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Real-Time Decisions While Drilling

12 – 14 November 2013

Rome, Italy | Boscolo Exedra Roma

Technical Agenda

Tuesday, 12 November , 0900-0930

Keynote Speaker

Speaker: David Kinney, Boeing

Boeing’s newest commercial aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner, has been described by airlines as “a flying node on the IT network.” In addition to incorporating the latest advances in aerodynamics and systems design, it brings significant advances in in-flight data collection and airplane-to-ground connectivity.  However, Boeing is pioneering real-time decision making based on in-flight data reporting. Aircraft data analysis to support maintenance and operational decisions has been practiced for decades, with a rapid increase in real-time aspect of data collection and decision making in the past 10 years. This talk will overview the technology that Boeing provides to aircraft operators to enable them to remotely monitor the performance of their worldwide fleet, and how Boeing is using the data to improve products and services. 


Session I: Data Quality and Standards

Session Managers: Gionata Ferroni, Thomas Halland, and Esra Inan

Abundant real-time data from remote locations around the world are readily available and accessible even on the go. It is, however, essential that decisions taken based on this data, consider the reliability of such information in terms of stability, quality, accuracy, relevance, and cost. If we consider the percentage of non-productive time and of unsuccessful wells, and compare ourselves with industries that have similar real-time data requirements, such as the stock exchange, travel, and banking, we have a long way to go.

This session will present a view on the current industry status through a series of case studies from both the operator and the service business point of view, including some of the challenges faced related to real-time data deliverables.

During breakout sessions the participants will be challenged to propose ideas and actions which will help bring our industry to the next level.


Session II: Real-Time Decision Making—Human Factors and Capabilities

Session Managers: Simon Griffin and Oddbjørn Kvammen

Our industry is continually exploring new technologies to enhance our real-time decision making efforts.  Often we fail to apply technology in such a manner that it becomes aligned with human factors and capabilities. For instance, today we can receive real-time data from downhole operations with a bandwidth similar to that of a regular computer network in our office. However, we are not able to turn data into valuable, real-time information.

In this session we will explore the following questions:

  • The capability of the human brain is limited in the amount of real-time data it can process into solid real-time decisions. So how can we develop systems that will facilitate the human decision making process? With the availability of all this data and improved communications how can we ensure that all related parties (operator, contractor, service company) can collaborate efficiently to arrive at “better” decisions?
  • A new generation of employee is emerging into the oil and gas industry—these individuals have a different set of information availability expectations. In addition, we see that expert knowledge within the specific domains is getting more scattered around the world. How can we take better advantage of the expert knowledge that exists within different organisations and share it globally and simultaneously attract the new generation?
  • The way contracts are settled can sometimes create limitations on human capabilities because service providers respond to how the market wants to buy. Because of this there is a mismatch between expected innovation and contracts when it comes to risk and reward. How can we better align our contract efforts across disciplines and across companies to make the most of human capabilities?

Wednesday, 13 November, 0900–1230

Session III: Workflow Automation

Session Managers: Nick Gibson and John James

The offshore drilling industry continues to automate key workflows and processes to address high rig-operating costs and HSE issues. In comparison, land-based drilling operations look to automation to standardise similar workflows within a low-cost, low-margin environment—where the operational experience and competence levels can vary. In either environment, the drive for drilling automation continues.

Despite the lower costs observed in land-based drilling operations, there is a strong push to deliver drilling automation. This is because these integrated operations are typically more accessible and lend themselves to proof-of concept, or pilot studies that extend into field wide automated drilling campaigns. For example, there are potentially significant savings to be achieved with the high density, standardised (“factory drilling”) well campaigns, which are often performed in remote and harsher environments, with their own fiscal limitations (e.g. coal bed methane or shale gas drilling operations).

The technical and fiscal challenges posed when drilling unconventional hydrocarbons, along with work in the arctic and other harsh environments, make the business case for new workflows and processes, such as those enabled by drilling automation, to deliver unparalleled results.


Session IV: Look Ahead, Modelling, and Geomechanics: Are We Ready for the Data Flood?

Session Managers: Alfio Malossi and Jennifer Market

The increasing complexity of wells, especially in deepwater environments, together with the related geological uncertainties, has increased the likelihood of unplanned drilling events, such as kicks, lost circulation, and borehole stability problems.

At the same time, there have been considerable advances in the quality and type of data available in real time—the challenge is how to effectively use this data. We must consider how the remote collaboration infrastructure and software chain should be set up to support the decision-making process and to mitigate or even avoid any issues related to pressure management and wellbore instability.

The new look-ahead and look-around sensors in addition to telemetry improvements imply that more complex data is transmitted to the surface—this gives us the potential to build up more powerful pore pressure prediction, wellbore stability models, and reliable reservoir characterisation. But are we ready to do that in real time yet?

This session aims to:

  • Review the current state of look-ahead and modelling capabilities.
  • Discuss the current issues with how these data are being used in real-time decision making.
  • Brainstorm ideas for optimising workflows to make the best use of modern look-ahead and look-around data in a variety of applications.

Thursday, 14 November, 0900–1230

Session V: Wrap-Up

Session Managers: Greg Conran and Andy Deady

This session will review the themes and learnings in a bid to change future outcomes in real-time decision making.