The History of Aurora: 16 years on

16 years… about time we took a step back to reflect on our journey so far. 

How it all began 

Let’s take it back to the start. It’s 2006 in Aberdeen, a strong period of growth for the oil and gas industry. We (Nick and Harrie) are working in small service companies but itching to take a risk and launch independently. We see the opportunity to disrupt the drilling optimisation services market and introduce a smaller, more flexible independent service into the marketplace. Offering an alternative to the big service providers has a nice ring to it.

Drawing on expertise from a deep understanding of well optimisation, bit efficiency, and drilling performance, we know we have the knowledge and industry insight to make a good go of it alone. 

So, Aurora is born.

As an independent organisation, we know Aurora would be able to focus purely on performance and results, and not get bogged down in big company politics.

Since 2006, we have focused on consistently making client-focused recommendations designed to provide the best drilling outcomes and deliver significant time and cost savings.

Getting down to work

Our very first project was delivered in 2006 for ConocoPhillips. You can imagine our excitement when we signed the first deal and even more so when our solution was successful. 

We provided independent drill bit optimisation using our blank canvas approach on the 21st well in a mature development in the UK CNS. Our analysis helped the team deliver time savings, equating to more than £1 million over the sections we were involved with.

Image source: Conoco Phillips

Now 16 years on, we are proud to say we have completed 90+ projects in 18 countries for clients such as Shell, Neptune Energy, and TotalEnergies. 

Some highlights

Developing our in-house proprietary software!

It’s a pretty cool achievement if you ask us and truly critical to driving our success. We knew we needed a system to build on the value of live data to make critical decisions during drilling operations effectively. With time and a lot of effort, we created the Aurora Well Optimisation System (AWOS). 

This provides detailed drilling system efficiency analysis during live drilling operations and accurate efficiency analysis at the pre- and post-well stages of operations. The typical outcomes of using AWOS are that it eliminates all guesswork and hence saves time and reduces drilling costs. 

Stand-out projects

Of course, we are proud of every project we have worked on, but there are three which stand out. 

  • Delivering best-in-class performance on a UK CNS HPHT well, saving the client £12 million
  • Working on a challenging 5000m geothermal project (275°C) in Australia, delivering a 6-day saving against the best offset well in the 12-1/4” hole section with some very difficult-to-drill sedimentary rock overlying the Granite target. 
  • Introducing upfront BHA modelling correctly coupled with new drill bit technology to help a client in the Middle East achieve a return on investment of 28 to 1 on a 2-well project. 

What does the future hold?

Looking back at what we’ve achieved in the last 16 years, it’s exciting to think about what is yet to come.  

We want to have the ability to be involved at every stage of a project as needed. To do this, we are working on the continued expansion of AWOS into pre-well planning, real-time operations support, and post-well project phases. 

As always, thinking of more immediate actions, we are focused on continuing to deliver our customer’s projects on time and on a budget or even cost savings. We realise we can achieve this with small-scale use of our proprietary C3 durability and BE3 efficiency indexing tools

Ultimately, we plan to continue building on our experience, expanding our expertise, and driving success for our clients.

To tell us about your drilling project, email us at