Drilling in the Digital Age | Schlumberger
Tech Paper
Location
Middle East, Onshore
Byline
Brennan Goodkey, Gerardo Hernandez, Andres Nunez, Mauricio Corona, Kamal Atriby, Mohammed Rayes, Rafael Carvalho, Carlos Herrera, Schlumberger
Society
SPE
Paper Number
203251
Presentation Date
09 November 2020
Products Used
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Drilling in the Digital Age

Harnessing intelligent automation to deliver superior well construction performance in major Middle Eastern gas field



Abstract

Over the past decade, breakthroughs in digital technology have rewarded a variety of industries with a step change in productivity and efficiency. Despite this, the drilling industry has yet to benefit on a large scale from these advances and a significant amount of value remains untapped. This paper details the effort of a service company to leverage modern technology by introducing a drilling automation system in pursuit of achieving a higher degree of consistency and efficiency.

The drilling automation system described in this case study was deployed in the Middle East on two onshore gas drilling rigs in 2019. The deployment was an opportunity to validate the potential of modern drilling automation technology and prove its ability to consistently deliver value. Since the company had extensive experience in the region, the Middle East was selected as the preferred location for field trials. This ensured that the value of automation could be precisely quantified as performance benchmarks were well documented and available for comparison. The automation strategy relied on an intelligent decision management system capable of dealing with constantly changing drilling conditions in order to implement efficient, consistent, and standardized well construction operations, while enhancing safety and reducing NPT. When given authority, the system would take control of the rig surface equipment to enable full automation of most drilling actions and engage optimization engines to monitor and adjust parameters to maximize performance. The system was leveraged to eliminate the variability innate to humans and deliver consistent results, while consolidating the improvements, performance gains, and lessons learned that otherwise would tend to disappear or erode over time or through personnel replacement.

Throughout this document, insight is provided into the technology itself, the deployment process, implementation challenges, the agile development model, and the results achieved. In addition, as the introduction of automation is a major departure from the traditional human operated drilling process, an emphasis will be placed on the results of the change management strategies utilized.

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