Norway’s Badger Explorer ASA has signed a sponsorship agreement with Chevron Energy Technology Company, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (“Chevron”), whereby the company will co-sponsor the development of the Badger autonomous drilling tool through the Badger Explorer Demonstrator Program.
The objective of the Demonstrator Program is to move Badger technology from the prototype stage to a viable and robust commercial product. The existing sponsors have previously signed similar agreements.
“We are delighted to welcome Chevron on board as our third sponsor. BXPL has achieved several important technical milestones during 2012, coming several steps closer to our first commercial service. We believe a sponsorship group consisting of three major international operators illustrates the ultimate value of the development”, says David Blacklaw, CEO of BXPL.
The signed sponsorship agreements are the formal basis for the Badger Explorer Demonstrator Program with the objective of establishing a design basis for the next generation tool, where lessons learned from the prototype project will be implemented. A significant part of the Demonstrator Program is dedicated to the development and the configuration of commercial applications, such as sensors and instrumentation that can identify hydrocarbons and that can be used for long-term reservoir monitoring and management.
Other contributors to the Demonstrator Program include Innovation Norway, whose 20 MNOK award was announced in November 2011. In addition, negotiations with other oil companies are ongoing and BXPL aims to have four to five sponsors in total.
BXPL aims to deliver the first field pilots of the drilling tool on a commercial basis after the completion of the Demonstrator Program. These field pilots are the subject of a separate project, to which the Research Council of Norway has awarded support totaling 8 MNOK.
The sponsorship agreement with Chevron strengthens the Badger Explorer Demonstrator Program, and will accelerate development of the technology.
The Badger Explorer is a new formation and reservoir evaluation tool which drills into the subsurface without the risks, cost and complexity of drilling an exploration well with a rig.
The tool drills into the subsurface and buries itself. It features a slim electrically powered drilling system and carries sensors, which continuously record data producing logs while drilling, and providing continuous, long-term data in surveillance mode.
The Badger Explorer consists of the following main functions:
– drill bit driven by an electro-motor and gear
– cutting transport, deposition andcompression
– spooled cable, through which power is supplied to the tool and data transferred to surface.
Its development is based on the use of proven technology, combined with proprietary solutions.
It is a non-reusable exploration tool that remains permanently underground.
January 22, 2013