NORWEGIAN developers of an autonomous drilling tool have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China National Petroleum Company Drilling Research (CNPC DR) for future work on the project.

CNPC DR will become a full partner in Stavanger-based Badger Explorer’s Badger development program for 2016 under the MOU, with the companies set to sign a formal agreement before March.

Badger has been working with its partners to agree on a scope of work and funding for its 2016 program as it seeks to further develop the drilling system for the Badger Tool.

Badger had focused on developing a cuttings transport system and ultrasonic transducers for its device throughout 2015.