You are on page 1of 225

An Assessment of the Various Types of Real-

Time Data Monitoring Systems Available for


Offshore Oil and Gas Operations

A Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business

Date: February 10, 2014

E12PC00063
© 838 Inc 2014
The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 1
The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be
construed as an official Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation
Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 – (Task 1) Assessment of the various types of real-time data

monitoring systems available for offshore oil and gas operations........................... 5

Chapter Summary ........................................................................................................... 6

Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 8

Methodology ................................................................................................................... 9

Concepts of Operations ................................................................................................ 10

Available RTD Technology ............................................................................................ 22

Operators Using Real-time Data ................................................................................... 37

CHAPTER 2 – (Task 3) Discuss options for training programs or contracted services

which would be needed to incorporate the identified systems into BSEE’s process. ..... 39

Chapter Summary ......................................................................................................... 40

System Safety at the Regulator Level ........................................................................... 41

Major Functions of Safety Oversight ............................................................................. 43

Safety Oversight System Design ................................................................................... 46

Training Program Development .................................................................................... 48

Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 69

CHAPTER 3 – (Task 6): Identify how real-time monitoring could be incorporated into the BSEE

regulatory regime in either a prescriptive or performance based manner.................................. 70

Chapter Summary ......................................................................................................... 71

Introduction ................................................................................................................... 73

Prescriptive/Performance-Based Regulation for the Oil and Gas Industry. .................... 75

Regulatory Involvement ................................................................................................ 77

BSEE Mandates and Regulations ................................................................................. 92

RTM Implementation ..................................................................................................... 95

Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 102

CHAPTER 4 – (Task 4) Identify all necessary information which needs to be

collected, calculated, or monitored during operations to improve the current level

of safety. Identify any existing or proposed modeling tools that can be used in

connection with real-time data to prevent incidents .............................................. 104

Chapter Summary ....................................................................................................... 105

Introduction ................................................................................................................. 107

Information to Improve Levels of Safety ...................................................................... 109

Modeling Tools to Prevent Incidents ........................................................................... 125

Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 130

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 2

CHAPTER 5 - (Task 5) Technologies and Data Helpful in Measuring Field

Performance of Critical Equipment to Predict Potential Failures and Replace

Current Methods ....................................................................................................... 132

Chapter Summary ....................................................................................................... 133

Introduction ................................................................................................................. 134

Technology and Data for Measuring Performance and Predicting Failure ................... 135

Areas Where Technology Can Replace Current Inspection Techniques ..................... 152

Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 157

CHAPTER 6 - (Task 7) Assessment of Automation Technologies Impacts on

Human and Environmental Safety, Efficiency Improvements, and Cost .............. 158

Chapter Summary ....................................................................................................... 159

Introduction ................................................................................................................. 160

Definition of Automation .............................................................................................. 162

Assessment of Current Automation Technologies in the Oil and Gas Industry ............ 172

Impacts on Human Safety ........................................................................................... 178

Impacts on Environmental Safety ................................................................................ 181

Improvements in Efficiency & Cost .............................................................................. 182

CHAPTER 7 – (Task 2) Perform Cost Benefit Analysis of the systems identified

that details potential costs to industry, potential increases in safety performance,

government resources needed for implementation, and necessary training for all

parties involved......................................................................................................... 184

Chapter Summary ....................................................................................................... 185

Introduction ................................................................................................................. 187

Scope of Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) ......................................................................... 190

Real Time Operations Center (RTOC)/ Real Time Monitoring Center (RTMC) ............ 194

Drilling Automation ...................................................................................................... 204

RTMC Cost to the Industry and Returns...................................................................... 212

Recommendations ...................................................................................................... 215

Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 217

About the Authors .................................................................................................... 218

References ................................................................................................................ 219

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an

official Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 3


Intentionally Left Blank

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 4
CHAPTER 1 – (Task 1) Assessment of
the various types of real-time data
monitoring systems available for
offshore oil and gas operations

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an

official Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


5
Chapter Summary

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental continuous data feeds from the company’s
Enforcement (BSEE) commissioned this active well projects. Monitoring stations
study to provide a broad industry overview within the RTMC are staffed with highly
of the use of real-time data (RTD). Of experienced drilling experts who focus on
special interest is the use of real-time mitigating drilling hazards and preventing
monitoring systems and their impact on the non-productive time (NPT) while providing
overall safety of operations. The study is an added team member and safety
broken down into seven tasks, each with observer to the onsite rig team.
specific deliverables answering the research
Collaboration Center: A dedicated
questions.
workspace, fully equipped with RTD
This section addresses Task 1 with an capabilities enabling full integration of the
assessment of the types and uses of real- onshore/offshore team working in a
time monitoring, the best available seamless environment for well planning,
technology in use today and the Gulf of drilling and completion activities. Daily
Mexico operators who are currently using routine includes meetings with the
real-time monitoring in their daily drilling onshore/offshore team, reviewing morning
operations. reports and planning current and future well
activities. The Collaboration Center brings in
We will address these topics in three main
or reaches out for the expertise necessary
sections covering:
for achieving well development objectives
(1) Concepts of Operations; and resolving issues.
(2) Best Available Technology; and
Knowledge Center: An onshore RTD
(3) Operators Using Real-time Data
repository with experts that have access to
Concepts of Operations all aspects of planning and analysis data.
The Knowledge Center is available for
The use and configurations of Real-Time
services as requested by the drilling
Operations Centers (RTOCs) throughout
supervisor during well planning, drilling and
the industry are varied and dependent on an
completion operations. A Knowledge Center
organization’s value drivers. We found that
may work across many or all the wells in the
RTOCs are generally a functional
company’s portfolio and is not generally a
combination of Real-Time Monitoring
24/7 monitoring operation, but personnel
Centers (RTMCs), collaboration centers and
may be on call to provide services at any
knowledge centers. For our purposes, these
time. The Knowledge Center may be
are defined as the following:
considered the company’s experience
Real-time Monitoring Center (RTMC): repository and center of excellence with
This 24/7 function is located at a respect to all phases of well development,
centralized, onshore location with completion and production. Two examples

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 6


are ExxonMobil’s worldwide Drilling Mexico (GOM) the authors attempted to
Information Management Center (DIMC) contact and poll 164 oil & gas exploration
and Statoil’s Subsurface Support Center. and production companies with current
operations in the GOM. At a minimum, we
We visited four organizations during the
attempted contact with each company five
study period with configurations utilizing
times. We received eight responses to our
some mix of these three components. All
questions from 164 companies using
four organizations employ real-time data
website contact forms or email addresses
during the well development stages. Two of
found on the ‘contact us’ pages. Successive
the organizations were configured with an
calls were made through the company
RTMC and a collaboration center. One
switchboard to the director or VP of drilling
company combined a collaboration center
operations until a contact was reached or a
and knowledge center to produce wells
contact could not be made. 76 companies
while a fourth company utilized only a world­
provided feedback for the poll, zero declined
wide knowledge center to advise the rig’s
to participate and 88 were not reached.
drilling manager. All four configurations
have proven valuable in meeting or The aim of the poll was to determine to what
exceeding each company’s measures of extent the company used real-time data for
effectiveness for well development and drilling and completion operations and
completions. whether they employ a real-time monitoring
system to observe well operations on a 24/7
Best Available Technology basis.
For the purposes of this study, the authors Of the 76 respondents, 41 (54%) used RTD
have identified the communications chain during drilling or production operations,
necessary for delivering real-time data from while 35 (46%) hadn’t used the technology
the drilling bit to the onshore facility. To for drilling or production operations. Of the
analyze the components we found it 41 utilizing the advantages of RTD, 33
necessary to break the chain into five (81%) sent the data to an onshore storage
separate generalized areas. We’ve defined capability and 16 (39%) used that data in a
preliminary descriptions of ‘best available real-time operations center. And finally,
technology’ (BAT) for these five areas and among organizations using RTD, seven
identified many industry and non-industry (17%) utilized the services of a real-time
service providers purporting to provide the monitoring center operating on a 24/7 basis.
best solution. Many of these products
overlap these divisions providing solutions
in multiple areas.

Operators Using Real-time Data


In order to develop a better understanding
of the current use of RTMC in the Gulf of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 7


Introduction

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental industry, government resources needed for
Enforcement (BSEE) commissioned 838 Inc implementation, and necessary training for
to provide this study as a broad industry all parties involved.
overview of the use of real-time data (RTD),
The study is broken down into seven tasks,
for offshore oil & gas drilling and operations
each with specific deliverables answering
and RTD impacts on the overall safety of
BSEE’s research questions. With individual
operations.
task reports that build upon each other.
BSEE was also interested in how the use of
This report details Task 1 and is an
real-time monitoring might be incorporated
independent assessment of the various
into the regulatory regime in either a
types of real-time data monitoring systems
prescriptive or performance based manner
available for offshore oil and gas operations.
and what burden it might place on the
industry. Task 1: Perform an independent

In addition, we have identified the assessment of the various types of

necessary information which needs to be real-time data monitoring systems

collected, calculated, or monitored during available for offshore oil and gas

operations to improve the current level of operations. The focus will be on drilling

safety to include: pressure changes, fluid activities and production technologies.

influx, fluid loss and the operation of BOP Identify best available technology.

functions (i.e. pressure tests, gallon counts, Identify the operators, contractors, and

and accumulator tests). service companies that currently use

real-time monitoring.

While studying RTD tools and technology,


the study team identified existing or The purpose of this section is to explore the
proposed modeling tools that can be used in use of real-time monitoring systems in use
connection with RTD in order to prevent today in the oil and gas industry. This
incidents. At the same time, additional chapter is an initial assessment of the types
attention was devoted to technologies and and uses of real-time monitoring, the best
data that might be helpful in measuring field available technology in use today and the
performance of critical equipment with the Gulf of Mexico operators who are currently
goal of predicting potential failures and using real-time monitoring in their daily
areas where this technology could be used drilling operations.
to supplement or replace current inspection
techniques such as visual inspection or
pressure testing of equipment.
The study also includes a cost benefit
analyses detailing potential costs to

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 8


Methodology

To collate evidence about various types of A third reviewer scanned the web for current
real-time data monitoring, the 838 Inc team and emerging technologies and their service
undertook a four month survey of available providers. He then reviewed over 200
literature. As part of our search, we synopses, pamphlets and articles regarding
reviewed the OnePetro electronic database technologies in the chain to present real-
and supplemented this with targeted time data to the operator.
searches of Oil & Gas Journal, Oil & Gas
The reviewers also interviewed or
iQ, Offshore Magazine, Oil, Gas &
corresponded with 22 industry experts and
Petrochem Equipment and over 47 other
visited four organizations utilizing real-time
relevant journals and websites published
data monitoring or incorporating real-time
between 1999 and 2013. Articles from any
operations centers in their work processes.
country and in any language were eligible
Throughout this paper, we use quotations
for inclusion.
from interviews to illustrate our findings.
Any study or peer reviewed article that These statements represent the views of
examined the use of real-time data for individuals, not those of the companies
optimizing operations or enhancing safety involved.
margins was eligible for inclusion, Although
the team was focusing on the oil and gas
industry, we did examine other industries’
real-time data monitoring operations to
incorporate a wider range of systems in
order to draw out the characteristics of the
most successful approaches.
To ensure consistency, one reviewer
scanned the abstracts of articles for
relevance and selected those that outlined
real-time data monitoring operational
approaches in enough detail to describe
processes, equipment, human factors and
outcomes or effectiveness.
A second reviewer scanned additional
databases and journals and analyzed all
abstracts. In total, more than 3200 studies,
articles, pamphlets, and websites were
screened. The full text of selected articles
was then reviewed in more depth.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 9


