Drilling tool specialist Paradigm Drilling Services has secured a quarter of a million pounds worth of funding through the Technology Strategy Board to progress its pioneering drilling tool solutions.
The Smart development of prototype grant will allow the Aberdeenshire-based firm to develop novel Rotary Traction Systems for use in extended reach horizontal drilling as well as in completion applications. It will part-fund a project which is estimated to cost £760,000, involving the design, development, testing and evaluation of the new drilling and completion tractors.
Fraser Innes, Chairman and CEO of Paradigm Drilling Services, said: “Drilling activity is becoming more complex as operators look to access more isolated reserves which often involve horizontal drilling. Our Rotary Traction Systems are a step change in thinking as we push the boundaries of horizontal drilling. The success of this project has the potential to fundamentally change the way we drill very long horizontal and extended reach drilling wells. The Smart grant will allow us to further our prototype and we are excited to progress this with the support of the Technology Strategy Board.”
The development of Paradigm’s drilling and completion tractors will increase the rate of penetration (ROP) by translating rotary motion into forward traction. This will give more consistent weight on bit and remove stick slip, making horizontal drilling much easier.
In completions, the firm is addressing the issue of running and retrieving ultra-long complex horizontal completions more effectively, ruling out the possibility of string rotation which in many cases cannot be retrieved after a certain point in the installation process.
Paradigm Drilling Services has been awarded an upgraded American Petroleum Institute license to include design engineering and welding as well as manufacturing and also holds both ISO 9001 and FPAL certifications.
Smart is a Technology Strategy Board scheme offering funding to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to engage in R&D projects in the strategically important areas of science, engineering and technology, from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. The Smart scheme supports R&D projects which offer potentially significant rewards and could stimulate UK economic growth.
Paradigm Drilling Services, a subsidiary of Netherlands based Paradigm Group, designs, rents, sells and repairs drilling tools for the global oil and gas industry in-house.
The company reported a turnover of £2.2 million in 2011 and is expected to double this in 2012. A recruitment drive is underway with more than 40 people now in place and plans for a further 10 before the end of next year.