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Abstract Engineering software programs play a critical role in helping engineers understand complex engineering challenges and in analyzing engineering data to aid management in making the right decisions. Currently, it is almost impossible to present a job design without the help of engineering software. In petroleum industry this situation is especially true in the areas of reservoir study, drilling, hydraulic fracturing, cementing, and sand control, where the software is an integrated collection of the right technologies and is the "medium" used to transfer technology to end users. Unlike a physical product, which has a solid touch and feel, the architectural design and detailed development of engineering software often seem like a mystery to users, because of the numerous, hidden algorithms. Ensuring the correctness of all the implemented logic and producing reliable software has always been the focus of software engineering. Theoretically, any change made to the software has the potential to affect the entire application and may require a full retesting of the application's functionality before release to the user. It is impossible to retest all logical combinations and algorithms by using traditional testing methodologies. A new automated test solution has been developed to revolutionize the process of software development and testing to improve software reliability. The new test automation technique enables the developer to record and document all testing on individual algorithms as well as algorithm combinations during early development phases. Most importantly, testing can be automatically repeated at a later stage as needed. This activity includes unit testing, module testing, integration testing, and the final entire application testing. The precision range can also be set in the proposed methodology. Automated testing and retesting significantly improves the reliability of the software as it is developed during its lifecycle. The proposed methodology was validated by successful application of the new solution in our software development projects.
Goodkey, Brennan (Schlumberger Middle East) | Hernandez, Gerardo (Schlumberger Middle East) | Nunez, Andres (Schlumberger Middle East) | Corona, Mauricio (Schlumberger Middle East) | Atriby, Kamal (Schlumberger Middle East) | Rayes, Mohammed (Schlumberger Middle East) | Carvalho, Rafael (Schlumberger USA) | Herrera, Carlos (Schlumberger USA)
Over the past decade, breakthroughs in digital technology have rewarded a variety of industries with a step change in productivity and efficiency. Despite this, the drilling industry has yet to benefit on a large scale from these advances and a significant amount of value remains untapped. This paper details the effort of a service company to leverage modern technology by introducing a drilling automation system in pursuit of achieving a higher degree of consistency and efficiency.
The drilling automation system described in this case study was deployed in the Middle East on two onshore gas drilling rigs in 2019. The deployment was an opportunity to validate the potential of modern drilling automation technology and prove its ability to consistently deliver value. Since the company had extensive experience in the region, the Middle East was selected as the preferred location for field trials. This ensured that the value of automation could be precisely quantified as performance benchmarks were well documented and available for comparison. The automation strategy relied on an intelligent decision management system capable of dealing with constantly changing drilling conditions in order to implement efficient, consistent, and standardized well construction operations, while enhancing safety and reducing NPT. When given authority, the system would take control of the rig surface equipment to enable full automation of most drilling actions and engage optimization engines to monitor and adjust parameters to maximize performance. The system was leveraged to eliminate the variability innate to humans and deliver consistent results, while consolidating the improvements, performance gains, and lessons learned that otherwise would tend to disappear or erode over time or through personnel replacement.
Throughout this document, insight is provided into the technology itself, the deployment process, implementation challenges, the agile development model, and the results achieved. In addition, as the introduction of automation is a major departure from the traditional human operated drilling process, an emphasis will be placed on the results of the change management strategies utilized.