Concepts of Operations

The use of real-time data during the drilling one survived the low price and reduced
process is not new. Drilling operations have drilling activity of the late 1980s and
been relying on rig instrumentation since the continues to operate today as ExxonMobil’s
early 20th century. With the advent of micro Drilling Information Management Center in
computing in the 70’s, instrumentation data Houston. As the name implies, the focus
in a digital format and real-time accessible remains on acquisition, management, and
information became a reality. This, along distribution of data.1
with improvements of telecommunications
The current generation of RTOCs has
technology in the early 80’s gave rise to
evolved into more than just a center for
knowledge and information center concepts.
monitoring activities during the well drilling
These produced pilot programs commonly
phase. The model has grown to include well
referred to as drilling operations centers and
operations planning and drilling. It might be
more commonly today as, Real Time
more appropriately called a center for well
Operations Centers (RTOC). 1
operations planning and real-time
2
The drilling industry today uses the term monitoring. In addition, more instances of
‘real-time’ in a broader sense. It would be well completion, the process of making a
more accurately stated as ‘near real-time.’ well ready for production, are being
This is due to inherent latencies throughout addressed through the use of the RTOC.
the communications chain from the drill bit
It is important to note that in this study we
to the onshore recipient. Current technology
will use the term RTOC to include those
acquires and transmits data packets at
aspects of well operations planning, drilling
frequencies ranging from seconds to
execution and completion that are
minutes, which may be an eternity if it
conducted using real-time data feeds into a
concerns the current/future position of a
remotely located facility utilizing real-time
critical valve. Data transmissions may be
monitoring capabilities. We will use the term
delayed for minutes/hours or even days due
Real-time Monitoring Center (RTMC) to
to communications network outage, server
indicate that portion of the RTOC
infrastructure, or weather when streaming to
responsible for monitoring real-time data
onshore monitoring and operations centers.
streams on a continuous basis, e.g. 24/7.
Earlier studies defined two generations of
It is not the purpose of this study to
RTOCs with the first generation facilities
determine or discuss the evolution of
appearing in the early 1980s. Focus of
RTOCs. This was covered in great detail in
operations was on management and
previous papers. 3, 4 Rather we seek to
distribution of data to more ambitious
discuss the current state of the art in RTOC
attempts at new ways of working. Viable
usage with respect to its contribution to
business cases for central support of drilling
operations were recognized, however, only

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 10


improved Health, Safety and the Although the rig site remains the front line
Environment (HSE) as well as regulatory decision making location, the use of RTD
oversight. and on a larger scale, an RTOC shows that
the historical decision making processes are
One of the primary research questions of
moving from a more localized, autocratic
this study is if any impacts the use of RTD
format to a collaborative, information based
and/or RTOCs has on safety and how it
model that makes full use of global
might be used to improve the safety of
experience, resulting in overall safer
overall operations. While much of the
decisions.
literature reviewed did not explicitly point to
improved measures of safety, some papers “…the collaborative planning and
did indicate the inherent improvements in decision making between the onshore
safety through the use of RTD and RTOCs. and offshore team… protects the
operation from a single person making a
“In addition to reducing the hazards on
really bad decision at a bad time. The
site, another important mitigation tool
most important part of what the RTOC
involves minimizing the number of
brings is 1) the planning process and 2)
personnel who are at risk of being
the collaborative process between the
harmed. One advancement in technology
onshore team and the rig and the
that is particularly important to this type
discussions they have on an ongoing
of risk reduction is the ability to deliver
basis. Even though it’s important to have
data from the wellsite to anywhere in the
the data, it’s more important that the
world instantaneously.” 5
data drives this process of planning and
Aligning offshore operations and onshore collaboration.” 7
support facilities, service contractors,
The rig environment demands many time
partners and non-field professionals into a
sensitive decisions. Unnecessarily eager
collaborative work environment has
decision making procedures under the
redefined the field operating model. With the
watchful oversight of an RTMC may create
introduction of reliable, high density video,
a situation where the best information is
audio, multidimensional presentational
provided 20 minutes late. Decision making
technologies and the ability to stay
protocols should take into account whether
connected 24/7, collaborative work
it might be best that the RTMC only add
environments are able to produce timely
more info to the decision or potentially
collaboration and safer operations. These
trump it rather than creating a consensus
data feeds can also employ automated,
decision making process requiring
advanced diagnostic tools that pinpoint
excessive time.
relevant solutions by passing RTD through
advanced multivariable models which can The use of high end technology and its
be scaled across multiple assets and continual improvement over the past 15
facilities. 6 years has also had an impact on information
reliability and quality. The ability to ask for

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 11


additional opinions when faced with Some challenges in the flow of information
challenging situations results in less stress, still exist.
increased experience transfer and ultimately
“Saudi Aramco uses many different
increased reliability. 8
service organizations to deliver its global
Although some organizations may not totally drilling and completing agenda. In the
agree with this assessment as shown by past this has resulted in a lack of
this response to the authors on February stability and standardization in real-time
18th, 2013 to a website email might suggest: information flow. We have been unable
to share data and expertise readily
“RTMC technology exists. We have
between different operating centers.” 10
seen it used at Superior Oil, Tenneco
Oil, and knew Amoco did this with Categorizing the Use of RTD
RTMC centers. One thing in common
with these companies is that they are no During our research, we found it difficult at
longer in business. Regarding [Major Oil best, to categorize the major oil & gas
Company] RTMC capabilities, we do operators’ functional implementation of
have remote access to real-time data for RTOCs, as did earlier research which found
all of our wells, just not in a RTMC that each operator’s implementation is as
center. The most effective location for different as the drivers for success or the
real-time data monitoring is on the rig.” 9 pain points it is attempting to eliminate. 11
For descriptive purposes, however, we
The email author above is correct that these categorized several components frequently
companies no longer exist, but it must be used by organizations in developing their
noted that the use of an RTMC was unlikely RTOCs. These components may be in-
the cause of their demise. Superior was house company resources or provided
acquired and became ExxonMobil and wholly by a third party service provider.
Superior’s initial efforts in RTOC is the core Second generations RTOCs consist of
of Exxon Mobile’s current RTMC effort. combinations of these components and
Amoco become BP and is a leader in the many times subsets of the components
digital oil field. Tenneco is now Chevron and depending on the asset or company needs.
is a leader in the use of RTD and
collaboration. Real Time Monitoring Center (RTMC):
This 24/7 function is primarily a function for
Other companies have limited the number optimization, well control and live trending
of wells with access to the RTOC. and is located at a centralized, onshore
“As of today, only critical wells to the location with continuous data feeds from the
company are being monitored in the company’s active well projects. Monitoring
RTOC. Drilling engineers nominated stations within the RTMCC are staffed with
their wells based on how critical they are highly experienced drilling experts that are
for the operations and potential well versed in pore pressure mechanics,
challenges for the drilling activity.” 10 drilling hydraulics and hole cleaning, bottom
hole assembly performance and vibration,

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 12


torque, drag and stickslip analysis and 24/7 monitoring operation, but personnel
prevention. If there is a geosteering may be on call to provide services at any
function, the staff will include experts in time. The Knowledge Center may be
directional drilling, formation evaluation, considered the company’s experience
geology and LWD sensor analysis and repository and center of excellence with
modeling. The RTMCC focuses on respect to all phases of well development,
mitigating drilling hazards and preventing completion and production.
nonproductive time (NPT) while providing
Below we describe three of the RTOCs
an added team member and safety
visited and researched during the study
observer to the onsite rig team. 12
period. Although there are numerous
Collaboration Center: A dedicated different variations and nuances for RTOC
workspace, fully equipped with RTD configuration, these facilities are typical of
capabilities enabling full integration of the the industry’s RTOCs:
onshore/offshore team working in a
seamless environment for well operations Example 1: RTOC utilizing an
planning, drilling and completion activities. RTMCRTMCC with an integrated
Daily routine includes meetings with the Collaboration and Knowledge Center
onshore/offshore team, reviewing morning This RTOC is located on the top floor of a
reports and planning current and future well building in a major office complex in
activities. Drilling and completion plans are Houston, TX. The floor has been completely
run through mathematical models to support
renovated for the purpose of housing the
the expected operation. The model company’s RTOC which moved into the
responses are compared with actual facility in Dec 2010 and began operations in
measurements in real-time and act as a Jul 2011. The RTMCRTMCC currently
road map for the operations team. If the monitors eight wells on a 24/7 basis for
actual and model agree – all is well. If the
drilling operations. Access to the floor is
actual and model disagree – there is a need highly restricted with only those individuals
for analysis and response. The directly working or supporting the planning
Collaboration Center brings in or reaches and drilling operations of the wells
out for the expertise necessary for achieving
permitted.
well development objectives and resolving
issues.12 RTOC Layout
Knowledge Center: An onshore RTD Full Operations View
repository of experts that have access to all
aspects of planning and analysis data for The RTOC entry is into a large open
services as requested by the drilling conference area with a series of monitors
supervisor during well planning, drilling and on the far wall including a large (~9’x12’)
completion operations. A Knowledge Center projection screen which is referred to as
may work across many or all the wells in the ‘The Data Wall.’
company’s portfolio and is not generally a

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


13
location and parameters, and for vessel
tracking and a common operating picture.
This room is used for executive quick look,
overview or presentation purposes and the
displays are not necessarily monitored for
operations purposes.

