National Oilwell Varco and Schlumberger Ltd have announced the creation of a joint venture to provide high-speed drill string telemetry systems to improve the efficiency and safety of oil and gas operations.

The IntelliServ joint venture is expected to accelerate development and delivery of intelligent drilling solutions through the expanded use of the IntelliServ Broadband Network, a patented technology that provides high-resolution data in real time to and from the bottom of oil and gas wells as they are being drilled. IntelliServ also will provide along-string evaluation services that will enable real-time monitoring of drill string conditions, and an unlimited ability to actuate downhole tools on-demand. The current speed of 57,600 bits per second is up to 20,000 times faster than the transmission speed that is available using conventional mud pulse technology.

National Oilwell Varco owns 55 percent of the joint venture, and provides manufacturing, technical and operational support, while Schlumberger owns 45 percent, brings evaluation and measurement expertise, and will pursue the development of advanced drilling-related systems enabled by the IntelliServ Broadband Network. The joint venture will maintain the open access architecture of the IntelliServ Broadband Network, and will seek to become the industry standard for all drilling tools utilizing high data transmission rates.

Pete Miller, chairman, president and chief executive officer of National Oilwell Varco, states, “Our new joint venture with Schlumberger will permit us to better serve our customers by opening a range of new intelligent drilling possibilities, and expanding the global reach of the IntelliServ Broadband Network. We are excited about the possibilities this joint venture brings to the marketplace, and we look forward to working closely with Schlumberger to expand further the commercial use of IntelliServ.”

Commenting on the transaction, Andrew Gould, chairman and chief executive officer of Schlumberger Ltd, remarks, “The combination of our respective strengths in drilling measurements and telemetry brings a unique opportunity for a step-change in the development of technology capable of significantly improving drilling performance through continuous information about the well and the reservoir, as the well is drilled.”