Canrig floats cloud-based drilling automation service

Drilling has many stakeholders and integration is hard. So why not move its IT to the cloud?

Speaking at the SPE Digital Energy event earlier this year, Canrig VP software development, Pradeep Annaiyappa, provided an overview of drilling automation. Offshore, much automation is already achieved, while on land, the rental model makes integration harder. This is changing as operators seek to improve efficiency by messaging between mud pumps and the autodriller.

Automating managed pressure drilling, pipe handling or directional drilling requires many safety interlocks, millisecond timing and deterministic communication—all IT challenges. Another issue is what happens when two companies want to control the mud pump. Communications need to be clarified so a driller knows whether pipe is being pulled or pumped out of hole. An ‘integration console’ is required rather than current cyber chair displays.

Ultimately, ‘third level’ advisory automation including offline, off site computations will inform a slower, one second plus loop integrating Wits/Witsml and Http data streams. Echoing earlier talk of a rig ‘data exhaust’ Annaiyappa observed that under 1% of available data actually leaves the rig, making later complex event processing difficult.

Canrig proposes a private cloud based architecture, running applications on a virtual machine. The approach would allow for data integration and automation without the need for more and more systems on site. DSATS interoperability standards should be relevant in this space. More from Canrig.

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