drilling workflow that serves as a digital advisor, a documenter and a performance tracker. It calculates directional drilling instructions to keep the well within the target window, documents all decisions and actions taken and rates performance at each stand against quantifiable KPIs. Further, the operator can set best practices and rules for each well that are programmed into the Navigator™ platform so that its recommendations will always comply with the operator’s set parameters.
The Navigator™ platform provides real-time 3-D visualization of the well path in relation to the planned well trajectory. This 3-D visualization is used on location to understand the situation downhole and is shared with directional and geosteering experts at remote operations centers, who can intervene at any time to avoid problems and optimize performance.
Automated directional instructions reduce reliance on the skills and experience of individual directional drillers. At the rig site, directional drillers can achieve better results when supported by the platform’s consistent recommendations. By using the Navigator™ platform, a single directional expert in a remote operations center can supervise well placement on several rigs operating in different locations.
“Navigator’s improved workflow can create significant value for operators,” said Chris Papouras, President, Nabors Drilling Solutions. “More accurate well placement results in greater contact with the reservoir, increased production rates and higher ultimate recovery,” he added. “And consistent directional decisions can also result in better hole quality, higher penetration rates and lower drilling costs.”
On Nabors rigs, the Navigator™ platform combines the directional drilling process into an integrated workflow that links to the rig’s automated control system and provides an objective means of evaluating performance, including thorough documentation.
The Navigator™ platform is backed by Nabors’ technical resources — as a leading drilling contractor, developer of rig equipment and controls and as a provider of directional services and advanced LWD technology.
About Nabors Industries
Nabors Industries (NYSE: NBR) owns and operates the world’s largest land-based drilling rig fleet and is a provider of offshore platform rigs in the United States and numerous international markets. Nabors also provides directional drilling services, performance tools and innovative technologies for its own rig fleet and those of third parties. Leveraging our advanced drilling automation capabilities, Nabors highly skilled workforce continues to set new standards for operational excellence and transform our industry.