Badger Explorer ASA has successfully completed the first part of its Demo50 full scale prototype test at the test site in Denmark. The tests, which have been performed onshore in an area with relevant geology, show encouraging results and prove that the area and the prototype unit are well-suited for the rest of the Demo50 tests to be performed during the second half of this year.
"The achievements verify the design and the capabilities of the technology at this stage and represent yet another step towards a commercial launch of Badger Explorer. We will now proceed with the assembling of the semi-autonomous drilling unit, which will undergo a sub-terranean self-burying drilling test at the same site in Q3 this year," said CEO Kjell Erik Drevdal.
The Badger Explorer is a revolutionary new method/device for hydrocarbon exploration, providing a substantial lower risk, cost and complexity than utilizing an expensive drilling rig. The Badger Explorer technology is subject to a lot of attention in the industry, both among authorities as well as large and small industry players from all over the world. The method/device will also lower the risk for environmental pollution and greatly reduce the disturbances commonly associated with exploration activities.
Among the company`s technology development partners and steering committee members are the oil companies Exxon Mobil, Shell and StatoilHydro. These companies have previously secured first right of refusal to buy the full manufacturing and operational capacity of Badger Explorers at market price for a period of three years from commercialization (Shell pending signature). Calidus Engineering Ltd., the company in which Badger Explorer acquired a 50% stake December 2007, is now contributing to a large extent by delivering sophisticated hydraulic and electrical power systems as well as integrated electronic control systems.
The Demo50 tests completed in the second quarter focused mainly on the following modules/functions; drilling and pump module and cuttings/ fluid transportation. In addition, the purpose of the tests was to gain operational experience from the test site and the area, associate with suppliers of services and equipment, test improved techniques in separating cuttings and fluid, and verify the suitability of the geology for further testing. All were satisfactorily accomplished ultimo June 2008 and all assumptions were verified.
BXPL are now proceeding with further assembling of the prototype in order to initiate and complete testing of a semi-autonomous drilling unit within the third quarter 2008.
The target for the first commercial Badger Explorer is to be launched during 1H 2010. The oil and gas market is developing in favour of Badger Explorer, as underlined with all-time high oil prices, and the demand for such a viable concept is continuously being strengthened.
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