IADC Drilling Contractor

IADC Drilling Contractor Drilling Rigs and Automation section offers access to many articles that describe the advances in DSA.

Ensign President/COO: Collaborative approach can incentivize investments in innovative automation [Sept 2020] In an era of low energy prices and reduced drilling activity, transitioning from mechanization to true automation will be vital to lowering well costs and creating profits.

Leveraging drillers as coaches helps to increase new technology uptake [May 2020] Ensign initiative trains high-performing drillers to help other drillers gain trust in new process automation features as they are rolled out to rigs.

As MPD grows in popularity, manufacturers evolve to meet contractor, operator demand [11 Mar 2020] Mark Mitchell, President of Oil and Gas at AFGlobal, discusses the pace of MPD evolution in the industry today, company expectations of the technology, and the role artificial intelligence may play in MPD development in the near future.

Focus on communication and process critical to helping drillers manage evolving risks amid increasing automation [25 Feb 2020] Drillers have seen an influx of automated equipment in recent years, and learning how to incorporate this automation onto the rig while maintaining a strong safety culture can be more of a challenge than it may appear on the surface.

Semantic Framework Aligns Real-Time Drilling-Management and Control Applications [1 February 2020] Real-time signals exchanged during drilling operations are in constant evolution, provided by multiple stakeholders that have distinct perspectives on the drilling process. To achieve improved drilling management and control, the seamless exchange of real-time drilling data, without the necessity of any human intervention to configure software applications, is desirable.

To incentivize digital projects, value gained must be shared [22 Jan 2020] As drilling contractors embark on the next step-change in drilling performance – which will likely come from the digital realm – they will be much more careful to not let their investments become commoditized.

Measuring Drilling Efficiency Through More Than Speed [6 Nov 2019] John Clegg of Weatherford advocates a more holistic approach to measuring drilling, efficiency, taking into account the quality of the wellbore.

IADC ART DCS Subcommittee to create rig sensor/instrument guidelines through new initiative The IADC ART Drilling Control Systems (DCS) Subcommittee has kicked off the Rig Sensor Stewardship initiative.

Pilot test for automated mud management leverages real-time monitoring, hydraulic modeling (29 Aug 2019) By Jan Ole Skogestad, Manuel Aghito, SINTEF Industry; Jelmer Braaksma and Jan Atle Andresen, Huisman; Jan Ove Brevik, Equinor; George Gibbs Smith, Intelligent Mud Solution

Proposed industry initiative aims to increase interoperability in well construction equipment. (29 Aug 2019). By Darryl Fett, Total E&P Research & Technology USA 50+ industry experts participated in April workshop and outlined vision for next steps; D-WIS group now working to identify priorities, set organizational strategy

NOVOS evolves, with new emphasis on extracting value through optimization (16 July 2019)Matt Jackson of NOV reports on the development of the NOVOS drilling automation platform

New drilling automation platform optimizes steering, aids real-time decisions (16 July 2019)Umut Zalluhoglu of Halliburton reports on a new drilling automation platform

As drilling automation advances, building in cybersecurity resilience must remain core considerations. [June 2019] Integration of industrial control systems (ICS), or operational technology (OT) systems, and information technology (IT) systems has enabled use of real-time data for drilling process control and management. As a result, previously isolated OT sub-systems, such as the drilling control sub-systems, have become susceptible to cyber-attacks, thereby requiring protection.

Transocean announces drilling automation of six floaters. [February 2019] Transocean has announced that it entered into an agreement with its customer, Equinor, to license and install automated drilling control (ADC) systems on four high-specification, harsh-environment rigs currently on contract in Norway and a fifth semisubmersible that is expected to commence operations in the Norwegian sea this summer.

