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Petromin marine and offshore Jan-Feb Issue

Floating Production Era

Floating Production Era of Automation “ Despite being one if the driving industries of cutting-edge technology the oil and gas industry still seems resistant to rig automation. The recent depressed oil prices have nudged the industry to embrace the technology. This article looks at some of the benefits and proponents of rig automation. ” The oil and gas industry has long been hailed as an industry of innovation and technological advancements. Yet, when it comes to automation on drilling rigs, the industry has been slow to engage, some might even say that there is palatable resistance. Automated drilling is one of the oil industry’s most important innovation targets. This is partly because of the increasing difficulty of finding new oil and gas reserves. The sources now being tapped, such as shale gas and coal-bed methane, require a very large number of wells. With oil prices taking massive hits since the last quarter of 2014 keeping costs low and maintaining the bottomline is more critical than ever. Automating the drilling process would be an obvious way to keep the costs under control, and also gets around a problem which many sectors of engineering are experiencing — a shortage of skills. Constructing a well system for unconventional gas requires directional drilling, and finding people who can do that is becoming difficult, as experienced drillers reach retirement age. Automated drilling, so the argument goes, would be faster, more efficient, and safer, as it reduces the number of workers on site. During the oil price malaise, the industry looked to automation as it sought to cut costs and reduce overheads. 50 January to February 2018

The oil and gas industry has been talking about automation for decades, and, gradually, automated workflow is becoming a reality. Automation in O&G tends to develop at a walker’s pace rather than a sprinter’s pace. While there have been some large breakthroughs, step-changes are not as common as one might think. Instead, a series of smaller advances tend to build up over time, eventually reconstructing workflows as small steps consolidate into integrated equipment packages. and precious biotopes. The industry believes there is a large potential in automation of the drilling process. Increased level of automation will result in more accurate pressure control and more rapid response to drilling anomalies. As a result, the drilling efficiency and safety will be improved. There are many technology providers driving rig automation. Royal Dutch Shell was one of the first oil companies to test Today, smart technology continues to roll out to increase production, enhance efficiency, improve uptime, manage information and, above all else, improve safety. The industry is understandably distracted by the ongoing downturn right now, but innovative companies are maintaining an intent focus on advancing automation across the oilfield value chain. With cost cutting now a more important initiative than ever, this is hardly the time for the industry to take its eye off the automation prize – for when executed correctly, automation can save material costs. Furthermore, the younger workforce taking the hand-off from the older generation is much more receptive to automated drilling. The company developed the SCADAdrill (supervisory control and data acquisition) System to drill multilateral wells in 2010. Shortly thereafter, Helmerich & Payne equipped its rigs with automatic drilling programs. The following are selected automation technologies available for rigs. automated processes. Drillmec AHEAD Series Of course, there is a case for naysayers, there usually is. However, their case is getting increasingly weaker and starting to seem self-preserving. The AHEAD Series represents a new concept of fully automated drilling rigs. They Technology Providers are the results of a strong focus on innovation and continuous improvement that Automated drilling is appealing because many of the future oil and gas prospects are highly complex and challenging with narrow geo-pressure margins and little has always characterized Drillmec in the global market of drilling rigs. room for human errors. In addition, there are many remote, inaccessible locations January to February 2018 51

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