Technology Highlights

Market-leading Weatherford technologies make us the vendor of choice for oilfield drilling, construction, completions, and production. However, rather than rest upon our technological achievements, we relentlessly improve upon them.

2018 was no different. The following four technologies represent our ongoing drive to help our customers make their operations safer, faster, and more productive.

Magnus® Rotary Steerable System

Introduced in April, our push-the-bit Magnus (RSS) provides operators an advanced well-construction tool that is easier to maintain and has a lower cost to operate. Over the past year, the RSS has proven itself in both onshore and offshore locations. It increased the footage drilled quarter after quarter, and it also doubled circulating hours from the third to the fourth quarter. 

Notably, the RSS has drilled 43 wells to date in four different countries. In Mexico, it displaced competitive technology to finish drilling an onshore well, and in the Permian, it delivered a two-mile lateral with an average on-bottom rate of penetration of more than 100 feet per hour. Additionally, with three planned deployments in the Middle East, the Magnus RSS has generated strong interest.

Vero® automated connection integrity

In October, we launched Vero technology, the industry’s first integrated system for precise makeup and accurate evaluation. By replacing error-prone processes and human judgment with artificial intelligence, the Vero solution enables operators to case and complete wells with enhanced safety, increased efficiency, and validated well integrity.

To date, this world-first solution has made up more than 10,000 connections across 10 countries. The operations have often benefited from faster installation and reduced—if not eliminated—connection damage. Compared to traditional systems, the solution has reduced rig-up and rig-down time by up to 55% and damaged connections by 50% in 20 jobs during 2018. For the first half of 2019, we anticipate completing more than 40 jobs.

TR1P™ Single-trip completion system

Our TR1P system is an unprecedented completions solution that transforms the deepwater risk-and-reward equation with intervention-free operations. By combining radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology with our premium completions equipment, the TR1P system enables installing the upper and lower completion in one trip, which can reduce installation time by 35 to 40%.

Recently in a deepwater well off the coast of West Africa, Weatherford deployed the TR1P system for the first time. Compared to other identical wells previously completed in the same field, the system reduced the total rig time to drill and complete the well by 72 hours, or 3 days. This time reduction equates to millions of dollars saved per well.

Rotaflex® long-stroke pumping unit

Weatherford has taken strategic action to maximize returns for our customers in high-flow production applications. In 2018, we released our new Rotaflex long-stroke pumping unit, which enables our customers to transition to rod lift earlier than ever. Our customers are excited to increase high-flow production with fewer strokes, reduce lifting costs, and streamline maintenance. In fact, we have doubled manufacturing rates to meet this demand.

Also in 2018, we announced our joint alliance with Valiant Artificial Lift Solutions to commercialize electrical submersible pumps (ESPs), which enables us to offer all forms of lift. The first deployment of the Weatherford ESP, powered by Valiant, with a prominent Middle Eastern NOC will include pumps, downhole components, surface equipment, and intelligent production software—something that no other oilfield service company can match.

The Future

In line with our commitment to performance-enhancing technologies, we have upgraded our managed pressure drilling (MPD) portfolio with Industry 4.0 concepts.

Automation, predictive maintenance, and equipment interoperability combine to create MPD solutions for the smart oilfield of the future. Backed by a 2018 track record for 0.04% NPT in 3.5 million operating hours, these MPD solutions help operators and drilling contractors achieve their objectives with unmatched safety and cost savings. To further support drilling revenue, we will continue to pursue opportunities for our Magnus RSS and, in parallel, pull through a considerable amount of formation evaluation work and interpretation services.

For 2019, we plan to offer our customers the next generation of tools for well construction and intervention.

First, we plan to continue the deployment of our Vero® automated connection integrity service to new markets for significant revenue potential. We add to that the world’s first single-trip openhole cementing and sidetrack system, our AlphaST™ solution, which delivers unbeatable reliability by replacing a cement plug with a packer to cement, anchor, and drill off in one trip. In addition, our Dailey drilling jar will now include an exclusive hydraulic lock to prevent premature jarring and reduce drag. And our internal locking mechanism (ILM) for wellheads will reduce leak paths and enable faster, easier installation.

We continue to modernize completions with technologies such as the world’s only TR1P system for single-trip, reduced-cost installations.

Other anticipated forthcoming offerings to help transform the risk-reward equation include COMPLETE℠ solutions, post-TD turnkey services; the OmniCanePT™ pressure/temperature gauge, the world’s smallest fiber-optic monitoring system; and the Xpress liner system, a complete solution for liner-system applications. Beyond that, we will launch the OmniCap™ integrated reservoir-monitoring and capillary-injection solution, an optimized Optimax™ ultra deep-set safety valve for reliability in deep water, a VariForm™ centralizer for ultra-tight and close-tolerance cased holes, and a single-action diverter tool for high-quality cementing in narrow pressure windows.

Going forward, we plan to evolve our ForeSite® production optimization solution from a software platform to an ecosystem, complete with the first intelligent hardware for predicting rod-lift failures and an Edge controller for autonomous well management.

Further, we will promote the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio for high-flow wells, including previously released ESPs and newly launching centrifugal jet pumps. As well, we will continue to promote our high-flow rod-lift solutions, which enable our customers to transition to the most efficient form of lift earlier in the well life cycle.