The objective of this paper is to present a new and innovative fully automated tubular handling robot that can feed drill pipe and casing from pipe storage on ground to the well center of a land drilling rig in a fast, accurate and all-in-one operation.

In recent years, experience has been gained with large electric robots for pipe handling both offshore and onshore. As reliability is confirmed, the robotic operations on rigs are expanded. The most recent development is a Pipe Feeder Robot for handling of pipe and subs all the way from pipe storage on the ground to the well center of the land rig, including spinning into the stick-up. The technology is based on qualified heavy-duty electric robots for pipe handling, but the new machine is configured in a way so that it can be transported from rig to rig without large interfacing work.

The industry has great expectations with the introduction of robotics for red zone management and eliminating manual operations and human exposure to heavy machinery. Expected value would be a substantial saving in rig days due to fast, precise and consistent operations and removal of people out of harm's way. In addition to improved safety, reduced OPEX, less downtime and faster installation, the Pipe Feeder Robot lowers the noise and the carbon footprint due to higher energy efficiency and less GHG emissions. Also, the precise motion control of the robot enables digitalization of the drilling process.

The paper will present performance data and results from test operations. The Pipe Feeder Robot picks up pipe (or casing), rotates from horizontal to vertical, and spins into the stick up in one operation, whereby hazardous handovers are avoided and a hands-free handling operation is created, replacing the work of four conventional operations. Reliability of robots in hostile environment will be analyzed with regards to field experience of similar technology from land rig drilling operations. Finally, the value to the users will be substantiated.

The paper will provide test results and experience from the tests of a heavy-duty all-electric Pipe Feeder Robot. It will provide valuable input for decisions for the future use of industrialized robots in the oil and gas upstream industry.

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