Technical Paper: Automation of Well Construction Fluids Domain

Society: IADC
Paper Number: 128903
Presentation Date: 2010
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The drive to industrialize the drilling process through automation is gaining greater acceptance within the upstream oil and gas industry. The concerted, multi-faceted effort is being spearheaded by SPE and IADC committees working with industry on a common automation language, fit-for-purpose interface protocols, and a disciplined technology roadmap. The primary purpose of this paper is to define the Well-Construction Fluids (WCF) domain in order to contribute to the roadmap foundation. Also discussed are existing technology gaps related to fluids automation, and targeted efforts to find practical solutions for these gaps.

The WCF domain encompasses the fluids used in drilling and completion operations, as well as the flow conduits, tanks, and process equipment required for optimum performance. At the highest level, the domain is represented by four major systems: (a) fluids treatment and pumping, (b) downhole, (c) solids control, and (d) waste management. Understandably, the WCF domain has a broad sphere of influence and interacts with all well-construction processes, including conventional drilling, well control, managed-pressure drilling, tripping, and running and cementing casing. Because of this interdependence, numerous projects have been initiated to develop robust, automated equipment to measure critical fluid properties required by all these processes.

Within the WCF domain, systems also are being developed to automate and control different fluids processing equipment and to mechanize chemical additions and mixing operations. Ultimate success will depend not only on improved data from better monitoring, but also comprehensive data management systems linked to interpretative schemes and predictive analyses that convert the data into useable knowledge.

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