SPE Journal of Petroleum Technology

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

Autonomous Drilling Approach Uses Rotary Steerable System in Middle East Wells [February 2024] This paper describes an autonomous drilling approach using an autocurve-drilling mode to automatically drill curved sections without human intervention and complete autonomous well construction.

SLB Celebrates a 99% Autonomously Drilled Well Section for Equinor [January 2024] The oilfield service giant said it has taken another big step toward fully autonomous drilling operations in its latest project offshore Brazil.

SLB, Nabors Collaborate To Scale Adoption of Drilling Automation [January 2024] The companies have integrated their platforms in an effort to increase flexibility and interoperability.

Autodrillers, Rig-Control Systems, Driller Procedures Reduce BHA Failures [December 2023] This paper describes an 18-month intensive continuous improvement process between an operator, a rig contractor, and bottomhole-assembly (BHA) service providers aimed at reducing BHAs per well in two Oklahoma rigs.

Drillbotics: Where Young Engineers Can Explore the Future of Drilling [August 2023] The winners of this year’s Drillbotics competition are teams from the University of Stavanger and Clausthal University of Technology. Thirteen teams registered last fall, coming from seven countries spanning four continents.

Halliburton, Nabors Team Up on Well Construction Automation [June 2023] Halliburton Company and Nabors Industries announced an agreement on 19 June for well construction automation solutions whereby the duo will collaborate on their technologies including the Halliburton Well Construction 4.0 digital surface and subsurface drilling technologies, the LOGIX Autonomous Drilling Platform, and the Nabors SmartROS universal rig controls and automation platform and RigCLOUD high-performance digital infrastructure platform.

AI-Driven Permanent Cuttings Monitoring Enables Safer and Faster Drilling [February 2023] The authors of this paper describe a project that demonstrated the feasibility of using deep-learning and machine-learning approaches to introduce camera-based solids monitoring to the drilling industry.

Machine-Learning Model Developed for Rate-of-Penetration Optimization [February 2023] The authors of this paper discuss a global rate-of-penetration machine-learning model with the potential to eliminate learning curves and reduce time and costs associated with developing a new model for every field.

Autonomous Directional Drilling Achieved With Industry 4.0 Platform [February 2023] The authors of this paper present an autonomous directional-drilling framework built on intelligent planning and execution capabilities and supported by surface and downhole automation technologies.

Societies Tackle Human Challenges of Automation [January 2023] A joint webinar conducted by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Society of Petroleum Engineers addressed the role of human factors in automation in the oil and gas industry.

Trends in Remote Operations and Drilling Systems Automation Point to an Expanding Footprint: What Comes Next and When? [November 2022] Remote operations and automation have reshaped the drilling landscape in recent years—but this may just be the beginning. Find out here which big milestones may be coming up next for the drilling sector.

Emerson Wants To Renovate Automation [October 2022] At the company’s annual conference, leaders from its Automations Solutions business laid out a three-pronged effort to improve automation architecture—intelligent fields, the edge, and the cloud.

Automated Stringer Detection Boosts Drilling Efficiency With Less Downtime [September 2022] An automated detection application helped identify stringers early for an operator of a mature field in the North Sea while drilling multilateral wells through reservoir sections containing hard calcite stringers interspersed in sand formations with low unconfined compressive strength. The application guided drilling decisions that minimized invisible lost time and shortened the time to target depth.

Drilling Data Raise Questions About Time of Events and Calculations (August 2022) Drillers are working to find ways to break some bad data habits. Those problems can range from the use of multiple formulas to calculate mechanical specific energy to timekeeping systems where the clocks and the time records are often off.

Computer Vision Technology Monitors Safety Zones and Automates Drillpipe Tally (May 2022) A pilot application using computer vision technology has been created to count and measure the pipe entering the wellbore and detect personnel movement in the red zone during pipe-delivery operations.

Automation Reduces Human Error in Influx Detection and Well Control [May 2022] This paper discusses the results of driller stress tests and the implementation of a system that assists the operator in kick detection, space out, and preparation for well shut-in.

The Ultimate Breakthrough for Drilling Automation May Be Simply Finding a Business Case [May 2022] Drilling automation champions met to identify where this emerging technology needs to be by the end of the decade. What they ended up agreeing on most was that the business models used today are largely incompatible with the technology of the future.

