NOVOS Expert Panel – Part 3

With guest David Baumgartner

Rig site in winter

In this episode, host Michael Gaines talks with David Baumgartner, the NOVOS Project manager. David discusses some of the major benefits of the NOVOS system and its positive operational outcomes.

So now, NOVOS is the processor and now the driller is the process manager. So he can take his eyes off of the monitors and then the screens and the joysticks and the switches, and he can overview the whole process on the drill floor.

David Baumgartner

Sr. Manager Software Delivery

David Baumgartner
Recording technician inside control cabin
Askepott Equinor offshore rig
Control cabin interior
Land rig
David Baumgartner inside control cabin

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Get to Know the Guest

David Baumgartner

Sr. Manager Software Delivery

David Baumgartner is currently the senior manager for software delivery for the NOVOS reflexive drilling system. Previously, he served in various technical support and leadership roles, including country manager for India within Rig Technologies, Aftermarket Operations technical support, and software controls support.

00:00 David Baumgartner: So now, NOVOS is the processor and now the driller is the process manager. So he can take his eyes off of the monitors and then the screens and the joysticks and the switches, and he can overview the whole process on the drill floor.


00:18 Michael Gaines: Hello, and welcome to NOV Today. I’m your host, Michael Gaines. And today, we’re talking about NOVOS, which is NOV’s reflexive drilling system. And to talk a little bit more about that and help us learn some more in that space, I have with me Mr. David Baumgartner, who is the NOVOS project manager. So David, thanks for being here.

00:41 David Baumgartner: Alright, thank you.

00:42 Michael Gaines: So as I mentioned, NOVOS is NOV’s reflexive drilling system. Can you help me understand what is a reflexive drilling system and what is NOVOS?

00:53 David Baumgartner: NOVOS is an automation package that can be installed on a land rig or an offshore rig. And what that does, the NOVOS system automates the drilling process or automates the pipe handling process.

01:05 Michael Gaines: Okay, and so, what’s the bottom line reason that someone would install NOVOS? What’s one of the main advantages?

01:13 David Baumgartner: I guess the bottom line for this system would be to take the repetitiveness that the driller normally has to perform while drilling a well, and the NOVOS automates that process.

01:25 Michael Gaines: Okay, okay. So when we look at where NOVOS is installed and the high-level picture, especially if we’re looking at land, what does that look like? Where is it installed? And how is that going?

01:40 David Baumgartner: Yeah, we’ve had an explosion in the land market. Our first installation was about 2016, and since then we’ve had about over 40 installations on land. And that land coverage is North America, Canada, Alaska. We also have them in a few rigs in Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania. It’s spread over the North American continent

02:05 Michael Gaines: Oh, wow. So all over. And does the landscape look the same when we’re looking at the offshore site as well? Or are we starting in a particular region and building out?

02:18 David Baumgartner: Yeah, I guess our greatest region for the offshore package is in the North Sea. We also have a couple of rigs in Guyana that may be operating there and also we have a rig coming up in Thailand.

02:30 Michael Gaines: Oh, wow.

02:31 David Baumgartner: So we’ll be in the Gulf of Thailand.

02:34 Michael Gaines: Are you going to fly out and take an extended work and vacation while you’re in the... Are you going to go to Thailand? 

02:41 David Baumgartner: Well, I think it would be some of our subject matter experts going out there.

02:44 Michael Gaines: Okay, okay, well... I was trying to root for you there.

02:47 David Baumgartner: I wish. I wish I could go there. Absolutely.

02:50 Michael Gaines: So when we look at the future in terms of installs for the land and offshore space, do we see them marching along? Do you see one taking over the other? What does that look like? 

03:03 David Baumgartner: Right. I think the land market was the first market that actually grabbed hold of this technology and ran with it. And our offshore market is growing exponentially. We have 20 offshore packages sold. We have two of them operating right now, one in Guyana and one in the North Sea.

03:20 Michael Gaines: Okay. When you’re looking at NOVOS and how this system is really able to help drillers remove a lot of those repetitive tasks, what’s the net result? How is it helping drillers drill wells differently now? 