Automation of directional drilling system with remote supervisory control allows mile-a-day wells to be achieved in Appalachian Basin. [August 2018] Drilling is a highly dynamic process. Interrelated wellsite systems; geologic conditions that can deviate from expectations; operational variables that require continual adjustments, such as weight-on-bit and rotating speed; and the time lag between near-bit sensors in the subsurface and drilling control systems at surface all make automating a drilling operation as challenging as automating space flight.


SPE Journal of Petroleum Technology

SPE JPT Drilling Automation section offers access to many publications that fall under the topic of DSA.

Drilling Automation Is the Future, But ExxonMobil Finds Gaps To Fill [9 Mar 2020] ExxonMobil’s rig automation experiment is accelerating, with plans to push the number of rigs in the system from three to nine.

Man vs. Drilling Machine Can Be a Productive Thing [01 February 2020] Matt Isbell from Hess leads the knowledge sharing on this topic supported by key drilling contractor Nabors.

With Automation in Hand Drillers Demand a Raise [01 February 2020] Records the debate at the SPE ATCE Special panel session in Clagary 2019 – discussion covers rewards being shred.

Digital Twins Mature in the North Sea [01 December 2019] Description of the digital twins of three physical assets used in training, verification and process simulation.

Drilling Change Requires Changing Drillers [01 September 2019] Takes a look at the changing role of subject matter experts, in particular the driller,  due to digital and data-driven change.

Slipping Past Human Barriers to Change [01 September 2019] Look at how Apache managed change when it rolled out its drilling advisory system.

Directional Drilling Becomes Office Work at Chevron, Hess (3 July 2019)Both Hess and Chevron report on de-manned and unmanned remote directional drilling operations

Automated Operations and Wired Drillpipe Benefit Arctic Drilling (1 Feb 2019)  Synopsis of an SPE paper by BP and NOV on drilling automation with wired pipe operations

Automated Real-Time Torque-and-Drag Analysis Improves Drilling Performance (1 Feb 2019).  Synopsis of a paper by Apache and Intellicess on the real-time processing of torque and drag data for event detection

Automation-Adoption Approach Maps Human/System Interaction. [February 2019] This paper describes the progress of directional-drilling-automation systems along the cognitive functions and levels of automation as defined by the Levels of Automation Taxonomy (LOAT) hierarchy introduced by the Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap Industry Initiative.

Equinor, Transocean Ink Deal for Five Automated Rigs. [February 2019] Transocean said will install automated drilling systems on four of its harsh-environment rigs on long-term contracts with Equinor.

What’s Different About These Drill Bits? How a Little Change Can Be Made to Matter (1 Jan 2019)JPT article on the 2018 Drillbotics competition which was won by NTNU

Drilling Systems Automation and Management. [September 2018] Signs of maturity in drilling systems automation are evident in the success stories filtering out of technical conferences and in the attraction of top university talent to an annual, international, drilling-systems-automation contest.

These Are the Forks in the Road to Drilling Automation. [May 2017] The low price of crude may have slowed the advance of drilling automation technology, but it clearly has not stopped it. Uptake is rising, chiefly in the US onshore market, where contractors including Nabors and Precision Drilling have recently rolled out their first batch of “closed-loop” automated rigs that take key pieces of the well construction process out of human hands.

With New Rig Software, Automated Drilling is Easier To Embrace. [June 2017] Last summer, while being moved from one well pad to the next, a rig in the Delaware Basin of Texas was updated with some new software. It took 11 hours to complete, and after the rig was powered back up, it went on to drill the vertical section of a horizontal well almost 3 days ahead of schedule.


SUMITOMO Corporation Acquires a Stake in Sekal AS (27 July 2019)Sumitomo joins Equinor, Saudi Aramco, Norce and others as shareholders in Sekal AS, whose primary products are DrillTronics (automated drilling control systems) and DrillScene (remote monitoring software).

Transocean Ltd. Announces Drilling Automation of Six Floaters (18 Feb 2019)Transocean announces automated drilling control systems on 6 of its NS rigs, using technologies from MHWirth, NOV and Sekal AS