Integrated Hydraulics-Modeling Platform Automates Managed-Pressure Drilling [February 2022] The authors describe a platform that integrates advanced data analytics and hydraulic modeling in real time for managed-pressure-drilling applications.

Drilling-Systems Automation Roadmap Improves Decision Making [February 2022] The authors describe a drilling-systems automation roadmap for a transition from humans to automation in the general drilling space.

Drilling Automation: Are We There Yet? [December 2021] Drilling automation is not “there” yet, but it no longer seems like a pipe dream.

Why the Raptor Rig Never Drilled a Well [December 2021] The failure of the Raptor rig to drill its first-ever well offers a short history of the challenges that came with creating the first automated drilling rig.

A Robot Takes Over the Drilling Floor [December 2021] Totally automated drilling today looks like a robot doing all the heavy lifting on a drilling floor. By 2025, there may no longer be anything surprising about it.

Drillbotics Competition Adds Human Factors Requirements [November 2021] The 2021–2022 Drillbotics competition will require the contestants to integrate human factors engineering considerations into their automated drilling rigs for the first time.

New Joint Venture Targets Digital Integration for Well Construction [October 2021] Intellilift and Transocean are working together on a software solution to expedite the well construction process.

Halliburton Revamps Drilling Hardware With an Eye Toward the Digital Future [October 2021] The buzz about the future of automated drilling and it becoming reality depends on improvements in downhole data gathering now. Halliburton is working on it.

ExxonMobil Testing the Next Step—Total Drilling Automation on Land [October 2021] ExxonMobil has drilled a horizontal well with a rig billed by Nabors as the first fully automated land rig. The big question now is whether ExxonMobil will come back for more after this three-well test.

Automated Mud Skid Holds Promise of Safety, Efficiency Improvements With Real-Time Fluid Monitoring [June 2021] SPYDR, MetaRock team up with Pioneer Natural Resources for a pilot program in the Permian Basin to test real-time fluid monitoring.

A Big Question for Digital Experts: What Is the Driller Trying To Do? [June 2021] “What is the drilling state” has become an important question among data scientists and automation experts. The simplest definition of a complicated concept is that it is what the driller is doing at the time.

Drive for Automation Leads to Marriage of NOV and Schlumberger Software [May 2021] The largest makers of drilling-automation controls, NOV and Schlumberger, have agreed to collaborate to ensure their software and equipment work seamlessly together. The partners described it as a “collaboration to accelerate automated drilling.”

Norwegian Tech Deployments Show What 21st-Century Drilling Looks Like [March 2021] As the saying goes, the future is now. This is certainly the case offshore Norway, which represents one of the industry’s most influential test beds for impactful innovation.

Will This Be the Decade of Full Digital Twins for Well Construction? [March 2021] Technology is advancing, and applications are growing, but scaling faces technological and human challenges.

Data Exchange and Collaboration Realize Automated Drilling Control Potential [Feb 2021]The authors describe challenges that must be overcome to reach the goal of drilling systems automation.

Implementation of an Intelligent Drilling Automation System in the Middle East [Feb 2021] This paper details the introduction of a drilling automation system to deliver superior well-construction performance in a major gas field.

Drilling Automation and Innovation [Feb 2021] Drilling automation and innovation continue as dominant trends despite market downturns and unprecedented challenges in the past year. In many ways, the drive toward new efficiencies and step changes in well-construction performance has taken on an even greater sense of urgency.

Semantic Framework Aligns Real-Time Drilling-Management and Control Applications [January 2021] The complete paper presents a drilling semantic framework that allows software solutions to achieve automatic and versatile self-configuration.

Digital Transformation Enables Automated Real-Time Torque-and-Drag Modeling [January 2021] The complete paper presents a solution that integrates a physics-based torque-and-drag (T&D) stiff/soft string model with a real-time drilling analytics system using a custom-built extract, transform, and load translator and digital-transformation applications to automate the T&D modeling work flow.

Petrobras Trims Drilling by Months With Software That Will One Day Automate Its Offshore Rigs [August 2020] Brazil’s national oil company details the results of 6 years of real-time drilling monitoring. The next step is to move toward optimization, then automation.

Adaptive Drilling Application Uses AI To Enhance On-Bottom Drilling Performance [July 2020] An intelligent drilling optimization application performs as an adaptive autodriller. In the Marcellus Shale, ROP improved 61% and 39% and drilling performance, measured as hours on bottom, improved 25%.

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 shared.

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.

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