“Testing of new equipment is essential for innovation and for bringing new products faster to the market. This state- of-the-art testing facility will play a vital part in enabling the oil and gas industry to be more efficient and sustainable”, says Rune Johnsen, Managing Director of NOV Norway.
Recently, NOV presented their new test facility, co-located with the NOV assembly and repair center in Søgne, just outside of Kristiansand.
Removing humans from the dirty and dangerous work on the drill floor of an oil rig has been a priority for NOV and other equipment suppliers for years. When introducing robots in drilling operations, NOV is pairing known technology with custom-made add-ons.
At the test center, Technical Manager Peder Sletfjerding demonstrated how an NOV-manufactured grip-and-spin module is added to a generic robot to produce a fully automated drill floor assembly unit – with higher speed and accuracy than humanly possible. And perhaps even more importantly; without human involvement.
“Tasks performed by the robot have previously cost human fingers and other limbs. Our goal is not only to make drill floor operations more efficient, but also safer,” says Sletfjerding. He heads NOV’s Norwegian robotics team of eight people, which is matched by the same number in the US.
Another NOV invention is a 7-ton flywheel, named Power- Blade, designed to absorb, store, and provide energy to relieve diesel generators when power demand shifts rapidly.
“PowerBlade increases operational speed by 10 percent and reduces energy consumption by 25 percent. It does wonders for energy cost and reduces the environmental footprint,” says Anders Hodne, Vice President Sales Eastern Hemisphere.
In Søgne, NOV has room for testing six PowerBlade units in parallel before sending them to the market.
Tom Fidjeland, CEO of GCE NODE, recently visited the lab, which is at a location where he has spent years as an NOV employee.
“I am impressed, both by the technology and the facility. NOV is continuously improving the oil and gas industry with safer, more efficient, and emissions-reducing competency and technology. Their willingness to invest in test facilities – here in Søgne and also in Arendal – displays a commitment to the industry and to the region,” says Fidjeland.