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New investment - Sekal AS (

Statoil is joining SåkorninVest as an investor in the newly established company Sekal AS to commercialise the products DrillTronics and DrillScene. Total investment in this round is NOK 20 millions. The products are aimed at reducing risk and costs in drilling processes - during both exploratory drilling and production drilling - and employ advanced physical models that give a much fuller and more refined real time picture of the state of the well than has been possible previously. They are used to manage drilling control systems in real time and to catch drilling problems developing in the well several hours in advance, so that undesirable occurrences related to the control of the well and the drilling can be countered and prevented much earlier. The result is a safer and more efficient drilling process. After successful testing and verification offshore during the last two years, DrillTronics and DrillScene are ready for commercial use internationally. Both products have been developed by the International Research Institute of Stavanger AS

The objective of Sekal AS is to commercialise the fully developed products on a worldwide scale and Sekal is therefore establishing itself both in Stavanger and Houston. The company’s technology is based on long research at IRIS and the close cooperation with IRIS will continue, in order both to further develop the unique drilling technology and to develop new products in the sphere of drilling optimisation. The principal owners of Sekal AS will be Statoil, SåkorninVest and IRIS.

‘Getting Statoil and SåkorninVest in as owners of the company gives it the necessary weight to invest internationally, at the same time as it secures financing for the company’s strategic plan for the coming years. Statoil has been an important sponsor through its research and development activities during the development of the company’s products. As an owner, Statoil will be able to contribute with relevant experience of current operators’ requirements for solving the drilling technical and safety challenges, during more and more challenging drilling operations,’ says Asbjørn Sola, Managing Director of Sekal

‘ The products that have been developed in collaboration with IRIS are very advanced software programs that use real time data from several systems on the rig to calculate limiting values for a safer and more efficient drilling operation. One of the software programs is called DrillTronics and it is integrated directly with the rig’s drilling control system. The company’s other main software program is called DrillScene and it is a system that uses real time data to detect deviations from calculated normal values, so that undesirable occurrences may be detected and prevented,’ says Eric Cayeux of IRIS.

In a number of offshore pilot schemes DrillScene has caught potential problems long before they actually occurred, which can give the drilling crew time to take steps to avoid the problems. DrillTronics has been tested offshore several times with good results and has been received
positively by drilling crews.

‘For Statoil it is important to ensure commercialisation of unique technology that can lead to future value creation for the company. More and more complex wells are being drilled where new technology is important for safety, the environment and optimal use of resources,’ says Jan Ellevset.

‘For Procom Venture, Sekal is an attractive investment with the potential for significant financial profits for the owners of the SåkorninVest fund. Procom looks forward to contributing to the further development of the company into its commercial phase. The establishment and financing of Sekal, in company with Statoil and IRIS, creates a very good basis for realising the potential that lies in DrillTronics and DrillScene,’ says Jørn Bergeland of Procom Venture.

The products DrillTronics and DrillScene represent a new type of tool within drilling technology. They are unique on a worldwide scale and will be needed in a global drilling market during the search for ever more complex reservoirs in increasingly inaccessible and environmentally sensitive areas.

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