Human factors are identified as the major contributor to oil and gas drilling and other operations related accidents. Offshore oil and gas operations involve complex scenarios and decision-making with potentially catastrophic consequences. The current simulation-based training modules are often criticized for their lack of objective and validated measures for human factors and non-technical skills. There is also a need to include measures for enhanced situational awareness and decision-making for the offshore drilling crew. In this study, we present holistic human-centered training framework equipped with assessment techniques to analyses situational awareness of partcipants in customized well-control operations.
The training exercise used in this work included real-time well control operation customized for drilling break and kick detection scenarios. The assessment approach consisted of eye-tracking data analysis, questionnaire analysis, checklist score analysis, and communication log analysis. After individual analysis from each technique, a new framework was developed to triangulate results from each technique to provide a comprehensive assessment. The participants included seven group of novices and one group of experts. The preliminary results indicate significant differences between the situation awareness and performance of participants. Furthermore, there were observed notable differences between the perceptual, comprehensive, and projection ability of novices and experts in routine jobs on a drilling platform. The eye-tracking data features included fixation count and fixation duration, and it was inferred that eye-tracking results can be representative of cognitive abilities of the partcipants. Furthermore, the fixation count and duration results were highly correlated with the checklist scores.
Overall, the adopted methodology in this study have potential to open new avenues for human- centered training framework and improvement in traditional assessment approach. Furthermore, it can also be helpful in understanding of cognitive responses of the offshore professionals.
After the 2010 subsea blowout of the Macondo well that resulted in 11 deaths and the worst oil spill in US history, early kick detection technology found itself at the top of the wish list for regulators and offshore companies seeking to avoid similar accidents. The offshore industry has taken another step toward opening up new deepwater frontiers to exploration with Maersk Drilling ordering the first 20,000-psi blowout preventer (BOP) made by GE Oil and Gas. Many problems that result in BOP downtime could be prevented if only drilling contractors knew which parts of the subsea system to replace and when. BOP monitoring systems have been developed to increase reliability by enabling preventive maintenance.
An investigator from the US National Energy Technology Laboratory examines the role remotely operated vehicles played in flow rate estimation from the Macondo well. Various incidents that took place between Transocean, the owner of Deepwater Horizon, and BP, the company that leased the rig for use at Macondo, illustrate the gap between work-as-imagined in the drilling program and work-as-done by the well operations crew. The presence of slug flow in the riser of the sunken Deepwater Horizon could make a significant difference in financial penalties for BP in the wake of the Macondo incident, an expert said. Several different factors contributed to the Macondo accident, according to an analysis by the CSB. The understanding of decision-making processes is critical in ensuring project success and safety.
Four types of fire- and blast-resistant walls for offshore installations are assessed, including internal vs. external fire and blast walls. An investigator from the US National Energy Technology Laboratory examines the role remotely operated vehicles played in flow rate estimation from the Macondo well. Various incidents that took place between Transocean, the owner of Deepwater Horizon, and BP, the company that leased the rig for use at Macondo, illustrate the gap between work-as-imagined in the drilling program and work-as-done by the well operations crew.
Regulators say the blowout that killed five workers on a Patterson-UTI rig in Oklahoma was the product of a slow-moving series of missed signals, misleading testing, and miscalculations that failed to control a natural gas influx. The new well control rule is evidence that memories of the Macondo blowout remain a powerful force for caution. Despite the rhetoric on both sides of this hot-button issue suggesting big changes, the final changes were incremental. Nonaqueous drilling fluids, such as synthetic-based and oil-based mud (SBM and OBM, respectively), are used frequently to drill one or more sections of a well to reduce drilling problems such as shale sloughing, wellbore stability, and stuck pipe. Three onshore fields in the Emirate of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, have more than 30 years of production history from more than 50 gas-condensate wells.
