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Mining Daily Driller’s Reports Looking for Telling Patterns

Words extracted from daily drilling reports were analyzed by BP using a program that identified frequently used words and usage trends over time. These word clouds show how pump references become more prominent over time, suggesting driller concerns that might otherwise go unnoticed.

There is a lot of information buried in drilling reports written every day, but little of it appears in computer databases.

Numbers from daily drilling reports can be added to databases along with data from sensors on the rig that can be crunched in seconds by a computer. But the perspective of the drillers is only available to a person reading the reports. Turning those sometimes personal, always jargon-filled observations into a form a computer can analyze is a challenge the oil industry is beginning to take on.

BP created a system able to mine the daily reports filed by drillers, seeking what a paper on the project (SPE 173429) describes as “insightful.”

The project used natural language processing to seek out key words and phrases related to drilling, and pattern-recognition software to identify common concerns. The paper described it as an “automatic discovery of unobservable events.”

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Mining Daily Driller’s Reports Looking for Telling Patterns

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Senior Editor

01 June 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 6

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