New taxonomy incorporates drilling-specific complexities into automated systems [March 2024] Drilling systems automation involves multiple agents and components delivering various functions at different levels of automation. Current taxonomies of the data input into automation systems do not fully address the complexities commonly seen in drilling operations, and there is a need to better classify these complexities in order to create truly autonomous systems, said John de Wardt, Founder of De Wardt and Company.

Drillbotics competition spotlights student-led innovations in automated drilling systems [March 2024] The annual Drillbotics contest involves teams of university students from around the world designing and building small drilling rigs that use sensors and control algorithms to autonomously drill a rock sample. The competition offers teams a choice between building a small-scale physical rig or a virtual model, with winners of each group presenting a paper at the IADC/SPE International Drilling Conference.

Nabors, Independence Contract Drilling pave path for new type of automation partnership [March 2024] Nabors Industries and Independence Contract Drilling (ICD) released initial results from a collaboration to deploy two automation systems on ICD’s rigs. Nabors’ SmartROS rig operating system and SmartDRILL technology were installed and deployed on an ICD rig in West Texas, leading to a 34% improvement in weight-on-weight connections and 24% improvement in overall connection times.

Corva, Nabors see early results from partnership on automation system [December 2023] Corva and Nabors announced a partnership in which Corva’s AI/machine learning-based system, “Predictive Drilling,” would be employed within Nabors’ SmartROS and RigCloud systems to help optimize ROP and reduce downhole dysfunctions. In the months since that announcement, the companies have seen a noticeable impact in drilling performance – over the summer, a Delaware Basin operator deployed Predictive Drilling on four Permian Basin wells, increasing average ROP by 36% and decreasing average vibration by 9.7%.

AWS talks wide-ranging potential of generative AI in drilling applications [October 2023] Digitalization has enabled companies to realize new levels of operational efficiency and productivity while reducing safety risk and environmental impact. The rapid advancement of generative AI, which produces various types of imagery using large language models, is now allowing companies to better visualize the massive amounts of data they produce downhole.

H&P automated geosteering system improves awareness, decision making in directional drilling [September 2023] Automated geosteering offers a comprehensive view of the well plan and geology, giving drillers an early indication of whether they’re in the center of their target and whether they need to slide. This technology can help to enhance wellbore quality while lowering cost, said Kyle Underwood, Technical Sales Representative at Helmerich & Payne (H&P).

Seadrill project illustrates importance of human performance in implementing rig automation systems (September 2023] Last year, Seadrill upgraded its West Saturn drillship with automated systems to boost performance and energy efficiency. The rig, which is currently operating offshore Brazil, illustrates that the human factors influencing the success of automated systems are just as important as the technologies being installed, said John Dady, Director of Technical Services at Seadrill.

Robotics, process control systems help NOV realize new vision of rig automation [July 2023] Automation has been a part of the oil and gas industry for years. At NOV’s test rig in Navasota, Texas, the company has been utilizing available technologies to push toward a new vision of rig automation. Earlier this year, the company took a step toward realizing that vision by removing the driller’s cabin from the rig floor.

Collaboration among Transocean, HMH, Equinor spearheads drilling of automated hole section [June 2023] In April 2023, the Transocean Encourage semisubmersible drilled its first fully automated hole section offshore Norway. The operation was part of a project among Transocean, Equinor and HMH to automate routine operations on the rig, reducing the potential for human error and driving efficiencies.

The future of automation regarding drilling [May 2023] Moray Laing, Director Rig Automation Integration, Halliburton and DSATS Board Member. Open discussion and participant questions on drilling systems automation, business models and similar topics including the role DSATS plays in the industry (VDoorLocksmith show).

Integrating human factors into system design key to maximizing rig-site safety and performance [April. 2023] Maximizing safety and performance on the rig will require companies to consider the capabilities and limits of their people and integrate those considerations into the design of the systems they use, said Curt Braun, Human Performance Advisor at BP. Dr Braun explained the concept of human systems integration (HSI), which is used by many industries to ensure they design systems that focus on the interface between the systems and humans.

