Wintershall Sponsors Badger Explorer Drilling System
Badger Explorer ASA (“BXPL”) has signed a sponsorship agreement with Wintershall Holding GmbH, acting through Wintershall Norge AS (“Wintershall”), whereby the company will co-sponsor the development of the Badger autonomous drilling tool through the Badger Explorer Demonstrator Program.
The Demonstrator Program aims to move Badger technology from the prototype stage to a viable and robust commercial product. Chevron, ExxonMobil and Statoil have signed similar sponsorship agreements.
“We are delighted that Wintershall is our fourth sponsor of the Badger Explorer Demonstrator Program. During 2012 BXPL have achieved several important technical milestones, coming closer to the first BXPL commercial service. The sponsorship group, consisting of Chevron, ExxonMobil, Statoil and Wintershall, 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.
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 subject of a separate project, to which the Research Council of Norway has awarded support totaling 8 MNOK.
The sponsorship agreement with Wintershall further strengthens the Badger Explorer Demonstrator Program, and will accelerate the development of the Badger 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.
Press Release, February 26, 2013