Collaboration Space
The facility layout is designed as a
collaborative space and accommodates the
Figure 1: The Data Wall
13
well operations teams and the RTMC. Six
large project rooms line one entire exterior
The large screen displays an overhead view
wall of the top level and cover nearly one
of much of the company’s Gulf operations quarter of the floor space. Each project
including rigs, ship locations (transponders), room has full Video Teleconference (VTC)
and pipeline layouts overlaid with a grid. capability, large screen projection and LCD
The large screen is surrounded on each
monitors capable of displaying the well
side by four columns, each of four displays feeds to any well planning team using the
representing the eight wells currently room. The large conference tables in each
undergoing drilling operations. Each rig room are fully capable of laptop integration
name is labeled below the column of
to the screens and remote operation of all
monitors. The top monitor displays a live
the room’s electronics. The project room
video feed from the rig. The two monitors walls are lined with whiteboards with one of
below the live video feed display digital well the walls employing several layers of
data such as well depth, ROP, pressures, whiteboard such that various well teams
pump strokes, etc. and the bottom monitor
using the room at different times might
displays trend traces of the digital data
leave their data on the boards and store the
typical of a mudlogger’s screen. The trace layer in the wall.
trend data was typically set to one hour, but
may be adjusted as desired. The data Well Operations Area
displays for ‘The Data Wall’ are produced
Opposite the project rooms is the well
using Kongsberg’s SiteCom®.The program
operations area. This area consists of eight
aggregates real-time data from various rig
‘pods’, each dedicated to one of the well
data sources and makes it available through
operations and construction projects. Each
a single web-based interface. Discovery
pod consists of six cubical desks, three on a
WebTM which is a fully customizable web
side, surrounding a smaller collaborative
application, allows the company to view its
work area. The cubical walls between the
data from all of the rig side vendors and
eight team pods are lower than normal
service companies on any of its rigs. Other
workspace dividers allowing more crosstalk
displays on ‘The Data Wall’ include weather
among the well planning teams. The
patterns in the Gulf, ‘Gulf Loop’ current
collaborative space available in each pod

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 14


work area consists of a conference table problem escalation. Contractor support
with a large LCD monitor and two smaller teams have cubicles in the far corner of the
monitors above it. There are also four room and are responsible for monitoring the
additional LCD displays off to one side for a IT/telecom interfaces, network health,
total of seven displays capable of accessing server health, application issues,
the entire RTD set for the well. The team equipment/ data and video feeds, and when
has three permanent members with other necessary make changes to displays and
engineers and specialists brought in and out data feed variables. The company has
of the team as necessary and as the well experimented with several layouts for the
plan progresses. The small conference room and feels this setup is optimal and has
table has a directional microphone above shown improved communications between
for VTC capability allowing for normal the RTMC and offshore teams.
conversational volume levels. The teams
seem to prefer the VTC communication over Concept of Operations
normal telephone. They feel it connects The RTMC shifts are 12hrs on and 12hrs
them more as a team with rig personnel. off, much like the shifts offshore; however,
the change-out times differ from the rig
Huddle Rooms crews allowing overlap and a watchful eye
There are six ‘huddle’ rooms available for while the offshore shifts change out. Each
smaller meetings (three to five people).The monitoring specialist has an ongoing chat
LCDs in the huddle rooms have the session with the mudlogger offshore. The
capability to display data from user laptops chat sessions are all recorded for reference
that may include real time well data. if necessary. If voice communication is
necessary, the call is annotated with content
RTMCRTMCC and decisions agreed. The company has a
The RTMC is at the far end of the floor working IP radio system (RoIP) to allow
partitioned from the planning area and direct access to the rig radio on selected
project rooms by glass walls. Access to the channels.
RTMC is highly restricted. Current The RTMC team stresses simplifying tasks
operations have four individuals monitoring and minimizing multitasking as one of their
two wells each. The well monitors are main objectives. Candidates for well monitor
seated facing each other on a wide are chosen based on their competencies,
rectangular table with the LCD array for skills and time offshore. Each well monitor is
each station in the center of the table trained through a mentoring process that
surrounding them such that they are only requires at least four monitored shifts with a
able to see the person seated next to them. qualified mentor. Each well monitor must be
Two supervisors sit at desks at the head of approved to occupy the well monitor station
the well monitor’s table, able to view the and each is subject to periodic checks.
entire operation. There is also a Standard operating procedures (SOPs)
management position in the room for have been previously developed and are

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 15


currently undergoing a complete rewrite to Other Discussion Items
incorporate all the lessons learned over the Weather causes issues with satellite
past year and a half. Once completed, the transmissions. There may be data
SOPs will be subjected to the standard delays/outages as a direct result of weather
revision, Management of Change (MOC) obscuring satellite line of sight.
and SOP approval processes.
Reliability of the electronic equipment is
Well monitors may configure displays to relatively standard across the board causing
best suit their experience and previous some outages. Current RTM up time
training. However, standardized displays, reported during active drilling operations is
called ‘Public Displays’ have been upward of 98%. RTOC up time is usually
developed for use when presenting data to lower in the 95% range due to system
varying teams in separated locations. The maintenance in the onshore data center.
term ‘Public Display’ is used for the During system maintenance or onshore
standardized data stream displays. data outages, RTM is monitored directly
Changes to the Public Displays require an from rig based servers and systems.
MOC process.
The RTOC was developed using current
During the center’s developmental stage capabilities with the expectation of ‘learning
and prior to working with crews on the rigs, while doing’ as to the guiding approach.
the RTMC team role-played among
themselves using simulated data and Standard Operations Procedures (SOP’s)
situations in order to practice interaction and protocols are ‘evergreen’ and updated
behavior and styles. This was an invaluable as needed e.g. when and who (onshore or
exercise for easing the integration of the offshore) has control of onboard cameras
RTMC as part of the rig team. with regard to zoom, pan, and tilt.

A simulation was conducted by the RTMC “Wired pipe could potentially provide a
team with a corresponding rig team prior to more direct access to necessary data for
coming online. The company enlisted the decision making. For instance, pressure
help of a NASA shuttle simulation expert to sensors placed on the bit and at the
develop the simulation profile. Rig wellhead measure only two distinct
personnel were given full reign on the points of pressure. With wired pipe, the
problems they could present and it was up distribution of pressure along the drill
to the RTMC to diagnose and assist with the string could be more accurately
solution. The simulation proved to be as determined allowing for a better
much a preparation for live operations as it understanding of fractures and mud
was a team building exercise. The offshore losses.
team which participated in the simulation is Handling issues and cost will be the
still the company’s best when it comes to detractors for wired pipe, although there
communication and interaction with the seem to be some pretty exciting
RTMC. developments.” 14

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 16


Lessons Learned that a more standardized language
 Video is an important element is necessary for the industry. Service
helping to interpret the data streams. providers use standardized company
The primary video feed is from the names/annotations; but they are
drill floor even though the entire defined differently across the
platform is outfitted with cameras. industry creating hurdles during
The view of drill floor operations system integration.
helps to understand the data  Years of experience offshore have
feeds/streams on ‘The Data Wall’. taught many that there should not be
 Bringing video onboard requires a an overreliance on the sensors.
strategy for the integration. The Sensor type, redundancy, accuracy,
onshore team needs to give the calibration and location are
crews time and space to operate in important when analyzing data
order to do their business. The feeds. For instance, a sensor
onshore monitoring team uses its calibration might be temperature
judgment when contacting the rig sensitive and show different
based on video or data feeds. readings at different times of the
 The experience level of the RTMC days for the same physical situation.
team is extensive. The company Depending on the time of day
believes it is necessary to have an readings may or may not be within
extensive background and time on tolerable levels. Often years of
the rig in order to be able to pick up drilling experience must be used
the nuances of monitoring from a when interpreting data feeds and
remote location. trends.
 The company feels that it would be  Using the staff from the RTMC as
very difficult for non-essential part of the offshore team was a
personnel to walk in on a well drilling change from the status quo. In order
operation in progress and draw to manage the change necessary to
conclusions from the streams of data implement the RTMC the company
unless the individual has been was very clear in providing guidance
integral to the well planning and that “Real-time monitoring of
operation process. An inspector/ operations is now a condition of
auditor would need to be highly employment” which helped minimize
experienced in offshore rig pushback from the offshore crews.
operations.  The company noted an overall
 The company has had several decrease in risk through more
issues with integrating RTD methodologies for limits and
languages. The company notifications.
recognized some issues with the
interpretation of WITSML indicating

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 17
Example 2: RTOC utilizing RTMC and During the planning process, the service
an integrated Knowledge Center companies and peer ‘assist and review
members’ are integrated with the well
The company has been using RTM since
planning teams in order to provide accurate
1999 and first developed the operations
solutions to problem solving. Once a
room concept with integrated RTMC in
solution is proposed, the entire well team
Norway in 2005. In 2009, the company
concurs before implementation. However,
developed similar operations rooms in
during execution, onshore team members
Houston, TX.
have the authority to shut in a well if
RTOC Layout necessary, but it is usually a decision made
in conjunction with the offshore team.
Operations Rooms
It was stressed that the use of integrated
The company’s RTOC consists of two operations rooms had fostered a
operations rooms approximately 30’ x 40’, collaborative environment with all changes
identically outfitted for all aspects of RTM subjected to the MOC process. During
for drilling operations. Each operations room planning, execution and completion, the well
is dedicated to one of the company’s two teams utilize a Knowledge Center for
drilling platforms in the GOM and capable of analysis of real-time problems.
receiving and displaying all RTD and video
The Sub Surface Support Center has six
from current operations. The teams conduct
divisions of specialists:
morning status meetings in the operations
rooms and include the offshore team via 1. Well Completion
VTC. The meetings are usually staggered 2. Fluids
by 30 minutes when two well drilling 3. Rock-Mechanical
operations are underway permitting 4. Well System and integrity
personnel to attend both meetings. The 5. Advanced Drilling
VTC feeds are constant during operations 6. Intervention
so the teams onshore can interact with the
RTD Management
offshore teams continuously.
The company streams its data via
Team Dynamics microwave from its assets located within 30­
A specific well team is together from 40 miles of shore and via satellite
feasibility planning through end of well elsewhere. Network reliability among
summary. The well planning process service providers was varied with one of the
typically takes a year from proposal to a full company’s service provider’s reliability as
well drilling plan. The planning process high as 100% for the month of December
utilizes continuous risk assessment through 2012, while another was as low as 60% for
decision gates and is an iterative, interactive the same period.
process with all operational changes going While the operation is drilling, the RTD feed
thru the MOC process. is recorded, available and displayed

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 18


continuously in the RTOC, but the RTD is more data sources, but the lead time
not monitored for anomalies by onshore was determined to be too long, ~2
teams on a 24/7 basis. During this time, years for delivery. While wired pipe
drilling teams may use the real time data might be good for data collection,
that was collected as inputs to simulations right now there are few if any tools to
that are run to trouble shoot problems. analyze the data.
 The company sees value in
The company uses data inputs from many
‘continuous calculation’ technology
service contractors, including Halliburton,
and real-time calculations of
Baker Hughes, and Schlumberger. In this
hydraulic readings to aid in early
process, they have found Kongsberg
detection of downhole problems
Discovery Web to be a valuable tool for
such as a kick and has invested
displaying aggregated data from disparate
accordingly. The company is also
contractors. The tool allows the team to
testing Early Kick Detection (EKD),
aggregate all data into one display instead
auto-choke and Smart Flowback
of constantly shifting back and forth among
utilizing mass flow monitoring
individual service provider displays. This
systems for more accurate reading
view helps to more easily provide the entire
of hydraulic flows.
data picture.
 A new connections process has
Once collected, the company stores and been developed and validated to
manages quality control of all RTD in a reduce or even eliminate a potential
WITSML format at its HQ in Stavanger, kick. It is now standard procedure to
Norway. Data can be recalled at any time wait one minute after a connection
and is periodically used for training before pumps are turned on in order
purposes. to let readings stabilize providing a
more accurate depiction of
Lessons Learned
pressures and downhole dynamics.
 Both drilling platforms have roughly  The use of real-time data in
44 video cameras. Video is not simulations has proven to be
stored on/offshore. The company invaluable. Service contractors
believes video is complimentary to typically assist with the simulations.
the data, very nice to have to  Even though the company uses
understand the situation, but not sophisticated Logging While Drilling
totally necessary. (LWD) and seismic drilling tools,
 The company has standardized its imaging below salt is still not good at
sensor arrays aboard the two drilling this time and needs to be better.
platforms. The platforms are  The company has found that the use
relatively new and the sensor arrays of a standardized viewing platform is
were installed while in the shipyard. a necessity to monitor RTD from its
 Wired pipe was initially considered various locations around the world.
and would have potentially provided The diversity among contractors’