SPE Live: The UK National Robotarium – Thoughts on Skills for the Future… [March 2023] Informative Talk on Robotics in the Energy Sector (30 minutes). The need for humans to trust the robotics is a key issue much like the trust required of Drilling Systems Automation. Mission autonomy is being developed in areas where communication has latency and other issues.

Autonomy in Drilling Systems Automation- what is it and what isn’t it? [March 2023] The word ‘autonomous’ is being used in publications to describe a level of drilling systems automation that probably does not exist. This presentation describes the issue in terms of definition and background to autonomy, the SAE and the SESAR LOAT levels of autonomy, presents some usage in publications and suggests a way forward for clarity in the drilling industry. This is a presentation John de Wardt made to the SPE DSATS 16 Mar 2023 Officer and Membership Meeting. Slide content from Alonso Vera is used with permission.

Canrig robotic systems enable automation of pipe, tool operations on the rig floor [March 2023] Canrig Robotics, formerly Robotic Drilling Systems, has developed various automated systems for drilling rigs, including a robotic pipe handler, which automates the delivery of tubulars from the pipe deck to the well center.

Nabors combines advanced robotics, software to realize automation vision [March 2023] Automation has been a key focus for Nabors Industries in recent years. In 2021, the company announced the deployment of a fully automated land rig in the Permian Basin that utilized the company’s proprietary Smart Suite drilling software. Last year it launched the Canrig RZR Red Zone Robotics Module, which can automate any AC rig drill floor and remove crews from hazardous areas.

Innovation, collaboration critical to speeding up adoption of digital systems [March 2023] As oil and gas continues to digitalize, top software developers are looking to partner with the industry to provide applications that help solve their most pressing needs, said Ryan Dawson, Chief Corvanaut at Corva.

Digitalization enables improved well planning processes at Aker BP [March 2023] Aker BP has invested heavily in digital systems designed to optimize well planning, which can increase efficiency and reduce risk of unexpected incidents, says Arnfinn Grøtte, Manager, Drilling and Wells Digitalization.

SPE DSATS / IADC ART Symposium “Trends in Well Construction Automation – where will we push the envelope, if at all[March 2023] Timings for beginning each section of the Symposium: 09:34 Introduction / 11:21 SPE DSATS update / 30.14 IADC ART update / 38:12 Amazing insights in an interview with Ryan Dawson under the topic “Accelerating Wellbore Construction Automation with Data” / 1:12:15 Great content from 5 panelists presentations and debate “Trends in Well Construction Automation – where will we push the envelope, if at all?”
Arnfinn Grøtte / Pradeep Annaiyappa / Joop Rodenburg / Erik Zachariasen / Knut Inge Dahlberg

Lunch Talk with Alonso Vera (NASA) on Human Autonomy Teaming [2016] Alonso Vera gives his perspective on human relationship to automation, specifically autonomy. Similar presentation to the one he gave to SPE DSATS / IADC ART in March. 2016.

Trends in Well Construction Automation: more to come? (January 2023) Drilling systems automation has made great strides in applications, with more progress coming. The question now is how the value proposition holds up and what growth is potentially in the future for automation of well completion, intervention, and P&A activities.

Interoperability as a Key Factor to Better Drilling Automation (January 2023) 30 minutes of great insights into interoperability in Drilling Systems Automation. Eric Cayeux’s description of issues and a solution to interoperability are high value for everyone connected to Drilling Systems Automation. Also available as a podcast.

Integrating an Automation Platform with a Rig Control System (December 2022) Presenters discuss the process of installing a process automation platform on a 3rd party rig control system, some lessons learned, implementation challenges and early results from the integration.

