Technology Investments

Technology & Innovation

Nabors has always been a leader in providing the services required to support oil and gas exploration and production. We have consistently been the first to meet challenges for our industry, our clients and our employees, and our innovations have become the standard for the oil and gas industry.

Challenging Environments

Nabors is the pacesetter in difficult environments. The challenge of operating in arctic and desert climates provided an incubator for industry-changing innovation. We drilled the first discovery wells in Yemen and in Alaska’s giant Prudhoe Bay. In Alaska, Nabors pioneered the drilling of multiple wells on a pad, an insight that is now a staple of oil and gas shale development. Because of our groundbreaking work in these demanding environments, Nabors was also able to develop the fast moving, wheel mounted rigs and sophisticated skid systems that today are commonplace when drilling on a pad.

Horizontal Well Technology

Not only did Nabors drill the first commercial horizontal well, paving the way for the long laterals that are essential to exploit shale formations; we were also the first company to utilize this technology to develop an offshore field from a land location.

Hybrid Drilling Rig

The possibilities of coiled tubing drilling rigs were redefined when Nabors conceived of using coiled tubing technology in concert with standard drill pipe. We created a unique hybrid rig that could drill well beyond the normal limits for conventional coiled tubing drilling rigs.

Modular Offshore Dynamic Series Rig

The offshore drilling technology that now dominates the Gulf of Mexico’s platform drilling was developed by the trailblazers at Nabors. Our Modular Offshore Dynamic Series or MODS rig was the first platform rig designed to withstand the turbulent wind and wave action associated with SPAR and tension leg platforms. Nabors led the way in offshore workover efficiency with our unique Sundowner rig concept. This small workover rig delivers large on engineering technology and value – it can arrive on location, service a well and be off location in a single day. Today, this modular technology is implemented in pad rig design.

Nabors is set to achieve even greater heights with this technology as we prepare to deploy the largest platform drilling rig ever constructed. The 4,600 hp giant is one of two that will be utilized in ultra-deep water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Access to Remote Locations

In Canada, Nabors was the inceptive drilling contractor to transport large rigs by helicopter. Our innovation opened up the arctic year-round, as these rigs were designed for remote locations that would otherwise be unreachable during certain seasons of the year.

Rig Equipment Innovations

Nabors spearheaded and engineered the use of various types of rig equipment for greater efficiency and efficacy. We were the first to use an iron roughneck, the first to enclose the driller’s station, the first to enclose and insulate mud tanks, and the first to adopt steel-insulated rig buildings for drilling in cold climates.

Well Servicing Rigs

Our work in modernizing the well servicing industry is unparalleled. Nabors was the first to deploy a fully AC powered service rig and was the original Arctic drilling contractor to use a service rig to drill a well from surface to total depth. We also developed the first power tubing tong and were the first to apply PLC controls to a well servicing rig.

Setting the Standard in Employee Safety

Worker safety is of supreme importance to Nabors, and we demonstrate that by leading the charge in developing standards and equipment to improve the safety of our workers.  Nabors changed the industry standards for safety gear, requiring and providing fire retardant coveralls for employees. We redefined standards for training, requiring well control training on service rigs. And we invented new ways to protect employees from workplace hazards, developing the derrick rescue kit for retrieving fallen workers and installing fall protection devices on well servicing derricks.

Advancing Employment Practices

At Nabors, we pioneered progressive employment practices that changed the way drilling contractors operate to this day. We were the first to use camps to support drilling activity in remote areas, and we broke the gender barrier by being the first company to hire women to support these operations.

Silica Dust Collection System

The first of its kind, our unique silica dust collection system for high-rate fracturing not only greatly improves working conditions for employees, but also improves public welfare. The flexible, highly efficient system collects fugitive silica dust at the three key areas of the fracturing operation: during off-loading from transports, on the conveyor belt system and when sand is dropped into the blender. Worker exposure to inhalable crystalline silica is significantly reduced, increasing employee safety, and dust generated during fracturing is prevented from leaving the site, reducing the environmental impact.

This innovative system is preferable to other treatment technologies because it is extremely efficient with both fine and course particulates, and it can operate with up to six transports off-loading sand and a hydraulic fracturing operation going on simultaneously. Since putting this system into use, we have not only realized a safer work environment, but also a decrease in maintenance scenarios associated with dust.

Super ChemDAT System℠

In an industry not always known for its transparency, Nabors holds to the values of honesty and leadership. We lead the industry in voluntary disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Our Super ChemDAT℠ system is a customized, comprehensive and integrated active database that provides an all-encompassing view of our customer’s hydraulic fracturing operations. With this system, Nabors Completion and Production Services (NCPS) manages confidential information for our entire product line and over 1,300 chemical ingredients.

Rather than adding additional man-hours to meet disclosure requirements, we have seamlessly incorporated the Super ChemDAT℠ system into the current workflow. Efficiencies have improved as engineers use the intuitive interface to process and record more than 350 wells in the United States. We estimate that using this system to manage trade secret and product information has saved Nabors a minimum of 12,000 hours in the initial six months of use. In an industry with no time to waste, we believe this is a crucial step in implementing chemical disclosures so that consistent, reliable and defensible data is being reported to the public.