This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Judy Feder, contains highlights of paper SPE 203251, “Drilling in the Digital Age: Harnessing Intelligent Automation To Deliver Superior Well-Construction Performance in a Major Middle Eastern Gas Field,” by Brennan Goodkey, Gerardo Hernandez, and Andres Nunez, Schlumberger, et al., prepared for the 2020 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, held virtually from 9-12 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed. While breakthroughs in digital technology have rewarded many industries with a step change in productivity and efficiency during the past decade, the drilling industry has yet to benefit on a large scale from these advances. The complete paper details the introduction of a drilling automation system (DAS) to deliver superior well-construction performance in a major gas field in the Middle East. The DAS was deployed on two onshore gas drilling rigs. The paper discusses the technology itself, the deployment process, implementation challenges, the agile development model, and the results achieved. Introduction In 2018, Schlumberger partnered with a major Middle Eastern national oil company on one of the world’s largest lump-sum, turnkey gas-well-delivery projects, where drilling operations had already been optimized by targeting high-impact, low-effort areas of opportunity. Drilling automation was pursued to achieve an improvement in performance, specifically to shift the technical limit and to minimize the frequency of service incidents that could cost days of nonproductive time (NPT). An in-house solution under development for some time was designed to take control of the rig’s surface equipment to automate and optimize most drilling tasks and to generate value in the following areas: Automation of drilling actions to perform exactly as planned, within the safe limits of operation, by eliminating the inconsistency of manual operation and its susceptibility to human factors Identification and mitigation of drilling dysfunctions that could lead to costly tool failures and incidents by using intelligence engines that would adapt drilling parameters continuously for best performance Technology Overview The DAS was developed as the execution component of a well-construction platform designed to link planning and execution. The planning component allowed for all well-design stakeholders to collaborate online and create the well plan simultaneously. Once prepared, the plan would be exported to the rig as a machine-interpretable digital drilling plan that the DAS could digest. With the validation of rig personnel, the DAS would then take control of a selection of drilling actions and execute exactly as instructed in the well plan. While drilling, extensive information would be collected to serve as a vehicle to drive performance when planning future wells. In the deployment summarized in the complete paper, a pilot version of the drilling automation module was deployed as a standalone product. The key objectives of design included three categories - dynamic planning, safety and resilience, and interoperability.
Abstract The highly fragmented nature of drilling and completion operations results in complex interactions that inhibit performance and systems automation. Reorganization into interconnected systems in a designed architecture aligned to key performance requirements and constraints solves this fragmentation. This realigned systems architecture provides a solid foundation to effectively measure and drive system performance, and implement drilling systems automation. In current wellsite activities, the "operation state" identifies activities in drilling and completion operations, and is critical for accurate performance measurements, in managing automation modes, and in activating automation controls. Although a definition of operation states related to drilling ("drilling states") exists, there is significant work remaining to validate a complete spectrum of these states, and to define completion states, wellbore states and other operation states. Systems architecture developed through systems engineering is a well-established practice in the automobile, aviation and aerospace industries. It enables multiple suppliers to coordinate their efforts toward commonly agreed performance criteria. Applying systems architecture to drilling and completion operations will concurrently enable more appropriate performance measures and drivers while creating the necessary foundation for effective drilling systems automation. Drilling performance measurement from sensor data has become a common practice. Processing relies on defining the drilling state at any time by detecting various machine operations, and then measuring the duration of the defined state to understand its effect on cycle time for drilling and completing a well. Current practice relies on the machine operations of raising and lowering the blocks, rotating pipe and pumping fluid. The system is usually blind to those activities that do not involve these operations. The drilling systems automation roadmap (de Wardt et al. 2015) recognized the need to use defined drilling states, and other operational states, to match the correct control application with the current rig activity, borehole condition, equipment condition, etc. This paper describes the concept of systems architecture as applied to drilling oil and gas wells. It explains how to develop systems architecture for specific drilling projects. The paper discusses the development of a range of operational states for performance monitoring and systems automation. These guidelines will enable all parties involved in either monitoring performance or implementing systems automation to use a common framework in a coherent and effective manner. A robust systems architecture combined with fully vetted operational states enables highly complex autonomous operations in automotive and aerospace applications. Autonomous operations are growing from current applications in autopilot jumbo jets and the Mars rover to future applications such as autonomous automobiles. Implementation of these concepts in drilling and completing wells will support the effective application of systems automation, and have a significant positive impact on measuring and improving performance.