SPE Drilling systems automation technical section—DSATS

de Wardt on RioTinto’s ‘mine of the future.’ Quarkonics applies artificial intelligence and full physics models to Talisman’s drilling problems. Canrig’s rig data cloud. SAS applies ‘Semma’ to drilling’s ‘big data’ problem. Rigminder’s heads-up, touch screen displays for the doghouse.

John de Wardt kicked off the 2013 SPE Drilling systems automation technical section meet last month in New Orleans earlier this year with a recap of its objectives. Drilling automation is seen as transformative technology, with the potential to address the issues of an aging workforce and the current ‘severe attrition’ of drilling personnel. One poster child for DSATS is RioTinto’s mine of the future. Another source of inspiration is the Federal roadmap for robotics. de Wardt mentioned en passant that the SPE’s connect social network has scrapped its SharePoint site and migrated to a Higher Logic-based portal.

Founder Nagesh Kulkarni described how Quarkonics is working to halve drilling times with the judicious application of a combination of full physics models and artificial intelligence. The technology, which is being tested on Talisman’s rigs, is claimed to make drilling ‘predictably uncertain.’

Canrig’s Pradeep Annaiyappa promoted his company’s rigsite data cloud offering (Oil ITJ May 2013) observing that even today, ‘WITS is the most common transfer standard because it is not on the rig’s control network and runs on a serial port.’ In general it is a challenge to integrate with a rig’s cyber systems and other fancy closed hardware. This means that less than 1% of drilling data actually leaves the rig. Witsml has been around for a while but has had little adoption—even amongst the consortium members, although BP has threatened suppliers in an effort to force compliance.

Moray Laing SAS’ oil and gas head straw-polled the audience to ask ‘Do we have a big data problem?’ Perhaps 20% thought we did. Laing is sure we do, citing tests of autodrillers where rapid variations of parameters such as tortque and drag call for the application of ‘Semma,’i.e. ‘sample, explore, modify, model, assess,’ enabled with SAS Enterprise Miner. This has been used on artificial lift and water injection projects with a healthy ROI. ‘We do have a big data problem. And an opportunity!’

Greg Wood offered a compelling argument for Rigminder’s huge (55 to 180”) monitors to replace multiple displays currently used in the doghouse. Rigminder offers one big multi-purpose touch screen with a see through/heads-up functionality.

One comment in the ensuing debate was that the rig was like a Christmas tree—richly decorated with goodies on Christmas Eve. But when the drilling contractor wakes up on Christmas day, all the presents have gone—they’ve been taken away by the service providers! More ftrom DSATS.

Click here to comment on this article

Click here to view this article in context on a desktop

© Oil IT Journal - all rights reserved.