Statoil, Trac ID Deal Marks Breakthrough for RFID in Upstream Industry

Trac ID Systems AS, a Norwegian technology company specialized in development of RFID solutions for the oil & gas industry, has signed a Frame Agreement with Statoil for delivery of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, systems and associated Services to provide cradle to grave tracking of drill pipe for Statoil's operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf with optional deployment to International operations.

The scope of the Frame agreement includes roll-out of Trac ID's Drilling Operations Tracking System (DOTS) to Statoil's drilling operations, delivery and installation of Trac ID's field proven RFID tags (TracTag) for down hole equipment, as well as management of vital drill pipe data across the different operations.

For Statoil, taking this technology into use is an important step towards improved efficiency and quality control in drilling operations, and is part of Statoil's Intelligent and Safe Well Construction (ISWC) program. Knowing exactly what equipment is in the well, where it is, what it has been exposed to and in which condition it is, is crucial to achieve the required level of automation and at the same time secure efficiency and safety in drilling operations. The implementation of RFID based lifecycle tracking for drill pipe reduces the risk for drill string failures and unexpected events caused by use of non-compliant equipment. This will significantly reduce HSE risks and expensive non-productive time in drilling operations.

The DOTS system, which enables lifecycle tracking of drill pipe, is the result of a 5 year joint industry development project between Trac ID, Statoil, Eni and ConocoPhillips, and has been commercialized for the industry by Trac ID. The unique system is using RFID technology to automatically identify each individual drill pipe joint entering and leaving the well, generating a 100% correct well inventory (Drill string tally). Based on a combination of tally and real time data from the drilling control system, the DOTS system accumulates and stores usage data and calculates fatigue development for each individual drill pipe joint in real time during the drilling operation. With information continuously updated throughout the value chain (drilling, inspection, maintenance), one can control the condition of the entire drill string before, during and after the drilling operation and reduce the risk of drill string failures. In addition, the system verifies the status of each individual element before entering the well, preventing the use of non-compliant equipment.

For the Oil & Gas industry, this frame agreement is an important step towards full utilization of the potential of RFID technology within the oil & gas business. It is a clear message to the entire upstream industry that the technology is available, and that innovative companies like Statoil are ready to harvest the benefits. Trac ID is currently in discussions with other international and local E&P companies which are interested in the DOTS technology.