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 19
presentation styles and data The company has been using Kongsberg
available is too great to continually Discovery Web for the past five years to
learn when arriving on station. make aggregated RTD displays available to
key decision makers and support personnel.
Example 3: RTOC Utilizing A
The company reports that operations
Knowledge Center For Analysis With
through its worldwide Knowledge Center
Rig Execution.
have enabled low-cost, worldwide drilling
The drilling team managers on the rig have surveillance, collaboration and well
ultimate responsibility for drilling operations optimization.
and are the primary decision makers for the
drilling operation. RTD is transferred to the RTOC Operations Summary
Knowledge Center and monitored at the rig. The various industry configurations for the
The Knowledge Center acts as a resource use of RTD may appear, on the surface,
for the drilling team manager enabling him very different, but in general, they are each
to make pertinent decisions regarding the using real-time data feeds and archived
drilling operation. data to make the exploration and production
of oil & gas a more efficient, cost effective
Concept of Operations
prospect with an intentional byproduct of
The offshore drilling team receives support higher margins of safety.
and advice from the onshore Knowledge
Organizations repeatedly report that the
Center. If a situation presents itself, or
additional cost incurred in setup and
assistance is necessary during drilling
operation of an RTOC is more than offset by
execution, a specific team of key personnel
the benefits. One organization claimed that
assembles to assist.
the use of an RTOC paid back the cost of
During normal operations, well sites the center and associated personnel within
transmit data to a single centralized web- the first six months of operation.10
based repository. Where staff monitor
One company describes the value drivers
incoming real-time data 24/7 for quality
for their RTOC as tangible and intangible.
assurance, manage morning report
The tangible results are the timely delivery
distribution, and provide user support. From
of high quality well programs and enhanced
the incoming data, reports are created and
communication. While, the intangible value
distributed to engineers and geoscientists
is only measurable in macro-indicators
around the world for analysis. Concurrently,
including reduced well cost across the
other multidisciplinary teams also have
board and a clear reduction of downhole
access to the centralized system through a
trouble cost. Between the two, the tangible
web browser interface in order to provide
value, in essence, pays for the full
real-time support to the operations for
expenditure of the RTOC while the
issues involving well control, fluids,
intangible increases that value a magnitude
directional drilling, and formation
higher.5,16
identification and casing point selection. 15

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 20


But how are the byproducts of safety what causes you to have an event. Well
manifested? The descriptions of the RTMC path optimization avoids these fractures.”
7
above assume these functions are handled
onshore, but this is not to say that these
Some organizations we’ve spoken to insist
same functions are not being accomplished
the RTMC is a purely financial decision:
on the rig. It is a necessary practice that the
rig is monitoring the same data as the “We do not deploy an RTOC (RTMC).
RTMC. However, the RTMC has the The use of an RTOC (RTMC) is an
opportunity to cost effectively employ a industry financial decision not a safety
multidisciplinary decision making capability decision. We contract with Baker
with geoscientists, drilling staff, engineers Hughes to provide WITSML data for all
and service provider experts in an our drilling parameters and we have it
integrated team. The distance between the available through the web in real-time,
rig and the RTMC can create a different but we don’t dedicate someone to watch
perspective from which to see issues the data on a 24/7 basis.
developing. If we need to understand what
“Occasionally, perhaps once a year the happened during a particular drilling
RTOC will see something that the guys event we can go back to the data and
offshore didn’t see. We call it a ’red flag‘ get a better understanding and learn
event. They’ll call the guys offshore and from it. The true value in the real-time
say, “Hey we’re seeing something, are data is the ability to use it in a
you seeing it too?” And for whatever collaborative effort to optimize well
reason, it wasn’t detected offshore. planning and construction.” 17

The fact that this so rarely happens is a


tribute to the real safety benefit of having
a sound well planning process. These
collaborative processes are made
possible through the introduction of real-
time data. Well path optimization is a
good example. Optimizing the well path
is an efficiency thing, but it is also a big
safety thing. Most well events occur
because for some reason the fracture
gradient isn’t handled properly and you
have a fracture and lose fluid into the
well. With well optimization using real-
time data you can plan for, and change
significantly the density of the fluids you
need to drill with thereby decreasing
probabilities of hole problems which are

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 21


Available RTD Technology

Technology development over the past 15 In our search for the best available
years in the oil & gas industry has been technology to manage the real-time data
expanding at an incredible pace. This chain, we found it necessary to break the
technology ranges from flow valves and chain down into logical categories for ease
pulse transducers to full 3-D seismic of discussion. Below we’ve provided an
visualization centers. The old adage, ‘if it outline of the categories, descriptions of the
works, don’t mess with it’ is no longer valid. technology and several examples of the
Companies can no longer rely on the old technology currently available in the
ways of bringing this product to market. In industry. The information for the technology
order to remain competitive and safe in the examples comes directly from company
market place, they must embrace new brochures, websites and discussions with
technology and continually develop new company representatives. In follow on
methods of exploring, planning and chapters we will narrow the field of best
executing well design and production. available, describe the work in progress
within the industry and provide examples of
With the ‘Big Crew Change’ upon us,
best available technology from other
technology becomes an ever capable
industries with potential adaptation to oil &
partner in continuing the quest to remain
gas.
viable in the industry. We’ve looked at many
of the technological aspects for the chain of
1. Subsurface/Formation Analysis
communication necessary to acquire,
and Well Planning and Modeling
transmit, receive, capture and analyze data
for real-time operations under the scope of Tools
this assessment. In the pages that follow Although this is not strictly part of the data
the authors identified some of the best chain, it is with this analysis and
available technology in use today and that collaboration that operational safety first
which is necessary to continue moving the becomes pertinent. Modeling the expected
industry forward. By way of example, behavior of the underlying formation informs
included are vendors’ offerings which and prepares the team, making them more
encapsulate the technology discussed. The aware of the risks and improving the margin
authors are not recommending any of the of safety. Using these advanced tools in
vendors’ products. These are listed only as collaboration with all parties to the operation
examples of the technology discussed. ensures the most efficient path to the pay
These technologies are continuing to be zone, and with that, an operation that will
evaluated for their cost and value to the afford an acceptably low risk, translating
industry and will be analyzed in subsequent directly to HSE improvements.
chapters.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 22


These tools include 3-D subsurface and well application for exploring core sample data
visualization tools utilizing a shared-Earth­ sets. From straightforward visualization and
model prepared with inputs from seismic measurement to advanced image
and offset data, updated with real-time processing, quantification and
information. skeletonization, Avizo Fire delivers an
extensive set of tools addressing 2D and 3D
The tools are designed to integrate
visualization, rock characterization,
subsurface and drilling information from
reconstruction of 3D rock models and pore
offset well analysis, perform detailed well
networks analysis.
engineering modeling and display a shared
visual representation. Drilling optimization NOV/TOTCO: TerraSCOPE® Software –
models are also part of this category which TerraSCOPE model calculates confined
recommend drilling parameters for planning. rock strength and predicts drillability and
Drilling parameters can be continuously vibration tendencies. The formation
updated during execution to provide a finely evaluation software helps develop the most
honed and optimized rate of penetration efficient drilling strategy based on the
(ROP) for the highest margins of safety. mechanical properties of the formation.
The most advanced technology will NOV/TOTCO: VibraSCOPE™ drill string
integrate these functions into a fully dynamics modeling software from NOV
adaptable modeling tool accepting inputs Downhole enables pre-well analysis of the
from all sources including historical data, BHA and drill string. The software predicts
manual entries and real-time data parameters that initiate vibration and high
necessary for updating the model during impact loading that can lead to premature
well construction. bit and/or downhole tool failures, utilizing
finite element analysis to model the
Technology examples dynamics of the entire drill string from the bit
Subsurface to the rig floor.

VSG – Avizo Earth® – a 3D Analysis eDrilling - PreDrill Simulations ­


Software for Geosciences and Oil & Gas – Evaluates planned well operations with
regard to ECD, temperature, pore pressure
Software for interactive exploration,
and wellbore stability as well as Torque &
visualization, analysis, comparison, and
presentation of geosciences data. This 3D Drag.
visualization application framework is the Kongsburg Gruppen AS - SIM Resevoir ­
ideal solution, allowing you to import, fully interactively view and manipulate all
manage, interact with, and visualize parts of the reservoir model. The product
geosciences data from multiple sources includes the base module, the stand-alone
within a single environment. import engine and full documentation.
VSG – Avizo Fire® is the advanced 3D
visualization and analysis software

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


23
2. Wellbore Stability and Drilling increase data streams from 8-12 bits per
Integrity (Downhole) Monitoring and second to over 1 million bits per second or 1
Analysis Megabit(1Mb). With new high speed data
channels comes new capabilities which
Best available technology in this category further enhance well control and with it,
includes tools such as instrumented drill increased safety margins.
string / e-lines, MWD/LWD/PWD tools,
wired pipe, mud handling / fluid loss Thorogood,et.al. 2010, discusses the future
detection and kick detection that are taking of automated drilling and the necessary
advantage of integrating their data to real- interoperability of these tools which
time modeling and simulation software describes very well where this technology is
providing an accurate picture of the well headed:
construction process. “Downhole tools will monitor the
In its simplest form, active well control can propagation of fractures to warn against
be described as a function of monitoring time dependent effects. Measurements
and adjusting many variables to manage in the bit will direct actions to optimize
pore pressure gradients during drilling and the weight and torque transferred to the
completion operations. Until recently much bit to prolong bit life and improve ROP.
of the monitoring was accomplished through Fluid models will predict pressures along
indirect methods of monitoring the well’s the borehole and caution against
circulatory system and mostly after an event damage at the weakest zones when
had occurred. As technology advances and drilling, tripping, or circulating cement.
the primary sensors move from the mud pits The wellbore trajectory will be adjusted
to the drill bit we are beginning to see much as necessary to match the updated
earlier detection of the symptoms that lead Earth model coupled with the latest
up to well events. However, transmission rock-mechanics interpretations from the
rates of monitoring data still pose a downhole tools. A combination of
problem. Technology exists to develop high surface and downhole accelerometers
data resolution tools, but is limited by will measure drill string vibration and
bandwidth out of the hole. stress and will offer optimal drilling
parameters to reduce risk and cost. All
“If we are going to get better at the of these models are available today, but
problem we need to get better info at the they are usually applied independently
bit.” 7 and may or may not be available in real-
With one notable exception, resolution of time or near real-time.” 18
downhole data available during drilling
operations is currently constrained by the
transmission rates and bandwidth of mud-
pulse and acoustic telemetry. Wired-pipe is
the notable exception with the ability to

