Transocean has signed an agreement with Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor to license and install automated drilling control (ADC) systems on five rigs.

The agreement will involve the installation of ADC systems on four high-specification, harsh environment rigs and one semi-submersible.

Four rigs are currently on contract in Norway and the fifth rig is expected to begin operations in the Norwegian sea this year.

Transocean’s decision to install ADC systems comes as the Transocean Enabler, which was earlier equipped with the system in 2017, delivered improvements in overall drilling efficiency and cost-effective wells for Equinor.

“The ADC upgrades advance our automation efforts and further enhance our industry-leading fleet of high-specification, harsh environment semisubmersibles.”

The system has also demonstrated enhanced well integrity, and safety and operations assurance.

Transocean president and CEO Jeremy Thigpen said: “The ADC upgrades advance our automation efforts and further enhance our industry-leading fleet of high-specification, harsh environment semisubmersibles.

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“We are delighted to work alongside Equinor and our suppliers as we continue to identify and realise opportunities to deliver safer, higher quality and lower cost wells for our customers.”

Transocean Spitsbergen, Transocean Norge, Transocean Encourage, Transocean Equinox and Transocean Endurance are the other upgraded floaters in Transocean’s fleet.

The company combined different technologies from MHWirth, NOV and Sekal to develop the ADC systems.

The technologies enable increased penetration rates while drilling, highly stable bottom hole pressures avoiding swab/surge effects and early detection of kick/loss events.

The company operates a fleet of 48 mobile offshore drilling units comprising 31 ultra-deepwater floaters, 13 harsh environment floaters, and four midwater floaters.