Australia’s BHP Billiton and the recently acquired Anadarko Petroleum submitted the largest dollar totals of high bids in US Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 253. Operator Talos Energy now believes Zama’s gross recoverable resource lies in the upper half of its pre-appraisal estimate of 400–800 million BOE. The consortium is working toward a 2020 final investment decision on the project. The deal consists of stakes in nine shallow-water producing fields covering 108,000 gross acres in 10–50 m of water. The new well control rule is evidence that memories of the Macondo blowout remain a powerful force for caution.
Ashtead Technology has acquired Louisiana-based subsea equipment rental and cutting services specialist, Aqua-Tech Solutions, as part of the company’s international growth plans in the US. Subsea inspection/repair/maintenance services have traditionally relied on vessel-based, ROV, or diver operations. In the longer term, identifying significant incremental savings in these operations is not sustainable and an innovative approach deploying digital technologies is being investigated. ROVs dominate the world of subsea inspections, maintenance, and repair, but as operators work in a post-downturn economy, autonomous systems have become more in demand. Autonomous inspections are possible today, but how can they help with light and heavy intervention?
The two technology startups aim to bring scale to the visual side of oilfield automation with a new deal that will cover 90% of US energy assets. Inspection data management system software can help companies bolster their mechanical integrity programs, but choosing the wrong software can have a lasting impact on a company’s operations. So, what goes into finding the right software for your needs? Pipeline approvals can be a polarizing topic and advocacy for their viability is crucial for companies. What technologies are being developed to help bolster pipeline integrity, and how is the industry working to assure the general public of their safety and reliability?
Operators are looking for ways to better handle water coming from subsea wells, which is typically treated at topside facilities. Subsea separation systems are not equipped to discharge water back into the reservoir, so how do companies close the gaps? High-fidelity 3D engineering simulations are valuable in making decisions, but they can be cost-prohibitive and require significant amounts of time to execute. The integration of deep-learning neural networks with computational fluid dynamics may help accelerate the simulation process. Saudi Aramco studied such algorithms to produce images simulating the flow inside a pipe’s cross section, possibly reducing the need for separator-based multiphase flowmeters.
The technical and economic successes of deep geothermal development rely on reducing drilling and completion risks. In the closely related oil and gas activities, the risk taken by the investors is balanced by the high reward that successful projects achieve by immensely offsetting the losses of the failed wellbores. Geothermal projects experience similar risks, however, the potential reward is limited by the competition with other energy sources, in a heavily regulated market. The economic acceptability of geothermal power generation requires low risk drilling and completion technologies that would work under many different geological conditions.
When wells are drilled into a petro-thermal formation, sometimes referred to as hot dry rock (HDR), there is normally no clear circulation path between these wells and when this path exists, the transmissivity is so low that no economical project is possible. Enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), in these circumstances is closer to reservoir creation than to conventional reservoir stimulation. Therefore, developing technologies that achieve the designed EGS size and transmissivity is vital to deep geothermal development.
The EGS becomes a viable proposition, when enough rock surface can be contacted by the geothermal fluid, and when the flow path runs smoothly through a sufficient rock volume to minimize the energy depletion and have the project running over a long period, compatible with a positive net present value (NPV). To that end, the well design and its completion system have to be engineered to maximize the chances of properly creating the EGS. In this paper, lessons learnt from past geothermal experience are reviewed and analysed to propose a multi-stage system as a mean of improving geothermal wells completion reliability. Current oil and gas (namely "unconventional") completion technologies related to multi-stage stimulation have been reviewed and different options are discussed in the scope of a deep geothermal hot dry rock project. While previous works conclude that technologies developed for oil and gas are readily available and applicable to deep geothermal projects and EGS (Gradl, 2018), this study shows that shortcomings exist and that further developments are necessary to reliably and economically complete EGS projects. The necessary tests before running different parts is also discussed. Other options for reservoir creation are debated with their potential benefits and associated risks. The developments that could make them work in an EGS project are discussed.