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 24


Technologies examples: Drill’ mode. The e-Wildcat expands control
parameters to include ROP, WOB and
Wellbore Stability/Instrumented Drill String Torque, each of which has its own control
Tools/Mud Handling and Fluid Loss set points.
Detection/Kick Detection/Cement Analysis
NOV/TOTCO: Wellsite Performance
Halliburton - Sperry Drilling services: Drilling Advisor - PDA provides accurate,
UltraHT-230™ measurement/logging while repeatable and reliable real-time MSE on a
drilling (M/LWD) sensors deliver exceptional per second basis on any rig via any drilling
performance even at extreme high instrumentation system capable of being
temperatures, providing accurate and timely monitored anywhere in the world.
reservoir measurements for precise
wellbore placement. Designed to operate in NOV/TOTCO: e-Totco® Drift Recorder ­
temperatures as high as 446°F (230°C) and This tool improves accuracy and offers
pressures up to 25,000 psi (172 MPa), enhanced reliability and ‘user friendliness.’
UltraHT-230 sensors allow access to The e-Totco tool is now offered as a multi-
reservoirs which up to now were either shot reader with significant technological
inaccessible or had to be drilled ‘blind.’ The advantages over single shot tools to reduce
UltraHT-230 sensors provide accurate overall surveying time and costs in drilling
directional data and steering capabilities, vertical boreholes.
with the option of wireline-quality formation NOV: BlackStar® Electromagnetic MWD
evaluation measurements while drilling, and Tool: MWD applications involve the sending
real-time drilling optimization sensors. of measurements made by instruments
Forum Energy Technologies (FET): The located at the bottom of the hole back to the
Advanced Driller Monitoring System surface to all the crew to understand such
(ADMS) delivers drilling parameters things as location and orientation of the bit.
providing an early warning system that can NOV: DrillLink® Automated Control
identify problems such as drilling breaks, Services is an interface package allowing
flow deviations, and pressure losses. The third parties to deploy their proprietary
ADMS displays real-time drilling data, algorithms to most rig designs via a
enabling drillers to see signs of imminent common interface protocol.
well kicks and other deviations.
NOV: V-Stab® tool is a unique approach to
NOV/TOTCO: The e-Wildcat, with drill string vibration damping. The V-Stab is
RigSense provides constant force and an eccentric tool that reduces stick-slip
payout to generate a higher quality wellbore tendencies and dampens lateral shocks, by
and optimize the rate of penetration. The inducing Forward Synchronous Whirl (FSW)
system smoothly controls payout using the into the near V-stab section of the BHA. The
brake handle with precise variable V-Stab has proven effective in Borehole
frequency drive technology and multiple Enlargement applications as well as in
drilling parameter monitoring in the ‘Auto conventional BHAs.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


25
National Instruments: Instrumentation and to manipulate the mud gradient and
control system for a mud-gas separator dynamic pressure.
used in underbalanced drilling. With data
Schlumberger: Periscope - Bed boundary
acquisition hardware and LabVIEW
mapper provides the ability to see the
software, developed a real-time event
reservoir as wells are being drilled
interpretation system.
eliminating sidetracks on wells. The
Scientific Drilling International: RigGRID directional electromagnetic LWD
- Provides remote access to real-time measurement monitors the position of
drilling activities by means of a secure web- formation and fluid boundaries up to 21 ft
based portal. MWD, LWD, Directional away.
Drilling, Geosteering and third party data
Schlumberger: GeoVision - High­
are available to personnel authorized by the
resolution LWD images delivered in real-
customer. RigGRID™ utilizes WITSML as
time identify formation structure and
the data transferring protocol, making it
geological features, such as fractures.
possible to retrieve data that is compatible
with industry-related software and SafeVision: Kick Tolerance module
applications. includes most if not all commonly used kick
tolerance inputs, it can be used initially to
Monitor Systems Scotland Limited:
display conventional kick tolerance values.
Supplies drilling personnel with drilling data
But with the optional use of additional,
and relative alarm point settings in a
selected parameters that exceed most
compact drillers 19" TFT monitor unit
current kick tolerance practices
designed for use on the rig floor. Using the
(temperature effects, fluid compressibility
industrial alarm mouse points, alarm
including afterflow, variable influx density,
acknowledgement and display operating
complex gas behavior, and additional
parameters, such as active pits and pumps,
wellbore weak points), SafeVision's kick
can easily be set or modified.
tolerance displays are based on unusually
eDrilling: Integrated Manage Pressure sophisticated, but user friendly inputs,
Drilling (MPD) - The purpose of MPD is to providing valuable detail that contributes to
manage the annular hydraulic pressure more effective planning, monitoring, and
profile to fit within the allowed pressure well control decision making. Additionally,
window as well as to handle a well control instead of relying on kick tolerance
situation within this window with assistance calculated using planned mud weight, LOT
from advanced model tools and automated results, expected weak point location, hole
control systems. MPD may be geometry, and formation temperatures,
accomplished by many means including SafeVision continuously monitors and
combinations of backpressure, variable fluid recalculates kick tolerance using actual,
density, fluid rheology, circulating friction, current values of these parameters.
hole geometry, and using an active device

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


26
Sekal: DrillSceneTM utilizes a dynamically- works on the premise that similar problems
linked mechanical, hydraulic, and have similar solutions, so you can reduce
thermodynamic model of the drilling process uncertainty, minimize nonproductive time,
to predict key drilling variables such as increase safety, and enhance efficiency.
downhole pressure, hookload, surface
Verdande: DrillEdge case-based
torque, cuttings transport, tank volumes,
reasoning software automatically and
and standpipe pressure in real-time, using
consistently identifies patterns and trends
first principles calculations. Real-time
from real-time drilling data and compares to
transient modeling would not be possible
historical cases. Situations that merit further
without the availability of real-time data to
investigation show up on the case radar.
calibrate the model, such that the
This allows remote engineers to focus
predictions from the model match the
attention where required. When they identify
measurements under normal conditions.
a potential event, they investigate, validate,
Sekal provides the industry with the unique
and collaborate to determine the best
capability to both drive the transient model
course of action.
in real-time using the physical
measurements from the rig, and to calibrate NOV: IntelliServ® and IntelliPipe® provides
the model based on the actual conditions in a high-speed, high-volume, high-definition,
the well. This calibration occurs bi-directional broadband data transmission
automatically at regular intervals whenever system that enables downhole conditions to
the system detects conditions suitable for be measured, evaluated, monitored and
calibration. DrillScene also calculates actuated in real-time. This means, that we
additional valuable parameters such as create value by offering our customers the
sliding friction, rotating friction, and possibility to know facts they never even
hydraulic friction in the wellbore that perform knew they could know. The Use of Wired-
as indicators of changing hole conditions. Pipe would allow the acquisition of high-
DrillScene Advanced Monitoring does not resolution LWD data even at extremely high
require any equipment or personnel on the rates of penetration, improved geosteering
rig and has no adverse effect on the drilling capability by receiving all the data from all
operation. sensors in real-time, wellbore integrity and
hydraulics control and evaluation of
Baker Hughes: WellLink™ Radar remote
formation changes over time with multiple-
drilling advisory service enables you to
pass repeat logging.
deliver wells on plan by recognizing
potential drilling problems before they occur. Schlumberger: IpZig - Real-Time
This integrated solution combines 24/7 measurements directly behind the drill bit.
surveillance, automated decision support Provides an early indication of change in
from DrillEdge by Verdande Technologies lithology. Helpful in enhancing accuracy of
and the application of Baker Hughes best horizontal wells.
drilling practices and lessons learned. It

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


27
Schlumberger: AutoROP module - uses pressure measurements. Data transmitted
the ROPO algorithm to combine modeling of wirelessly between downhole and the
the PDC cutting process with signal- surface.
processing technique that detects changes
Schlumberger: Quicksilver Probe ­
in bit response. The ROPO algorithm
Focused fluid extraction collects formation
characterizes bit response in real-time and
fluids. Real-time downhole fluid analysis
determines the optimum values of rpm and
(DFA) for understanding of hydrocarbon
weight on bit to achieve maximum ROP.
properties at reservoir conditions.
Schlumberger: AutoSteer module ­
Schlumberger: IntelliZone - Compact
continuously monitors the well trajectory
modular zonal management system is an
and sends steering commands directly to
intelligent flow control system for multizone
the rotary steerable system through mud
wells. It provides a way to control wells on
pump manipulation.
land and offshore.
Schlumberger: Real-time Drilling
Schlumberger: Mi-Swaco - SG-SMART ­
Geomechanics analyzes in real-time all
Data-acquisition system can accurately
available drilling, petrophysical, mud,
measure, monitor, and display all drilling
seismic, and geological data to visualize
variables in real-time. Computer-controlled
current downhole conditions. The real-time
data-acquisition system employs integrated
information acquired from the Scope family
micro-controller technology and fiber optics
of downhole tools combined with the
to provide accurate measurement and
surface data including solids and gas
display drilling data.
monitoring.
Schlumberger - StimMAP - Services for
Schlumberger: Integrated Cement
hydraulic fracturing monitoring record
Design utilizes all relevant LWD and
microseismic activity in real-time during the
laboratory measurements to provide
fracturing process. Software provides
successful cement placement and
modeling, survey design, microseismic
evaluation.
detection and location, uncertainty analysis,
Schlumberger: InSituPro - InSitu Fluid data integration, and visualization for
Analyzer Real-time downhole fluid analysis interpretation. Computer imagery is used to
(DFA). monitor the activity in 3D space relative to
the location of the fracturing treatment.
Schlumberger: CFA - composition fluid
Then the monitored activities are animated
analyzer module of the MDT modular
to show progressive fracture growth and the
formation dynamics tester.
subsurface response to pumping variations.
Schlumberger: EnACT - Bi-directional
Halliburton: DFG RT™ Drilling Fluid
wireless telemetry for control of the
Graphics - Provides drilling simulation
Intelligent Remote Dual Valve (IRDV) and
utilizing input data from Sperry Drilling
acquisition of Signature quartz gauge
Services' InSite® software.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


28
Halliburton: DFG™ Software with fluid properties in real-time for assessing
®
DrillAhead Hydraulics Module ­ fluid type, fluid phase, and contamination
Hydraulics modeling software with wellbore monitoring under reservoir temperature and
pressure and ECD management using pressure conditions.
hydraulics and cuttings transport
Baker Hughes: SampleView™ service
simulations.
enables real-time determination of fluid type
Halliburton: MWD/LWD Telemetry and monitoring of mud-filtrate
Systems - use positive and annular venting contamination.
mud-pulse telemetry with a high rate of
transmission to generate real-time 3. Instrumentation For Drill Floor and
MWD/LWD logs on the surface. The mud Rig Operations
pulse systems use valves to modulate the Measurement accuracy of drilling
flow of drilling fluid in the bore of the drill parameters begins with the sensors. The
string, generating pressure pulses that sensors are the most fundamental part of
propagate up the column of fluid inside the any rig instrumentation system. While rig
drill string and then are detected by upgrades are in progress, older rigs are still
pressure transducers at the surface. using sensor types that have built-in
Halliburton: Applied Fluid Optimization – inaccuracies that tend to show variations in
AFO uses DFG RT™ Drilling Fluids readings and many have inadequate
Graphics Real-time drilling simulation network and telecoms architecture to
software to model bottom hole and surge / support multiple service companies.
swab pressures using real-time drilling data “The simple fact is that, every rig in the
® Gulf’s got a system on it, but the majority
Halliburton: Drillworks - Pore Pressure
Prediction and Geomechanical Analysis of them are older systems that don’t have
Software - provides an integrated pore broadband capability. So it’s something
pressure and geomechanical solution that the industry needs to address,
because there is a need there. Eventually
Halliburton: OptiCem™ - Calculates real-
somebody’s going to say all the data has
time equivalent circulating densities (ECDs)
to come off these rigs in real-time, or at
based on actual job volumes, rates and fluid
least in one-hour increments, or whatever
densities for more realistic simulator and
they decide. And a lot of those systems
rheology models for cementing operations.
out there can’t currently do that.” 19
Baker Hughes: Pore-Pressure Prediction
The newer sensor technology now being
- combining seismic data and
outfitted as standard packages on drill ships
geomechanical modeling to address
are precise and reliable with ultra-stable
wellbore stability and drilling performance.
calibration characteristics which translate to
Baker Hughes: In-situ Fluids eXplorer™ eliminating time-consuming calibration
(IFX™) service measures several in-situ procedures at the rig site. This technology