A Pragmatic Approach to Interoperability (of Drilling Systems) (November 2022). Synopsis of the presentation: Case history of interoperability, Building data adaptors, Challenges to achieving interoperability and automation, Path forward, Q&A

D-WIS group holds workshop to advance drilling interoperability (October 2022) Over the past few years, an industry group has been working to enable open and interoperable communications among key components in oil and gas well construction. That initiative, Drilling and Wells Interoperability Standards (D-WIS), held a work session with drilling contractors, operators, service companies and other key stakeholders at IADC’s Houston office on 6-7 October.

Halliburton, ONGC advance MPD remote operations through automation (October 2022) Remote operations have become a common solution for the drilling industry as it continues to look for new ways to reduce risk and maximize returns. Halliburton recently implemented remote operations on an MPD project, a collaboration with ONGC in India, that utilized 24-hour subject matter expert support and other remote systems.

Fully autonomous drilling at scale inches closer to reality, but challenges remain (June 2022) Nabors Industries has been at the forefront of automated drilling systems in recent years, with the company deploying, among other things, a fully automated land rig featuring its SmartROS operating system. In a presentation at the IADC World Drilling 2022 Conference in Paris, Ram Murthi, the company’s Senior Manager of Controls and Automation, said these initiatives have been a part of Nabors’ pathway to enabling fully autonomous drilling at scale.

D-WIS group makes progress on interface, data models (June 2022) An industry initiative to enable open and interoperable communication among key components and systems used in oil and gas well construction has seen notable progress in recent months, according to Mark Carrier, Principal Engineer at Real Time Innovations.

Toward Autonomous Operations (June 2022) Integrated Operations, Remote Operations, Collaborative Operations and now we have Autonomous Operations! What do these terms really mean and are they interlinked in some way?

Technological disruptors could lead to a rethinking of the well construction business model (March 2022) Today’s drilling environment is ripe for significant changes in the well construction business model, and drilling contractors should consider pushing for contracting models that help them better realize the value generated by their technology investments, said John de Wardt, President of De Wardt and Company.

Automated predictive frac control system taps operator’s machine-learning model to improve completion execution (March 2022)     Hess, Halliburton partner on Bakken pilot pairing automation with a predictive model to optimize for new surface efficiencies

Creating an Opens Source Drilling Dynamics Modelling Community (Fall 2021) An introduction to this community by Greg Payette, ExxonMobil.

IADC ART DCS Subcommittee to create rig sensor/instrument guidelines through new initiative [6 Nov 2019] The IADC ART Drilling Control Systems (DCS) Subcommittee has kicked off the Rig Sensor Stewardship initiative, which aims to formulate guidelines to ensure sensor and instrument performance.

Data Interoperability Workshop brings together experts to pave path for seamless data exchange. In April 2019, more than 50 industry experts gathered at a Data Interoperability Workshop, held at IADC’s Houston headquarters, to discuss issues and barriers delaying the implementation of interoperable systems used to share measurements and control data.

New drilling automation platform optimizes steering, aids real-time decisions. A new drilling automation platform is aiding experts to make real-time drilling decisions to enable more accurate well placement, good borehole quality, optimum rate of penetration and consistency.

Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap Release. 2019. Presentation to the IADC DEC on the release of the DSA Roadmap.

DSA Roadmap report presented at IADC workshop. The Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap (DSA Roadmap) underwent its first full industry review in a workshop held 17-18 January 2018 in Houston.

Drilling automation workshop features leading mining innovators. 2013

Human Factors in Automation An SPE webinar (requires login) recorded 2015. Amanda DiFiore.Why include human factors engineering in the design of automated rigs? On the surface it seems like a reasonable question. Why would we need to consider the needs of human operators if they are to be replaced by drilling systems automation technology.

Drilling Automation and OPC UA; Clinton Chapman, Schlumberger / DSATS Deputy Chairman, ARC World Industry Forum 2013

Industrial Robotics – Clay Flanigan : [2012] Presentation / Q&A

The Driller’s Brain – Bertrand du Castel : [2012] Presentation / Q&A

Apprenticeship Learning for High Performance Helicopter Flight – Arjun Singh : [2012] Presentation / Q&A

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