NOV Banks on Growing Demand for Longer Laterals, Improved Monitoring

NOV Banks on Growing Demand for Longer Laterals, Improved Monitoring

On April 27, 2017, National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) released its Q1’17 results to investors in its quarterly earnings call. During the first quarter, the company booked orders for

  • 75,000 HHP additional hydraulic fracturing equipment, bringing the company’s 2017 total to 150,000 HHP
  • 30 high-spec well servicing rigs, featuring components that optimize a rig’s ability to adapt to a variety of applications, including extended lateral completions
  • 16 NOVOS™ rig operating systems, which automate drilling activities and leverage real-time data for optimizing drilling performance

Highlights from Q1 also included introduction of a new coiled tubing string, two new condition-based monitoring (CBM) systems, and new technology for tubular inspections, as well as two key success stories involving NOV equipment.

New Coiled Tubing String Optimized for Long Laterals

NOV’s new QT-1400™ is the strongest coiled tubing string available on the market today, featuring a specified minimum yield strength of 140,000 psi and an increased resistance to low-cycle fatigue cracking at high pressure. Compared to the QT-1100™ with a 2-inch outer diameter, the QT-1400 offers 54 percent further reach capability, 28 percent stronger internal yield pressure, and 23 percent higher yield load capability. These improvements combine to enhance operational efficiencies in completing and refracturing long laterals.

Advances in Equipment Monitoring

The first quarter saw NOV’s introduction of two real-time condition-based monitoring (CBM) systems for intervention and stimulation equipment.

The CTES™ CBM monitors pump performance, filters, engine health, hydraulic and lubrication systems, and specific bearings on rotating machinery to identify potential failures early, resulting in maximum uptime and reduced maintenance costs.

The Texas Oil Tools™ Stack Monitor delivers real-time data of the entire stack, allowing customers to determine whether coiled tubing blowout preventer (BOP) rams are fully opened or closed while maintaining a safe distance from the operation.

New Drilling Motor Improves Directional Performance

During Q1 NOV introduced a short bit-to-bend downhole drilling motor, the Vector™ Series 50. The new motor’s ERT™ power section enables longer operating hours, tighter curve sections, and less aggressive rotation.

Recently an independent operator in the Permian Basin used the Vector Series 50 to drill two record runs in a row, which included its fastest lateral section ever. The motor delivered 32 percent and 58 percent rate-of-penetration (ROP) improvement of over Reagan County’s five best-performing wells. NOV is planning to add more Series 50 motors to its rental fleet.

New Technology in Tubular Inspections

NOV announced the application of the latest ultrasonic phased array technology to its Tuboscope tubular inspections. Within the pipe body of oil country tubular goods, Tuboscope can now identify transverse, longitudinal, and oblique flaws simultaneously, delivering faster, higher-resolution inspections with advanced operational flexibility.

NOV Equipment Shines in Long Laterals

NOV subsidiary Grant Prideco announced completion of the first commercial run for its newest connection, Delta™. An independent E&P company in the Permian drilled one of its longest, fastest lateral wells in the area using 5-1⁄2-inch S-135 Delta 544 Grant Prideco drill pipe. The equipment enabled operators to drill a clean hole, reducing the open-hole friction factor from 0.34 to 0.24 and allowing them to more easily reach total depth. Following the success of this first run, NOV foresees more widespread adoption of 5-1⁄2-inch drill pipe with Delta connections for horizontal drilling.

In Howard County, Texas, an NOV customer set a record for the longest lateral drilled in the 8-3⁄4-inch section, using a ReedHycalog™ DS616M-T1 drill bit with Permian Series cutters and an Agitator™ system. The bit delivered an average rate of penetration of 79 feet per hour (10,927 feet in 138 hours), drilling 53 percent farther and 7 percent faster than Howard County’s top 10 bit runs.

Looking Ahead

As oil prices stabilize and capex budgets begin to open up, NOV appears poised to capitalize on opportunities in 2017. The company’s focus on equipment optimized for long laterals and on advanced monitoring tools will likely appeal to operators looking to get more out of their investments as they foresee a slow but steady recovery.


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