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IADC survey: Open interfaces for downhole tools, drilling control systems valued

Posted on 05 August 2010

A recent survey conducted by the IADC Drilling Control Systems (DCS) Subcommittee found that 78% of respondents found value in open-published interfaces to downhole tools and drilling control systems that allow integration of a downhole tool to a drilling control system. A total of 54% rated this as having “moderate” or “great” value.

The data combines results from an online survey and a written questionnaire distributed at the SPE Drilling Automation Workshop held in Galveston, Texas, in March.

Additionally, 42% rated vendor-developed integrated systems cooperating to provide downhole tools already integrated to drilling control systems as having no value. Only 8% said such solutions were of “great” value.

On the other hand, control systems in which downhole tools such as rotary steerable systems are directly controlled by surface-based control and advisory systems were considered of “moderate” or “great” value by 61% of respondents. Similarly, 64% found “moderate” or “great” value in control systems in which the drilling process is optimized through use of downhole instruments. Despite this finding, 25% found no value in such a solution.

More than three in four – 77% – favored an oilfield industry standard for drilling communications protocols specific to downhole integration. Nonetheless, several individuals warned of “reinventing the wheel” and pointed out that standards already exist that the industry could adopt.

Other comments indicated that an industry association such as IADC should move the process forward.

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