Technical Paper: Drilling Automation: Technologies, Terminology, and Parallels With Other Industries

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 119884
Presentation Date: 2009
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Drilling Automation is a rapidly developing area of technology that is seeing growing interest within the drilling community. The SPE set up a new Technical Section devoted to the subject as it relates to downhole performance, and the IADC has created a committee with a focus on surface processes.

As with any emerging technology, the associated jargon is evolving rapidly, and different terms are used by different groups to refer to similar concepts with the potential for confusion and misunderstanding. Automation efforts are being undertaken by numerous and diverse organizations and implementation of such interrelated offerings at the rig site need consistent interface criteria at each boundary to ensure efficient and safe operations.

The purpose of the proposed paper is to describe some of the concepts already in operation and under development and to classify them into a number of key categories.

The more significant interface requirements will be identified and key safety concerns will be highlighted. Parallels will be drawn with other industries to demonstrate analogues and suggest directions where and how further developments might be expected to lead.