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Noble, GE partner on Digital Rig solution to improve operational productivity

Noble Corporation and GE have jointly announced a partnership to collaborate on an advanced data analytics system for offshore drilling rigs known as the Digital Rig solution. The Digital Rig solution aims to significantly improve the operational productivity of Noble’s drilling rigs.  By utilizing data analytics to make asset management more efficient, the Digital Rig solution will allow Noble to better manage the asset lifecycle and provide a more productive drilling operation for operators.

The agreement calls for GE to initially deploy its latest digital asset performance management system on four Noble drilling rigs as part of a fleet pilot program. The expected efficiencies captured through the implementation of the Digital Rig solution target a 20% reduction in repair and maintenance expenditures across the pilot rigs. The “data-driven drilling” model created by combining Noble’s operational knowledge with GE’s advanced data analytics system will have a transformative impact on the entire drilling ecosystem, including:

  • Enhanced drilling process efficiency – Foresight of asset anomalies and drilling process deviations to reduce operational disruptions and enhance performance consistency.
  • Shift to predictive asset management – Redefinition of maintenance strategies, with a focus on predictive asset management to achieve long-term, sustainable operational expenditure reductions across the fleet.
  • Reduction of third-party service costs – Anytime, anywhere rig visibility and insights that leverage the one-to-many impact of shore-based experts to reduce third-party service costs.

“It is time for the industry to rethink the drilling ecosystem. Offshore companies must adapt to industry disruptions by leveraging digital solutions to counteract the current downswing and for readiness to scale during a market upswing,” said Tim Schweikert, President and CEO, GE’s Marine Solutions. “Industry-wide collaboration underpins a solid digital future. Together, we are stronger and will get there faster. It is a privilege to partner with Noble, and we are looking forward to delivering the results enabled by the digital age.”

The Digital Rig solution processes operational data from critical assets utilizing GE’s data models and advanced analytics to detect anomalies – often a sign of potential failure or performance degradation. These anomalies can potentially be detected weeks ahead and can provide an early warning to operators to prevent the problem before it occurs.

“The Digital Rig will enhance our drilling process efficiencies,” Ron Swan, Director of Worldwide Maintenance for Noble Drilling, told DC. “GE will provide the data scientists, the tools and mechanisms to predict trends within the maintenance system and Noble’s role will be to assess and maintain the rig as per the predictions.” The Digital Rig will monitor the drilling systems, power management systems and jackup system on the pilot rigs, Mr Swan added.

As the system continues to learn, the Digital Rig solution will be able to gauge and predict the asset’s condition in order to enable a shift from planned to predictive maintenance. Empowered by innovative software-based analysis, maintenance is exercised when there is evidence of need. By reducing unnecessary or excessive maintenance, the partners believe the transition to predictive maintenance will create cost-savings, mitigate the risk of maintenance-induced problems, reduce downtime, and increase drilling productivity.

In addition, the Digital Rig solution will provide real-time asset data to onshore experts around the globe. These experts will be able to actively monitor aspects of the drilling process and will have foresight and visibility into the condition of the assets. By allowing onshore experts to remotely diagnose and advise offshore personnel of issues before they occur, there is a potential to reduce third-party service costs.

“With shifting market dynamics, the offshore industry is on the cusp of change. Drilling contractors must seize the moment to enhance their competitive edge,” said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and CEO of Noble Corporation. “We believe the shift to data-driven decisions will have a significant effect on drilling efficiencies. It is imperative for our industry to embrace the digital revolution to stay efficient and nimble, and Noble is leading the way. We look forward to developing our Digital Rig solution with GE.”

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