Weatherford Unveils New Managed Pressure Drilling Technology

Weatherford Unveils New Managed Pressure Drilling Technology
The Houston-based oilfield services company launches a new intelligent managed pressure drilling (MPD) technology which can be deployed in deepwater, shallow water or on land.

Weatherford International debuted what it touted its “biggest drilling announcement of the year” at possibly the biggest stage of the year – Houston’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC).

Set with a stage, speakers and even an official countdown, the Houston-based oilfield services company introduced to OTC attendees the Victus Intelligent MPD.

“What we’re launching today is a paradigm shift in the way managed pressure drilling (MPD) will be delivered to our customers,” Etienne Roux, Weatherford’s president of drilling and evolution said.

Victus is said to integrate rig equipment for machine-to-machine communication, real-time analysis of downhole conditions, and rapid automated responses from a central location. It can be deployed in deepwater, shallow water or land and will help operators to combat their drilling challenges.

“For 50 years, Weatherford has been designing and developing MPD … if you take the sum of all the years of all our engineering personnel, it’s over 800 years of accumulated experience,” said Weatherford’s vice president of managed pressure drilling Anthony Spinler.

That experience helped create Victus.  

Spinler, who joined Weatherford about one year ago, said he noticed the company wasn’t presenting itself very well in the market and needed to better focus on customers and outcomes. 

“As I was talking to customers, I found that not everybody had a full understanding of MPD,” Spinler told Rigzone. “So Victus is part of us realizing we needed to put everything together to make sure we’re explaining MPD well, serving our customers well and explaining the solutions.”

In a recently published column, Spinler stated, “the negative aspect of requiring MPD-ready rigs has forced drilling contractors to purchase expensive MPD equipment … the unfamiliarity of MPD, the rapid change in tender requirements and the still-difficult rig market conditions have prevented drilling contractors from fully marketing the value that MPD brings to the operator.”

Spinler said we’re now seeing a market prime for MPD as it’s growing offshore. The coming years will show that there’s not enough MPD rigs, he said.

Weatherford has spent some time restructuring the past few years, having cut thousands of jobs during the industry downturn, naming a new CEO and more recently planning a series of divestitures amid a delisting warning from the New York Stock Exchange.

“With the restructuring Weatherford’s done in recent years and all the improvement efforts, we’re much more stable and a very good and effective organization,” said Spinler. “We’ve always had a strength in MPD but we lost market share over these years. Victus allows us to reengage our customers with a top-of-the-line control system and equipment that will show we’re leaders and gain that market share back.”


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