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


29
category is meant to include just about any  Provides notification of arrival of
improved sensor located from the Blow Out lagged samples via the sample
Preventer (BOP) to the point of transmission catcher screen.
off the rig.  Includes a messaging and memo
system.
“The actual hardware we are putting out
 Calculates and tracks drilling line
on the rigs has gotten so good, that you
wear, rate of penetration, weight on
can almost say that it is equivalent
bit, and total pump output.
among vendors. It is your software and
 Tracks bit and circulating hours.
what user interface you are using to get
 Displays mechanical specific energy
that data off the rig that really
in both vertical and
differentiates all the instrumentation
horizontal/directional hole sections.
providers right now.” 19
 Includes the wellsite information
Technology examples: transfer standard (WITS) protocol to
allow the system to communicate
Instrumentation with other service companies.
Pason: Electronic Drilling Recorder  Includes easy-to-read and intuitive
(EDR) links the rig manager and rig crew, display screens to help monitor
operator, geologist, mud logger, directional critical operations at the rig such as
hand, UBD technician, or any other rig site drilling, circulating, and tripping.
user together on a data network. Drilling Pason: Pit Volume Totalizer - A volume
data can be viewed on any of the monitoring system that measures,
workstations, and data is logged and stored calculates, and displays readings from the
onsite. Providing secure, remote access to mud system on the rig to alert of impending
the network, the system transfers data via gas kicks and lost circulation issues.
broadband satellite to the office. In addition,
NOV - GasWatch III™ Gas Detection
the EDR provides the base for other
Services – GasWatch III offers an
instrumentation including the remote drilling
Choke Actuator, Pit Volume Totalizer, increased line of reliability in gas detection
by detecting C1, C3, and total gas real-time
AutoDriller, Mud Analyzer, Total Gas
with repeatable accuracy and remote data
System and Hazardous Gas Alarm. The
system performs the following tasks: capabilities. This system is integrated into
the RigSense Electronic Drilling Recorder to
 Monitors bit position at all times. assure that all data is shown to all levels of
 Stores all drilling data to disk every rig personnel. Gas Watch III also offers
ten seconds. remote data capabilities through our
 Accesses historical well data. WellData website information system.
 Scales all sensor traces individually.
NOV: Remote Logging Center – The
 Renumbers joints automatically on
Remote Logging Center is a proven
pipe tally screen.
alternative to basic mud-logging, manned by

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


30
experienced loggers 24/7 monitoring, 4. Data Collection, Transmission
evaluating, and reporting critical data and Points, Wireless/Wired, Standardized
events crucial to the success of the well Languages Bandwidth Requirements
plan.
Technologies in this category consist of
Forum Energy Technologies (FET): those necessary to collect, aggregate and
Electronic Inclination and Azimuth transmit data from sources on the rig. The
Systems. Records even the slightest study does not specifically address
changes in the drill angle – as small as technologies for the local area network such
fractions of a degree – so the drill path can as wired (twisted pair, coax and fiber optics)
be quickly and efficiently corrected back to and wireless which are relatively standard
vertical. aboard the rigs, however, it does detail the
National Instruments: National more critical issues that need to be
Instruments offers two main platforms for addressed relating to standardized data
reading in the signal from these different transmission languages, and bandwidth
sensors: C Series and PXI. C Series is an availability from rig to shore.
industrial, portable form factor that is ideal The National Petroleum Council’s Offshore
for distributed monitoring or portable Operations Subgroup of the Operations &
diagnostics. PXI offers a higher- Environment Task Group has also
performance, higher-channel-count system addressed offshore data management and
for use in test setups or much larger has published its findings in September
monitoring systems. 2011. The findings are summarized below:
Schlumberger: FloView - independent  Many of the oil and gas data-
measurements of the multiphase fluids in management issues identified by the
each quadrant of the pipe cross section. US Department of Energy (DOE) in
Halliburton: Reservoir description tool 2004 remain unresolved and
using the focused sampling probe. digital problematic in 2010-2011. The
control feedback system, which makes issues are not related solely to
instantaneous changes in pumpout flow lagging deployment of best
rates to maintain a prescribed pressure, technologies but also reflect lagging
RDT’s Zero Shock PVT attention to uniform formatting and
sampling method eliminates pressure portability, reliable retention and
transients during pumping and sampling. critical documentation that would
make data seamlessly available and
Fiber Optic Sensing - Provides distributed
usable as long-term resources.
sensing to monitor dynamic wellbore
 The multiplicity of US government
conditions during production.
regulatory agencies involved in
setting data reporting requirements
has led to inefficiencies both in the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


31
ability of industry operators to file the WITSML standard. However, like many
reports and in subsequent retrieval of us who are still using an older version
of data for use in decisions about internet browser on our laptop, we can
practices, permits and environmental understand that upgrading to the newest
impacts. language version can cause issues itself
 US regulatory agencies have not and takes time and resources.
made maximum use of successful
Measuresoft: ScadaPro is Real-time Data
data-management examples offered
Acquisition software for Microsoft Windows.
by organizations in Canada and the
Optimised to use the powerful real-time,
United Kingdom.
multi-tasking features of Windows,
 Development of standards
ScadaPro provides integrated data
necessary for improvement of data
acquisition, monitoring, data logging, mimic
management has been led by non­
development and report generation.
governmental organizations
although progress has lagged in Measuresoft: DrillPro is a full featured
accomplishing adoption and addon package to ScadaPro for the
integration into data systems of purposes of Rig site surface data acquisition
government regulatory agencies. 20 and processing for both Mud logging and
drilling rig monitoring in general.
Technologies examples:
NOV: RigSense® Information Systems.
Data Collection-transmission The RigSense system is a highly advanced
and reliable, yet easy-to-use drilling process
WITSML™ (Wellsite Information Transfer
information system. The RigSense EDR
Standard Markup Language) appears to
incorporates NOV’s leading sensor
be emerging as the industry standard for
technologies with the latest in computer and
transmitting data. This language is relatively
data acquisition systems.
mature, with its origins as far back as the
early 1990’s; however, the extent and Peloton – Pason: WellView Field Solution
consistency of implementation varies. is a drilling data collection and reporting
Variations on which version is in use and system deployed as an integrated addition
inherent flexibility in the specification which to the Electronic Drilling Recorder (EDR). It
allows implementers to use their own sets of facilitates one-time data collection. All data
mnemonics, units of measure and time is displayed in standard forms on Pason's
stamping etc. results in interpretation issues web-based Internet DataHub, which
when integrating data among service provides a mechanism to collect, store, and
providers. The WITS standard, as a result is distribute wellsite data from the field.
still widely used for simple streaming of data Pason: Directional System - Software­
between rig systems. based product transmits directional drilling
Version 1.4.1 includes some measures to information, and provides remote access to
promote more consistent interpretation of the data in real-time. Decodes mud pulse

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


32
data and displays toolface, survey, gamma, 5. Onshore Center - Data Aggregation
and diagnostic information on the rosebud Standardized Interfaces / Screens /
Rig Minder: - rig monitoring package and Display of Relevant Data, User
depth tracking/logging/presentation software Interface (UI), Predictive Capabilities,
package engineered for drilling operations Monitoring/ Alarming Potential
with screen interfaces.
Aggregating all necessary data in real-time
Schlumberger: WellWatcher ­ to an onshore center is a complex task.
bidirectional, high-rate data communication Making use of the data at this point
and transfers electrical power to downhole becomes as much an exercise in new ways
tools. Network configuration is based on the of working as it is developing the technology
application and complexity of the anticipated to best exploit the data. Best available
installation. Components include surface technology in this category is characterized
acquisition and control systems, which by its ability to display the appropriate data
provide a single interface for wellsite data at the right time for full situational
acquisition, control, and transmission, and awareness without overwhelming the
interface cards. operators. It allows the operators to
Telescope - high speed data transmission understand immediately what is going on at
for sending data while drilling any given time and the ability to interact
directly with the rig team in order to solve
CoilCAT - data acquisition system, the issues. The data is used to recognize and
coiled tubing sensor interface (CTSI), with predict issues relating to potential well
the universal tubing integrity monitor (UTIM) events, NPT and safety hazards.
and software that merges design, execution,
and real-time evaluation capabilities. Technologies examples:
Halliburton: InSite Anywhere Direct RTMC Facilities
Service - stand-alone data delivery system.
OSI Soft: PI brings information from the
View well data on third-party devices
sensor to the boardroom. In most
Blackberry®, iPhone®, Android™ and
organizations, information originates and
Windows® Mobile. Well data accessed
resides in a variety of sources and
through InSite Anywhere Mobile service
repositories including different systems,
Baker Hughes: WellLink RT™ service: equipment, solutions, applications,
visualize your well being drilled with locations, networks, suppliers and
WITSML streaming data customers. These become, in essence,
Baker Hughes: WellLink Desktop™ information islands, and traditionally the
service: automated data delivery to desktop. only way to communicate between them is
through individual, human powered search-
and-collation efforts. The PI System,
through its infrastructure implementation,

