Industry Article: Drilling Automation: A Catalyst for Change

Drilling Automation: A Catalyst for Change
Publication: Journal of Petroleum Technology
Publication Date: 09/01/2011

Computerized control systems, which have been used for decades in factories and airplanes, are emerging as a way to manage a costly challenge: developing unconventional oil and gas reserves that will require uniform execution and predictability to drill profitably or at all. A mass movement into drilling automation requires an investment beyond software development. Modern rigs with control systems wired to communicate and respond to a digital system are needed. Automation requires rigs with equipment that can be integrated digitally as well as advanced algorithms to automate well delivery. To automate the drilling of a well, Schlumberger has developed algorithms to control drilling and the interfaces needed to ensure its instructions are delivered and executed properly by the equipment on the rig. Writing algorithms for every possible rig and equipment setup would be prohibitively costly and time consuming so a uniform / abstract rig was created for each rig type to allow a more generic approach to rig equipment integration.

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