National Oilwell Varco and Schlumberger Ltd. have signed a definitive agreement to create a joint venture that combines their respective and complementary expertise in the manufacturing and technology development of wired drill string telemetry systems. The agreement will enable the companies to accelerate delivery of intelligent drilling solutions through the expanded use of the IntelliServ Network, while opening a range of new technological opportunities for customers.

“National Oilwell Varco is a pioneer in drill string telemetry through its IntelliServ Network wired drillpipe platform that enables instantaneous communications between the drill floor and the drill bit,” says Pete Miller, chairman, president and chief executive officer of National Oilwell Varco. He adds: “This joint venture with Schlumberger opens the way to new and innovative technologies that turn IntelliServ’s entire drilling assembly into a measurement system capable of providing vital data and information about downhole drilling conditions.”

Under the terms of the agreement, National Oilwell Varco will assume operational control of the joint venture, while Schlumberger will add the technological expertise and measurement know-how necessary to help promote the technology. Schlumberger also will pursue the development of drilling related systems that are enabled by the IntelliServ Network. The joint venture will make no changes to the open access architecture of the IntelliServ Network platform, in order to promote this as an industry standard for all providers of bottom-hole assemblies who wish to deploy high data-rate downhole tools at the bottom of the drill string.

Commenting on the agreement, Andrew Gould, chairman and chief executive officer, Schlumberger Ltd. remarks: “The combination of our respective strengths provides the industry with an advanced approach to drilling and well placement through more accurate knowledge of the drilling environment and formation parameters. We anticipate that this will lead to a step-change in drilling technology that can provide the customer with continuous information both about the well and about its placement within the reservoir.”