By Alex Endress, Editorial Coordinator
The Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap JIP recently received a total of $100,000 from 10 sponsoring companies and is now completing its Phase Two Stage One Report, which will be the first full draft of this roadmap. “This roadmap initiative is unique in our industry. Nobody has developed a roadmap for advancement of automation in drilling,” said John de Wardt, President of De Wardt and Co and Principal Investigator for the JIP.
The Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap was launched in June 2013 as an all-volunteer industry initiative with a goal to provide a development pathway for automating the drilling process and to help the industry better understand how automated drilling systems should work. The JIP was launched late 2015 to fund the first comprehensive report from this initiative. Current sponsors are Aramco Services, ExxonMobil Upstream Research, Halliburton, Houston Mechatronics, Huisman, National Oilwell Varco, Occidental Petroleum, Shell, Total and proNova TDE.
After this Phase Two Stage One Report is complete, the sponsors will participate in their own workshop to collectively review the report with key content contributors. The target date for the report’s completion is early 2017. “The Phase Two Stage One Report is the first report that pulls together all the elements that have been worked on for the roadmap – it will be the first comprehensive integration of the multiple elements forming the roadmap,” Mr de Wardt said.
The JIP is still accepting additional sponsors who will be invited to the sponsors’ workshop. “We need additional funding in order to get to the following stage – to organize an industry workshop, through an entity like IADC, to garner broader industry feedback and adopt it into the roadmap.” This additional funding will allow the JIP to plan and facilitate this industry workshop. The Stage Two Report will be released before the industry workshop it will be the first version of the automation roadmap report available to the wider drilling industry.
“When the roadmap report goes to the industry, the intention would be to have an industry workshop, so the industry has an opportunity to discuss and debate it.” Mr de Wardt said. The JIP plans, subject to additional JIP funding, to have the final document ready for industry release by 2018. After that, the Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap would continue to be updated as new automated technologies are created. “The standard or normal process would be to do a review and update it every two years so that it can become more accurate as time progresses forward.”