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


33
bridges these information islands, bringing reducing the number of staff who need to be
all operational, business, event, and real- on site.
time data together, and makes that data
InSite Data Management Service - allows
easily visible to key decision makers across
drilling and other relevant rigsite data to be
the enterprise.
collected, transmitted, replicated and
OSI Soft: PI Manual Logger – Easily, managed in real-time.
securely, and reliably record data on PCs
Baker Hughes - BEACON Remote
and mobile devices.
Operations Portfolio:
National Instruments: LabView - used for
WellLink Services — Real-Time Data
acquiring data and processing signals from
Delivery, Monitoring and Management
instrument control, automating, test and
validation systems using embedded Real-time drilling data: real-time WITSML-
monitoring and control systems. compliant service to host and dynamically
display realtime data along with all surface
Kongsberg Gruppen AS: SiteCOM ­
sensor data or third party data feeds from
Integrates real-time data, historical data,
multiple wellsites.
reports, and files from all sources on the rig
and makes them available to the relevant Real-time wireline data: real-time, wireline
community through a single web-based logging visualization and data retrieval
interface. Automatically aggregates, service for Baker Hughes. Upgrade to the
distributes and manages real-time data, LiveDecision service for real-time
files, reports, and other drilling geoscience interpretations while logging.
communications Real-time production data:
Schlumberger: Connectivity, collaboration, comprehensive well-data communications,
and information service. From deepwater SCADA remote control, remote monitoring,
wells in harsh environments to shallow land and data analysis service to optimize and
wells, enables remote teams to proactively extend ESP system run-life.
address challenges. The service provides a Log library management: comprehensive
secure online workspace. well data distribution and retrieval service
Avocet Surveillance: Provides graphical for static files.
access to all production and operational Licensed software users can also download
data. No predictive capabilities. their entitled applications, and patches from
InterACT: RTMC facility for centralized the software menu.
management. Desktop service: data delivery system
Halliburton: Real-time Centers - Enable which automatically delivers the specific
experts to collaborate and work on multiple well data you want, securely and reliably,
wells located in different parts of the world directly to your desktop.
concurrently, minimize HSE issues by

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


34
Historian: Provides local and web-based tool covering the operating status of motors,
graphical reporting of time series data of pumps, fans, generators and other electro­
upstream and downstream processes—e.g., mechanical utilities. The system measures
chemical reporting. key functions such as speed, temperature,
oil pressure, vibration, exhaust gas, water
Field communications services:
coolant, and bearing temperatures, etc., for
Information and software solutions for
rig equipment, and machinery. Management
transmitting well datasets from the field to
data is transmitted to touch screen panels in
the WellLink data centers.
both the control room and the mechanical or
NOV: Real-time Optimization Services – electrical workshop.
NOV Real-Time Optimization Services
FUGRO GEOS: Wellhead & Riser
(RTOS) offers a scaled portfolio of tailored
Instrumentation Systems ­
services and tools which range from
Instrumentation and data acquisition
performance auto-drillers to real-time
packages for the offshore oil and gas
monitoring and advisory services.
industry. Strain and motion monitoring of
Monitoring and Alarming drilling and workover risers and wellheads.
Forum Energy Technologies: Advanced Measurements include: Upper and lower
Driller Monitoring System (ADMS) ­ flex joint angle measurement, riser tension
delivers crucial drilling parameters at a measurement at riser adapter, Lower
Marine Riser Package (BOP) motion
glance providing an early warning system
monitoring, inputs from available vessel
that can instantly identify problems such as
drilling breaks, flow deviations, and systems
pressure losses. The ADMS displays Vortex Induced Vibration Monitoring
reliable and accurate real-time drilling data, (VIV) – Involved in the design and operation
enabling drillers to see signs of imminent of deepwater risers and the issue of vortex
well kicks and other deviations that can induced vibrations (VIV).
make the difference between a safe well
DeepData - Subsea Data Collection -
and a costly and dangerous blowout.
Subsea data acquisition system with
NOV - WellData offers immediate access to modular logging system, which can collect
your rig’s process information with an up-to­ and analyze data from a variety of sensors,
the-second view of rig operations. The up to a water depth of 3000m (9900ft).
screens are fully customizable to monitor Measures the response of deep-water
key variables of the drilling process, components such as production and drilling
allowing contributions to operations to take risers, sub-sea templates, anchors,
place in a timely manner. moorings, foundations etc. Measurement
Monitor Systems Engineering Ltd.: areas include:
Machine Monitoring Alarm Systems ­  Risers: Load, Motion and VIV

Provides a visual and audible management (Vortex Induced Vibration)

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


35
 Wellheads: Motion and Fatigue hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and lower explosive
 Jackets: Fatigue Monitoring, Integrity limit (LEL) gases and vapors. It provides
 Monitoring Pipelines: VIV and Span industry standard formats, such as RS-485,
Assessment Modbus and XML (Extensible Markup
Language) to allow integration with l
Optima Riser Management System ­
command-and-control software packages,
Optima-RMS is a riser management system
such as RigMinder’s EDR system.
offered jointly by MCS Kenny and Fugro
GEOS. The system uses outputs from Rig Minder - rig monitoring package and
existing vessel systems to predict the depth tracking/logging/presentation software
behavior of the riser in the prevailing package engineered for drilling operations
metocean conditions. Provides real-time with screen interfaces.
guidance of drilling and workover
Schlumberger - RTAC – Supervisory
operations. Key results are presented
Control and Data Acquisition SCADA
graphically in an intuitive display.
system for interfacing with many tools. Used
Production Riser Monitoring: Services in for downhole control and monitoring
connection with production risers: TLP
Phoenix: Provides bidirectional, high-rate
Risers - Permanently installed on the
data communication and transfers electrical
tensioned risers of TLPs, and on other
power to downhole tools. Network
tensioned risers, to monitor VIV effects.
configuration is based on the application
Jacket Conductors - Lateral motions of
and complexity of the anticipated
conductors are measured to allow accurate
installation. Includes surface acquisition and
analysis of the fatigue life of the Christmas
control systems, which provide a single
tree pipe loops. Offset Risers - RTMS (Riser
interface for wellsite data acquisition,
Tension Monitoring System) is used to
control, and transmission, and interface
confirm the tension in offset risers, and the
cards.
integrity of the buoyancy tanks. An ROV
recoverable strain bracelet and logger unit
are installed at the top of the offset riser.
Data is transmitted by hydro acoustic
modem to the FPSO, where a real-time
display of tension levels is provided. Lo and
LoLo Alarm limits can be set to provide
visual and audible warnings of significant
tension changes.
Meshguard Wireless Gas Detection
System is a deployable wireless gas
detection system that provides real-time
monitoring. It is used to monitor for

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


36
Operators Using Real-time Data

The use of real-time data is rapidly Does the company use an RTOC fully
becoming standard and expected practice in integrated with a team using the RTD for
the oil and gas industry. In order to develop well planning and daily optimization
a wider understanding of current practice in operations?
the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) the authors polled
Does the company use an RTMC staffed
164 oil & gas exploration and production
and operating 24/7 to monitor drilling
companies with current operations in the
operations (or perhaps only when the bit is
GOM (The contact list was provided by the
turning)?
contracting authority of this project.) At a
minimum, we attempted contact with each The Polling Sample
company five times. The first attempt was It is important to note that the list of
through the company website ‘contact us’ companies provided was dominated by
email function. If the company had an ‘info’ pipeline owners/leasers. The pipeline
email address, it was used in addition or as operator uses RTM in a completely different
first attempt if there was not a ‘contact us’ manner than the Oil & Gas exploration and
email function. We received eight responses production companies. The pipeline
to our questions from 164 companies using operators monitor health of the pipeline and
website contact forms or email addresses quantity/quality of the product. Their data is
found on the ‘contact us’ pages. The next used to monitor quality control making
contact attempt was made through the decisions based on real-time data.
company switchboard to the director or VP
of drilling operations. Successive calls were The drilling contractors were not included on
made until a contact was reached or a our original contact list. These companies
contact could not be made. 76 companies perform the drilling operations and are
provided feedback for the poll, zero declined aware of RTMC and RTOC facilities. They
to participate and 88 were not reached. drill the well as a service to the
owner/leaseholder. Once they have
The aim of the poll was to determine: completed the well the RTMC services used
Does the company use real-time data (RTD) during drilling are not reflected in the
at the drill site and does the driller/drilling operations of the company listed in the
foreman/drill team normally make decisions spreadsheet. Examples of drilling
based upon the information without input companies cover a spectrum of companies
from onshore? with varying RTMC capabilities. Examples
include:
Does the company transmit the information
onshore to be available to those experts  Pacific Drilling: Large, worldwide
that monitor well drilling operations? drilling with sophisticated RTMC and
RTOC capabilities for drilling ultra­
deepwater wells.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 37


 Trinidad Drilling: A medium sized
company drilling in the continental
US. Uses RTMC during drilling and
has little RTOC experience.
 El Dorado Drilling Company: A
small drilling company with RTMC
provided by secondary service
providers such as Halliburton and
Schlumberger.

Polling Results
Of the 76 respondents 41 (54%) confirmed
that they did indeed use RTD during drilling
or production operations, while 35 (46%)
told us that they did not use the technology
for drilling or production operations at this
time. Of the 41 utilizing the advantages of
RTD, 33 (81%) sent the data to an onshore
storage capability and 16 (39%) used that
data in an RTOC with seven (17%) utilizing
the services of an RTMC operating and
staffed on a 24/7 basis.

100%
90%
80% 46%
57%
70%
79%
60% 91%
50% % No

40% % Yes

30% 54%
43%
20%
21%
10% 9%
0%
Use RTD RTD Sent Use RTOC 24/7 RTMC
Onshore

Figure 2: Use of real-time data in the Gulf of Mexico

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 38
CHAPTER 2 – (Task 3) Discuss options
for training programs or contracted
services which would be needed to
incorporate the identified systems into
BSEE’s process.

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 39
Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses training options aggregated in an RTOC, the BSEE


necessary to incorporate systems representative must be familiar with the well
necessary for real-time data monitoring into planning process of their specific operators.
an oversight role and addresses the role of
Training Scenario 2 describes bringing
standardization for the purposes of
real-time data technology to BSEE. This
regulatory oversight. Regulatory oversight is
concept requires a curriculum developed by
defined as the need to monitor operator
BSEE, with coordination from industry, to
operations for the purposes of compliance
develop training courses designed to
with CFRs and BSEE regulations. The
educate BSEE representatives on the topic
oversight system BSEE will operate must be
of real-time data technology for the purpose
clearly defined before an effective training
of understanding the available technology
program can be developed.
within the industry.
We’ve narrowed this discussion for Task 3
Training Scenario 3 presumes the
to a model of system oversight and
development of a simulation center within
appropriate training programs to be
BSEE that is modeled from traditional Real-
incorporated into BSEE processes for Real-
Time Operating Centers. Conceptually,
Time Operating Centers (RTOC) and Real-
BSEE would setup and maintain a ‘training’
Time Monitoring (RTM) as described in
RTOC within its structure and train
Chapter 1 (Task 1). This report assumes
personnel based on industry best practices
BSEE requires training options to
using actual, de-identified, real-time data to
understand all aspects of collecting, storing,
run simulations or potentially replay actual
and analyzing aggregated data from an
events.
operator’s ongoing drilling operations.
Introduced in this task are the definitions
and principles of safety oversight, system
safety principles as they relate to training,
and three training scenarios for the purpose
of discussion.
Training Scenario 1 suggests a focused
internship at an oil and gas operator with
syllabus of instruction agreed upon by
BSEE and the operator. This scenario
would be extremely valuable as a method
for an in-depth understanding of the well
planning process from concept thru
execution. In order to understand the data

