By Katie Mazerov, contributing editor
In the ongoing push for more rig automation, Canrig Drilling Technology has developed a computer-based fuel management system to lower fuel and maintenance costs and equipment downtime, as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions during the drilling process.
FuelTool, introduced to the marketplace last year, allows rig personnel to monitor and manage all the engines running on a rig. It also helps in the decision-making of adjusting the number of engines required based on data that can be viewed on computer screens on the rig. The data specifies exactly how many engines are required during the course of the drilling operation – rig-up, drilling, logging, cementing and other phases of well operation. By eliminating excess engine use, diesel consumption can be reduced significantly, said José Sanchez, instrumentation manager in Canrig’s Automation Controls and Electrical Engineering (ACE) department.
“With this technology, we’re trying to provide visibility to operators on how engines are running,” Mr Sanchez said. “For example, a US land rig will usually have three engines onboard, and the rig personnel typically run all three at 10% or 20% load all the time because they have no idea of the load required to run a given operation. This practice causes engines to operate less efficiently, leading to fuel waste and increased maintenance and emissions. FuelTool gives rig personnel a window into their engine usage, making blind operations a thing of the past.”
On US land rigs, the system has been shown to deliver savings of up to $1,000/day in diesel cost alone and to reduce emissions by 30%, he said, adding that each gallon of diesel burned creates 22 lbs of carbon dioxide, resulting in the creation of an estimated 3,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year per rig.
Reducing engine hours
By managing engine use, rig operators have been able to reduce engine hours by an average of 15%, resulting in significant maintenance cost savings, according to the company. “Different sections of the well and different activities during well construction require varying amounts of power,” said Brian Ellis, Canrig vice president of business and technical development. “Depending on what activities are going on in a particular well section, the driller or rig manager ideally will want to run only the engines that are needed. This technology determines what amount of power is required for a given activity so the rig operator can manually adjust the engine loads.”
FuelTool is one of several modules included on Canrig’s RigWatch instrumentation platform that generates and distributes real-time drilling information. The system provides daily engine reports, including such parameters as date, fuel consumption, total fuel and hours, fuel meter, hours meter and engine load, as well as alert notifications to designated personnel via computer screens and e-mail. The information can be accessed by rig personnel via RigWatch and remotely via an Internet portal called myWells.com.RigWatch can be installed on any rig, and all the equipment information is transferred via satellite communication to the web portal.
Canrig also is developing a condition-based maintenance (CBM) system for rig machinery called Recon. When the system is enabled for engines, it uses the same concept and hardware as FuelTool. The system is a CBM module designed to proactively and continually monitor rig equipment and schedule preventive maintenance based on equipment operating conditions and not in traditional preventive maintenance practices, thereby eliminating equipment failure and reducing maintenance costs.
FuelTool and Recon are trademarked terms of Canrig; RigWatch and myWells.com are registered terms of Canrig.