Real Time Drilling
Point Of View

REAL TIME DRILLING DATA

Overview

The purpose of this article is to examine the business case for adoption of Real Time Drilling Data (RTDD) systems. In this case we are taking the perspective of a small operator with both land and offshore drilling portfolios. Much has been made of the business cases as it applies to large operators or service companies. Here we will examine the business case for adoption of Real Time Drilling Data to sup-port smaller more diverse organisations.

What is important to drillers

  • Time – Minimizing Non Productive Time (NPT); any initiatives that show a positive effect on NPT
  • Cost / Time – Operators that have drilling teams that can minimise well costs and optimise well delivery can make marginal wells more viable to drill
  • Quality – The quality of the drilled well will be reflected in the production phase, reducing work overs and ensuring production targets are met
  • HSE – Safety of the individual and the environment is essential to underpin-ning reputation and license to operate

What are the main business cases

Your organisation will experience challenges in all of the above therefore presenting opportunities for improvement. The business case for RTDD systems plays to each of these points. However the risk to the organisation is that without integration into drilling workflow and without management of change to ensure understanding, competence and compliance, many of these initiatives fail.

Wells organisations working together
Wells organisations working together

Your business case for change

Both offshore and land wells share similar issues around time, costs and safety. However the differences between the deep, expensive, complex wells offshore and the more frequent, often simpler lower cost wells associated with land drilling, mean that the business cases will have different focus.

Land wells

Often less complex and more frequent, land wells are optimised when they are drilled quickly and efficiently. Getting to total depth (TD) as quickly as possible with as few trips into the hole as possible is a critical success factor. Using RTDD systems to analyze well data and monitor activity across many wells, results in identification of trends both positive and negative that can be used to improve overall field development.

Offshore wells

In comparison with super-majors, operators working on a smaller scale may want to take advantages of the benefits offered by implementing RTDD without the expenditure of large regional and global operations centers such as Shells Real time Ops Centers (RTOC’s) . It is likely that field operations would benefit from depth and diversity offered from other areas of the business, this will offset and provide assurance over plans that may be suffering weaknesses based on a lack of operational expertise. These opportunities make assessment of RTDD worth while.

Scale

In comparison with super-majors, operators working on a smaller scale may want to take advantages of the benefits offered by implementing RTDD without the expenditure of large regional and global operations centers such as Shells Real time Ops Centers (RTOC’s) . It is likely that field operations would benefit from depth and diversity offered from other areas of the business, this will offset and provide assurance over plans that may be suffering weaknesses based on a lack of operational expertise. These opportunities make assessment of RTDD worth while.

Land wells

Marathons Oil, Ken Startz, outlines ‘MaraDrill,’ a proof of concept data infrastruc-ture for ‘factory drilling’ of the Eagle Ford and Bakken shale’s.

Launched early in 2012 with three Helmerich & Payne rigs operating in the Eagle Ford and Bakken. Data from the rigs brings the consolidated, high frequency data stream into Marathon’s Houston HQ. Drilling KPIs are captured with 1 second time stamp resolution.

Another compelling use case is pinpointing stick-slip drilling problems. Stick-slip mitigation has led to a 40% increase in penetration rate on some wells and has reduced costs associated with downhole MWD/LWD tool damage.

More attention to the data means significant time and capital cost reduction. A 5% reduction in drill time equates to a $1 million/rig/year saving.

RTDD value for land wells
RTDD value for land wells
Ecosystem
Ecosystem

The supplier ecosystem

The supplier ecosystem is complex, there are a number of service companies, and application vendors providing options on systems , data and visualisation. There are also competing languages / standards for interpretation of the data. Below we examine the key components in further detail.

Service companies

Companies such as Halliburton and Schlumberger’s use their InsightTM systems and InteractTM respectively to collate data from their tools (also from other service company tools and systems on occasion). This data can be visualized using a number of proprietarily and non proprietary applications.

Application Vendors

Application vendors such as Kongsberg and Petrolink provide rig site and office aggregation systems that collate data from service company sensors, collating them in data repositories for analysis by applications that support both real-time and non real-time workflows.

Standards and Language

The data types from the tools associated with MWD, LWD and surface sensors, can be converted / aggregated into a single format that can be consumed by various applications (that conform to that standard). Currently WITSML (Energistics) and PI (OSI – Soft) offer the most popular mechanisms to achieve Standardisation and there are a number of commercial off the shelf applications have been designed to interpret data derived from these standards.

Evaluating your options

People

What’s the culture Do you have the operational culture to support implementation of new ways of working? Is there an understanding of the business case and a willingness to do something different? Why change – What are be the drivers for change, and how will you manage the move from As-is organisation to the To-be organisation of tomorrow? What are the barriers to change, and what are the inhibitors to implementing or embedding your solution and realising the benefits?

Process

What do I choose – The processes that add value to your decisions will drive your choices and define your approach to implementing a real-time system. Whether that be safety (HSE) considerations or an aspiration to reduce NPT, (Non Productive Time) identifying the issues and their associated costs will under-pin the business case. Ask the question – “what decisions will this help me make, what is the value of the decision to me, how much effort / spend am I prepared to release to realise this value?”

Technology

How do I select – Choices on technology should, similarly, be driven by the business case. The question “what technology do I need to deploy to support my decisions” starts the selection process by crystallising which workflows and pro-cesses it will enhance. The identification of these processes will guide the selection of the most appropriate technology.

Do

look to the industry to see what represents a success and more importantly look at the issues others have encountered adopting real time systems. There is a wealth of analysis to be undertaken prior to expenditure on the solution that suits your organization – time and money invested at the appraise and select stage will ensure a robust and effective solution emerges.

Don’t

make it more complicated than it needs to be. Many operators have found value in simple solutions such as a reworking of the data provision as part of the drilling contract with service companies.

Your aim, our target

The choices when establishing a Real Time Drilling environment that effectively supports the business and mirrors company goals are without question complex. In many cases initiatives fail to ask the questions “do we have a need” , “does this support what we do and how we do it?” Many organisations have been left with real time systems that don’t get used and that have consumed time and cost with little return on investment.

The goal for E&P consulting is to ensure that your receive impartial consultancy and professional advice from an organisation that has successfully released the value of such systems into Drilling organisations…