The story of ComputerWell dates back to 2006 when a spin-off company from Norwegian University of Science and Technology NTNU was formed. The company was named Verdande Technology. The main product was a software application for surveillance of drilling operations based on pattern recognition and machine learning. In 2013, the Verdande product had more than 12 000 operations days and the software was running live on as much as 90 rigs simultaneously.
Due to the recession in 2014 this company ceased to exist, but parts of the Verdande mission has continued in a new form. In 2015, the lead research engineer of the pattern recognition group at Verdande, Sigve Hovda, started as an associate professor at NTNU (full professor from 2021).
“In his view, one important take away from the Verdande time was that machine learning and pattern recognition have a limit. These methods can typically not exceed the knowledge of the humans that interpret the signals. He identified that computational methods for drillstring dynamics could be an important supplement to the pattern recognition methods. Hovda focused his research on developing effective computational models of the drillstring.”
Hovda has been part of several research projects AMIDST (EU), Adwell (RCN), Drillwell (SFI), Optimized Wellbore Hydraulics (RCN) and BRU21 (NTNU) that are related to computerized methods on drilling data. Moreover, he has developed a PhD course in drillstring dynamics and has a number of highly reputed journal papers that underpins this project (See https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=2YVPm4gAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao ).
In early 2019, he contacted some friends at Computer Science Department at NTNU. Together with researcher Asbjørn Djupdal and associate professor Magnus Jahre, the team applied and received funding from a number of innovation grants including NTNU Discovery and FORNY at the Research Council of Norway. The last innovation grant has secured funding throughout 2023. As a consequence, the company ComputerWell AS was established in October 2020.
Shortly after the establishment, the team has expanded with a number of consultants and advisors, including Kari Rannov Bostad, Tim Sheehy, Arild Nystad and Anna Zhang. In march 2021, Magnus Halvor Hallaråker signed a contract with ComputerWell and in August 2021 he will join the team as a full-time research engineer. His background includes a master degree in physics and mathematics from NTNU.