SPE Workshop: The Great Drilling Automation Debate 19 - 20 Apr 2017 DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston - Greenway Plaza Houston, Texas, USA


Wednesday, April 19

08:00 - 08:30

Automation Be a Competitive Differentiator
Jonathan Crane, VP Wells Technology Deployment & Tech. Services, Shell 

08:30 - 09:45
The DSATS Trajectory – Onward, Upward, or Course Correction Required?
Session Chairpersons Moray Laing, SAS; Michael Behounek, Apache; John MacPherson, Baker Hughes

In this first session the past, present, and future chairmen of DSATS will set the stage for the great debate by presenting the work done by DSATS over the past 10 years in support of automating of the drilling process. The session will act as an open forum to workshop attendees to both critique and propose future efforts for DSATS in the coming years. If you feel that DSATS could do more on certain issues, this is your chance to make your point and help craft future efforts.


The DSATS Charter
Moray Laing, SAS

Rig Automation, Machines and Control Systems
Michael Behounek, Apache

Connectivity, Silos and Data
John Macpherson, Baker Hughes

Sensors, Modelling and Analytics
Moray Laing, SAS

10:30 - 12:00
Drilling Systems Automation: Automation Debate - Is Automation Paying Its Way?
Session Chairpersons Arthur Hale, Aramco Services; Tony Beebe, Northern Offshore

Although the industry has been on a downturn, new technology associated with  sensors, automation, equipment design and data driven real time solutions are potentially revolutionizing the way we approach drilling operations today and tomorrow.  Because there is a significant  cost not only to the development of this technology but to the testing and execution of these new and potentially standardizing approaches to drilling. A debate exists as to whether such improvements are necessary are really adding to the bottom line of rig operations. In this session we have a panel that will debate the advantages, the necessity and the economics of this new technology.  The intent is for a robust debate around the pros and cons of these new operational strategies. Audience participation is anticipated to be part of this lively discussion.


Case Study: SCADAdrill - Shell's Drilling Automation Project
David Blacklaw, Global Wells Automation, Shell

The Way Forward Get'er Done
Greg Ward, President/CEO, RigMinder

Performance Drilling - Objectives and Challenges to Automation
Graham Mensa-Wilmot, Drilling Engineer Advisor, Chevron

12:00 - 13:30
Luncheon Speaker



Maximizing the Value Proposition of Rigs Through Innovation

Subodh Saxena, Vice President, Western Hemisphere, Nabors, Inc.

13:30 - 15:00
Business Models Making the Automation Case
Session Chairpersons Arthur Hale, Aramco Services; Tony Beebe, Northern Offshore

As stated in Session 2 sensors, automation, equipment design and data driven solutions are revolutionizing the way we approach drilling operations today and tomorrow: improving drilling performance using advanced data acquisition and processing is a reality. This session will explore, with concrete examples, cases where an automation solution has integrated services and improved productivity, where systems automation has driven construction efficiency, where automated rigs differentiate drilling contractors from the crowd.  At this session the audience will hear from operators and service companies that have extracted real value out from these approaches.  This includes new business models and how operator procurement departments are adapting to the changing markets.


Am I a Blocker to change or an Ambassador?
Evelyn MacLean-Quick, VP Global Supply Chain, Hess

"Closed Loop Downhole Automation" Combined with "Surface Process Control" the Full Automation Package in Action
Tony Pink, VP Dynamic Drilling Solutions, NOV

The Zipper Drilling System - Circulatory Hoist Enables High-Efficiency, Automated Drilling Operations
Allan Richardson, CTI and Peter Root, R&D Manager, Warrior Manufacturing

15:30 - 17:00
What Barriers are Impeding Progress? What Drivers Accelerate Uptake?
Session Chairpersons Blaine Dow, Schlumberger; J.G. Samuel, ConocoPhillips

A small group of industry experts have been active in Drilling Automation for a while now.  A degree of success can be claimed, particularly leading up to the beginning of the oil price collapse in 2014.  Looking at historic oil price cycles, this latest lull has similarities to the 1980’s, a technology renaissance period, where efficiency focused methods rose to the forefront to keep the drilling business alive.  Is Drilling automation leading a new renaissance?  Three experts representing academia, operators, drilling contractors and service providers discuss removing barriers and delivering breakthroughs to make this happen.


