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Drilling Rigs & Automation

Industry 4.0: Oil & gas could benefit from outward search for innovations

Looking externally for automation, digitalization  opportunities may prove cost effective amid downturn and R&D budget cuts By John Barratt, Oil & Gas Innovation Center As this article was being written in June, there were approximately 300 drilling rigs operating in North America, the US frac spread count was around 50, and every drilling contractor and completions company was suffering financially.  Petroleum industry R&D and product development budgets, which were not especially robust prior to the COVID-19 crisis, will likely be reduced even further, along with R&D staffing levels. This is one of the most rapid and severe downturns ever experienced by the petroleum industry. However, many other industries are also very cyclical, and they continue to position themselves to survive ...

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Audio interview: Machine learning tools facilitate remote BOP monitoring

In mid-May, Aquila Engineering completed a pilot project on a remote BOP third-party verification system with an operator in the Gulf of Mexico. The system builds upon the company’s real-time BOP monitoring technology, which utilizes machine learning tools like dynamic fault tree analysis to enable real-time monitoring of an offshore BOP...

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GOM, Norway case studies show how dual-physics imaging enhances geological characterization in real time

Technology delivers high-definition resistivity, acoustic images while drilling in oil-based mud, enabling more informed decision making By Vera Krissetiawati Wibowo and Chandramani Shrivastava, Schlumberger Borehole imaging has many applications for drilling geomechanics, reservoir characterization and production optimization. With the advances in logging-while-drilling (LWD) technologies, applications of image logs have widened to support real-time operations and decisions. However, non-conductive mud poses a barrier for resistivity-based high-definition imaging, which limits the application during drilling with oil-based mud (OBM) or synthetic-based mud. Experience over years has suggested that geological features respond better to resistivity-based imaging than any other method. Operators drilling in OBM face challenges determining depositional facies in reservoir evaluation workflows. Wireline images have served as a conventional solution for such applications ...

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Gas-powered engines boost efficiency using energy storage, automation

Integrated electronic controls were also key in enabling reductions in fuel use and engine operating hours during six-month land rig demonstration By Stephen Whitfield, Associate Editor Land drilling rigs are typically powered by a set of diesel-fueled generators, but lean-burning natural gas has become an attractive alternative fuel for drillers, in part because of its lower environmental impact. According to the US Energy Information Administration, natural gas burns approximately 27% fewer pounds of CO2/Btu. However, natural gas generators are not a foolproof solution. The electrical loads on a rig can be highly transient, varying by more than 2 MW in a matter of seconds. Traditional natural gas generator sets did not provide an acceptable transient response without the use of ...

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Chevron finds new ways to mix automation content into competency assurance programs

Automation has been a key driver in the pace of change for drilling operations in recent years, but the adoption of new technologies can unveil complex challenges, particularly in assuring worker competency. Learn more in this video with Kevin Taylor, WellSafe System IT SME at Chevron...

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CSB: More collaboration between drillers, regulators needed to improve safety

Following its investigation of the January 2018 Pryor Trust incident in Oklahoma, the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) issued numerous recommendations on how drillers and regulators can work together to ensure better safety on rigs. At the 2020 IADC HSE&T Conference in Houston on 18 February, Chuck Barbee, Director of Recommendations with the CSB, spoke with DC about some of those recommendations, as well as the need for increased industry collaboration on safety.

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