Oxy deploys “industry first” fully electric well service rig from Axis on Permian production wells

March 13, 2024

(WO) – Axis Energy Services successfully deployed the oil and gas industry's first fully electric well service rig on wells operated by Occidental. Axis' EPIC RIG provides improvements in safety and efficiency, as well as the ability to run on grid power for reduced emissions and increased fuel flexibility. Axis' EPIC RIG is currently reworking production wells for Occidental under a long-term contract in the Permian basin.

"The EPIC RIG is easily the biggest leap forward for well-service technology in decades," said Axis CEO Ryan Phillips. "It’s deployment by Occidental signals the arrival of a new generation of well service rigs built for tomorrow's oilfield."

The EPIC RIG (Electric-Powered Intervention & Completion Rig) offers a broad array of advantages over traditional service rigs.

"Expanding electrification is integral to Oxy's strategy because it contributes to emissions reductions, improves efficiency, creates cost-savings and leverages technology to accelerate our net zero goals," said Bob Barnes, Senior Vice President of Operations at Oxy. "Of all the advantages of the EPIC RIG, we're particularly excited about the different ways it can help us achieve our decarbonization goals."

As the first service rig engineered around electric-powered drawworks, the EPIC RIG represents a major differentiation from traditional rigs with diesel-powered drawworks. The EPIC RIG VFD (variable frequency drive) electric motor not only delivers instant torque and smooth, consistent performance – it's also more durable and requires less maintenance than a diesel engine, reducing downtime.

The switch to electric power has enabled Axis to reimagine the way a service rig operates. The dynamic braking system on the EPIC RIG replaces the traditional mechanical brake, the most common area for equipment-related NPT on a service rig. The EPIC RIG features a built-in PLC (programmable logic controller) system that works in conjunction with the Axis CORE data acquisition and analysis platform to give the rig operator precision control and enable automated safeguards that reduce manual actions and the potential for human error. The simplified design of the EPIC RIG minimizes mechanical processes and eliminates common failure points for increased reliability.

Additionally, the EPIC RIG VFD house can connect to the public power grid through a transformer, enabling operators to leverage renewable energy sources, eliminate emissions at the well site and save significantly on fuel costs. The EPIC RIG also has the flexibility to use a range of diesel alternatives, including field gas and natural gas, making it adaptable to remote locations and various conditions in the field.

In addition to the rig currently under contract with Occidental, Axis is developing two more EPIC RIGS for launch later this year. One will be a completion rig for frac plug drill outs.

"We are very excited to have teamed with Occidental to launch the first rig in our EPIC RIG buildout program," said Phillips. "This is a milestone in our mission to move the well service industry forward by driving technological innovation."

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