Deployment Platform
Kevin Kennett, VP Marketing, Schlumberger

Human Factors
John Thorogood, Drilling Engineering Advisor, Drilling Global Consultant LLP

R&D Space
Eric Van Oort, Professor, University of Texas

Thursday, April 20

08:00 - 09:30
What are the Cooperative and Competitive Domains for Drilling Systems Automation?
Session Chairpersons Andreas Sadlier, Halliburton; John De Wardt, DE WARDT AND CO.

The growth of industrial automation has shown us that interoperability is critical to the growth of Drilling Systems Automation (DSA). The drilling industry thrives on competition and development of proprietary innovative solutions. Where is the right balance between collaboration and competition?  Data, information and control connectivity is a core to interoperability. This session will develop from big data lessons, through DSA infrastructure experiences to a discussion on standards, commercial and proprietary solutions.​


Lessons on Collaboration and Competition in Big Data and Automation from Outside Drilling
Satyam Priyadarshy, Chief Data Scientist, Halliburton

Experiences with Establishing DSA Infrastructure on a Drilling Rig – Why We Need Standards
Hans-Uwe Brackel, Systems Architect,  Baker Hughes 

Standards in Action, A Drilling Rig Example - The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Martin Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh Consulting Ltd.

10:00 - 11:30
Data Driven Automation – Are the Risks Real, Perceived or Just Misunderstood?
Session Chairpersons Mark Anderson, Shell; Bill Chmela, Motive Drilling Technologies

Data driven control solutions are all the craze these days, with “cognitive expert advisor” and “machine learning” hitting the top of 2016 Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.  What is there place in drilling automation? This session will explore the pros and cons of both data driven models and physics driven models from both inside and outside of the drilling industry.  Also this session will touch on how a “black box” solution can keep the humans on the rig appraised of it decisions and how they can work with humans to make better decision than either a human or a “black box” system could make independently.


Model-Driven Drilling Process Automation:  Design Considerations and Results from Drilling 17 Sections in the North Sea
Eric Cayeux, Chief Scientist at IRIS     

Physics-Constrained Machine Learning Approach to Reduce Kick Detection False Alarm Rates by 100x
Mark Hibbard, President, CoVar Applied Technologies

From the Enterprise to the Edge.  An Examination of the Pros and Cons of Different Types of Data Driven Solutions
Keith Holdaway, Advisory Industry Consultant, SAS

11:30 - 13:00

Presentation from the Drillbotics Student Competition
University of Texas at Austin and Missouri University of Science and Technology

13:00 - 14:30
How Much Data Do We Need, at What Quality, and How Much are We Willing to Pay?
Session Chairpersons Jim McKay, BP; Aaron Logan, Evolution Engineering

The industry’s focus on drilling automation has created separate camps, almost right wing / left wing divisions, divided by their either heavy focus on data quality & rates or the other group more concerned by the trending of data to support automation.  The next three to five years shouldn’t be blue sky solutions, but rather pragmatic areas of automation.  ​Near terms solutions will likely be focused on optimization or improved safety of operations.   There has to be a middle ground on an advancement that brings our industry forward –the question begs to be asked, what is the optimum cost per bit of data and/or data quality from telemetry to surface and/or from surface sensors.  What is the tipping point of that cost?  The valuation proposition has to be strengthened to justify many of the new technologies.  


Key Considerations for Successful Drill Floor Automation

Bill O'Grady, Chief Technical Officer, Athens Group


Downhole Data and Drilling Automation?  A Discussion on Availability, Latency, Accuracy, and Quality

Robert Wylie, President and CEO, Xndrilling


Fundamental Data Quality Issues and Processes - Working Together to Address

Zoom Nguyen, Analytics Engineer, ConocoPhillips

15:00 - 16:30
The Forward Path
Session Chairpersons Moray Laing, SAS; Riaz Israel, BP; Robin Macmillan, NOV

This interactive session will be on a collation of key workshop messages and generation of concrete take-away actions to guide the industry in drilling systems automation and well construction.