03:41 David Baumgartner: Yeah, that’s a good question. I guess when you go into the process of what a driller does on a daily basis for every connection while he’s drilling, he’s looking at his monitors, his screens, he’s having to move switches and buttons. It’s almost like a manual process. It automates the tools, but it’s a manual process to get them automated. So the drillers really like the computer. And what the NOVOS system does is that it takes those repetitive drilling functions and it automates it.

04:16 Michael Gaines: That’s interesting, yeah, and that’s a really cool way of thinking about it, that really, the driller is the computer and NOVOS is just helping the main processor, if you will. Wow.

04:26 David Baumgartner: Right, right. So now, NOVOS is the processor, and now, the driller is the process manager. So he can take his eyes off of the monitors and then the screens and the joysticks and the switches and he can overview the whole process on the drill floor.

04:42 Michael Gaines: So when you look at the benefit of incorporating NOVOS and add on to that one of the other main features and benefits, which is apps that can be used with NOVOS, how do you see that helping drillers as we move in the future? 

05:02 David Baumgartner: Yeah, with the NOVOS systems, it is app based. So you have all your drilling parameters that are app based. You have your Surge, Swab app that you can actually perform. You have your Tag Bottom app. So, everything is really configurable. I mean a driller, he can probably make on an average well 200-plus critical connections when he engages formation, and the NOVOS system will do that the same every single time.

05:33 Michael Gaines: And that's really huge. I guess, even if you’re not familiar with this system, I guess when you step back and think, okay, right now, it is in effect almost a 100% mechanical... Or I say mechanical but the manual operation, right? So a person literally has to push joysticks, turn dials, look at gauges to make sure, like you said, tag bottom, drill ahead. You have to look at your Surge, Swab within the whole nine. Whereas, doing those tasks over and over when you have, in a standard 10,000-foot drillstring, you have over a hundred different connections that you’re having to do over and over and over, right? And so, this, even just talking about it, it’s relieving to think that, “Okay, I don’t have to do that every single connection.” Right? 

06:23 David Baumgartner: That’s correct, all he has to do is really touch the monitor and then it automatically goes through that process. I guess when you think of NOVOS, I think of maybe like an airline pilot back in the day, when it used to be a manual process of taking off and flying some place and having to land the airplane and judge the cloud movements and get at the right altitudes. Well, you think of it as an automated process now, it’ll actually fly the airplane, take off, fly to its destination, and then land at the airport.

07:08 Michael Gaines: And the cool thing being that, if we’re to stick with this analogy, similar to the pilot can take control any time, with NOVOS, the driller can jump in. As soon as he touches the joystick, if it’s in its process, it’ll fully give control to the driller.

07:25 David Baumgartner: Oh, absolutely. And not only that, but it can be reactive too, because he can actually put inputs into the automation process while it’s happening.

07:33 Michael Gaines: Oh, wow, okay.

07:35 David Baumgartner: Yeah, also. And one of the things with the NOVOS system is, it is well-planned based. So not only is it the driller that has control, it’s also the well engineer. So the NOVOS system drills by formation, so it’s something unique to the system.

07:54 Michael Gaines: Okay, wow. Well, we’ve been talking with David Baumgartner, the NOVOS project manager, about NOV’s NOVOS reflexive drilling system. David, thank you for being here.

08:08 David Baumgartner: Alright, thank you.

08:10 Michael Gaines: For NOV Today, I’m Michael Gaines. Thanks for listening, and we’ll talk to you later.


08:16 Michael Gaines: Thanks for listening to this episode of NOV Today. We’d like to hear your feedback. Share your thoughts by tweeting us @NOVGlobal and using the hashtag #NOVToday, or you can contact us by sending an email to [email protected]. To stay up to date on the latest episodes, visit our website at www.nov.com/podcast. There you can find show summaries and links to subscribe on iTunes, Google podcasts, SoundCloud, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. For NOV Today, I’m Michael Gaines. Thanks for listening, and we’ll talk to you later.