IM Experts in E&P

Exploiting real-time drilling data

Date: 26/7/2010

Real-time data capture from drilling rigs is becoming common. WITSMLTM (Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language - from Energistics) and enhanced communications bandwidth have enabled the capture and transmission of data in a standard format.

Companies are investing in technology to implement schemes, both contractor-specific and independent, to collate and stream vast quantities of data around the globe for occasional expert attention, and sometimes multi-discipline/multi-site collaboration through Remote Operating Centres (ROCs).

However, the objectives behind the investment are often not met; it seems, for example, that the ROC often serves as an expensive video-conferencing facility, rather than the intended multi-disciplinary collaborative environment utilising the planned data to resolve problems.

The anticipated benefits (in both economic and safety terms) from faster, better-considered decisions do not always materialise.

The information required to feed back into the planning approach to improve performance for future wells is not always available.

It seems that, once again, the emphasis in many cases has been on new technology, with inadequate attention paid to the people involved and the changes to their working processes and the quality of the underlying, traditional, drilling databases.

If it is not reliable and complete the context for assessing events triggered by the real-time feed is not robust. Poor decisions still result.

Is the quality of the underlying drilling data adequate? Would cleansing of the databases significantly improve the use of real-time data?

Are people suitably coached and supported in the changes involved to working practices?

Do some companies need better investment planning, taking account of all aspects (not just the technology) to avoid flooding servers with data that remains, largely, unused?

Are there examples of good practice, fully meeting the investment objectives, that might offer guidance?

Keith Gillett

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