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 40


System Safety at the Regulator Level

System safety is an approach to manage a specialty within system engineering that


hazards and risks in complex systems. supports program risk management. It is the
Exploration for oil and gas is a risk-based application of engineering and management
proposition filled with uncertainties requiring principles, criteria and techniques to
decisions critical to safety at every juncture. optimize safety. The goal of System Safety
To varying degrees, every operator has in is to optimize safety by the identification of
place programs and policies and processes safety related risks, eliminating or
designed to mitigate and minimize the effect controlling them by design and/or
of unsafe actions and situations. These procedures, based on acceptable system
programs work well when the organization safety precedence.
has fully invested in their execution.
System safety is more than the traditional
However, to elevate inherent levels of safety
safety programs enacted throughout the
across the industry requires a more global
industry. For the FAA, it’s an integral part of
approach. The voluntary approach initially
the oversight system. The oversight system
recommended within The American
BSEE will operate must be clearly defined
Petroleum Institute Recommended Practice
before an effective training program can be
75 (API RP 75), published in May 1993,
developed.
established the development of a Safety
and Environmental Management Program The development of the training scenarios
for offshore operations and facilities. These discussed in this paper is dependent on
recommended practices produced some how the BSEE’s evaluation function is
level of acceptance and standardization transacted in the field. Other successfully
within the industry. Then, with the Safety safe and regulated industries, like nuclear
Environmental Managements System and aviation, have applied a ‘cooperative
(SEMS) mandate, the industry moved one oversight’ model of interaction, which has
step closer to a fully integrated systematic been more successful than imposition of a
approach to safety. This is similar to the rigid, prescriptive evaluation.
aviation and nuclear industries which have Example outlines of oversight programs
well established Safety Management exist today in other industries and can serve
Systems that continually evolve as safety as a model to build a BSEE program. An Oil
understanding evolves. and Gas Oversight Safety (OGOS)
System safety concepts entail a risk program, if implemented needs to be based
management strategy based on on the explicit policy of BSEE. An example
identification, analysis of hazards and policy statement may be: “BSEE will pursue
application of remedial controls using a a regulatory policy which recognizes the
systems-based approach. The FAA System obligation of the operator to maintain the
Safety Handbook defines system safety as: highest possible degree of safety.” OGOS

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 41


implements BSEE policy by providing safety oversight system assesses the safety of
controls (i.e., regulations and their operating systems using System Safety
application) for operators that fall under Principles, safety attributes, risk
BSEE regulations. Under OGOS, BSEE’s management, and structured system
primary responsibilities might include: (1) engineering practices.
verification that an operator is capable of
The operator is the process owner of their
operating safely and complies with the
drilling systems, which is a production
regulations and standards prescribed by the
system. BSEE is the process owner of the
BSEE before issuance of an ‘accepted Well
oversight system, which is a protection
Plan’ and/or before approving or accepting
system. The intent of protection systems is
operator programs; (2) to re-verify that an
to promote worker safety and protect the
operator continues to meet regulatory
environment from potential harm of
requirements when environmental changes
production activities. This includes potential
occur by conducting periodic reviews; and
harm from accidents, occupational hazards,
(3) to periodically validate the performance
loss of equipment and other property, and
of an operator’s approved and accepted
damage to the environment. Safety
programs for the purpose of continued
Environmental Management Systems
operational safety.
(SEMS) and Quality Management Systems
The discussion of training for this task will (QMS) are also protection systems. The
include three variations for BSEE training. In relationship between production and
order to implement any of the three training protection systems requires exchanging
options, we first need to discuss the intent information and exerting influence.
of an oversight system, which improves the Protection systems influence production
surveillance processes by the regulator. The systems by imposing controls.

Figure 3: Safety System Oversight Process

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 42


Major Functions of Safety Oversight

A Safety Oversight System requires several produce intended results, including


levels and components of supervision. mitigation or control of hazards and
Primary responsibility falls on a Principal associated risks. Safety Oversight systems
Inspector (PI) who ensures proper safety use periodically designed PAs to detect
oversight is maintained. Safety Inspectors systemic failures that may occur due to
(SI) are the second level and apply a broad subtle operational changes. PA schedules
knowledge of the oil and gas industry, are also adjustable based on known risks or
general principles of oil and gas safety, safety priorities. Surveillance is synonymous
Federal laws, regulations, and policies. Both with auditing and provides information for
the PI and SI have intensive technical PAs and Risk Mitigation.
knowledge and skill in the operation and
The Risk Mitigation (RM) process identifies
maintenance of drilling operations. The PI
and controls hazards and manages
and SI employ systematic tools to ensure
resources according to pre-determined risk-
ongoing operations comply with regulations
based priorities. Proper RM is accomplished
and industry safety standards. Three of the
through continuous systematic risk
common tools used to ensure standards are
assessments of an operator’s performance
maintained include: Design Assessment
and operating environment. The potential
(DA), Performance Assessment (PA) and
consequences of hazards define the level of
Risk Mitigation (RM).
a specific hazard. The likelihood and
The Design Assessment tool is a safety severity of a consequence determines the
oversight function that ensures an risk. When multiple risks exist, a safety
operator’s systems comply with regulations oversight system assesses the combined
and safety standards, including the effects of likelihood and severity to
requirement to operate with public safety as determine priority. Subsequent RM action
the highest priority. An operator safety plans contain strategies to transfer,
process must ensure that systems comply eliminate, accept, or mitigate the risk. This
with the intent of the regulations and use process validates the intended results of an
standardized, systematic processes to action plan to ensure that a hazard is
determine an appropriate level of safety. effectively eliminated or controlled. A
The DA tools used (oversight audits, etc.) properly structured safety oversight system
should ensure operators are meeting deals with the hazards and associated risks
regulatory requirements during periodic that are subject to regulatory controls such
program reviews, or when the situation as enforcement actions, certificate
dictates. amendments, and rulemaking. The Risk
Management Process tracks hazards that
Performance Assessment (PA) tools should
be used to confirm that operating systems

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 43


are the operator’s responsibility until the assume that BSEE needs to be able to
operator successfully resolves them. understand the full RTOC capability. If the
BSEE representative understands how all
When the Safety Oversight System has
the technology fits together within the
been properly structured, the organization
RTOC. The offshore RTOC environment
can begin to develop appropriate training
can provide valuable insight to the offshore
systems to prepare the required group of
element.
employees. The focus of the training
scenarios described below is limited to What level of initial competence is
specific training to utilize Real-Time necessary? The trainee for the program
Operating Centers (RTOCs) in an oversight should be at least a qualified Petroleum
function. In order to understand the Engineer, or at least 10-15 years of
discussion, several questions needed to be experience with a hands on understanding
asked of the regulator and assumptions of drilling and production activities and as
made. The list of questions is below: well as oil and gas dynamics.
Who is the audience? – Who in BSEE will Definitions of Safety and Risk
attend or use the training options
discussed? The author makes the Safety is reducing the risk of harm to people
recommendation that the BSEE team who or property damage, and maintaining the
should be trained on the RTOC systems will risk of harm at or below an acceptable level
be principle investigators, evaluators and through a continuing process of hazard
auditors employed by BSEE, have a identification and risk management. By this
baseline understanding similar to or with a definition, an operator’s duty to provide
Petroleum Engineering degree (PE) and service with the highest degree of safety for
have understanding of basic drilling the public interest means that the operator
requirements. The expected experience must identify hazards in their operating
lever for PE’s, licensed and having 10-15 environment and manage associated risks.
years’ experience. Similarly, an operators’ ability to manage
risk is an important part of the regulators
What are the objectives of the training? – determination to ensure that the operator is
What are the desired outcomes of the equipped to operate safely under the
training? For the purpose of this task, the appropriate regulations and standards
desired outcome will be for the BSEE prescribed by the BSEE.
representatives to have a full understanding
of the data derived in an RTOC and how System Safety
they are expected to use that data for safety
Properly designed safety systems control
evaluation purposes.
hazards by eliminating or mitigating
Which aspects of RTM activity should be associated risks before they result in
used in BSEE’s processes? - Is this accidents or incidents. In an operational
activity individual component technology, or context, operators fulfill their duties to
full RTOC capability? Our training options

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


44
provide service with the highest degree of nonproprietary data sources assists to
public safety by designing their operating optimize the function of the oversight
systems to manage hazard related risks in system and leverage resources to advance
their unique operating environments. safety. The current lack of transparency in
the industry necessitates the need for a full
Focus on Organization and change in paradigm and perhaps, regulatory
Processes involvement to increase data sharing across
In addition to issuing approval for well plans, the industry. BSEE and the industry will
monitoring compliance, investigating need to establish data types to be shared
noncompliance, and administering and determine how data needs to be de­
sanctions for noncompliance, BSEE must identified. One of the most important
also focus on the operator’s organization aspects of oversight safety is the ability of
and process management. Outputs and industry players to learn from all
outcomes are still monitored; however, the performance errors, not just their own.
emphasis is on maintaining a safe process Industry wide data sharing of de-identified
and correcting deficiencies. Performance information allows this learning system and
Assessments (PA) must supply objective best practices to propagate industry wide.
evidence of both the adequacy and
inadequacy of processes. Safe operations
require constant adaptation. In a properly
designed oversight system, control
measures should be established to ensure
operating environmental hazards and
unsafe changes to the environment are
mitigated. Data Collection Tools (DCT) are
used to help provide information on current
environmental risks and on the operator’s
efforts to control those risks.

Data Sharing
BSEE is responsible for independent
assessment of an operator’s qualification
and continuing ability to comply with
regulations and standards. BSEE could
accomplish these independent assessments
using data that has been validated by a
qualified inspector provided by an operator
or a third party. Cross industry
communication and sharing of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 45


Safety Oversight System Design

The training scenarios in this report are processes, and assesses OGOS
optimized to work within a safety oversight process effectiveness.
system. BSEE representatives would learn  Continually improves OGOS using
how the RTOC operates and the BSEE established processes for system
regulatory intentions. The following list engineering.
describes a possible structure for BSEE
regulatory oversight and would require Standards Training Division
coordinated specific training in order to  Budgets for and provides the training
prepare BSEE representatives to enforce that meets the needs of OGOS
the regulatory principles as they relate to users.
Inspectors:  Audits compliance with OGOS policy
and procedures as well as evaluates
Roles and Responsibilities the effectiveness of OGOS
processes.
The Director of Standards
 Provides the national policy and Regional Standards Division Offices
guidance for OGOS.  Implements OGOS.
 Provides and maintains national  Resolves any identified issues.
policy and guidance for baseline
training and staffing standards. Principle Inspector (PI)
 Provides adequate regional  Is responsible for the operator
resources to support OGOS interaction and process development
processes. and delivery.
Standards Field Office  Reviews an operator’s request for
new operations, or changed scope
 Provides OGOS policy and of current operations.
procedures in accordance with  Collects and organizes information
OGOS. to complete an applicant
 Completes changes and updates for assessment, solicits input from team
the system configuration process. members, and makes decisions
 Provides analysis and program about oversight requirements.
support for the OGOS process.  Prioritizes OGOS Design
 Develops operator certification and Assessments (DA) and Performance
data collection policy and Assessments (PA) by following
procedures. OGOS planning procedures.
 Collects feedback and completes
changes and updates for all OGOS

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 46
 Monitors the effects of industry work assignments and may involve
changes and uses the change any regulation.
management tools to determine  Reevaluates returned inspection
when retargeting oversight activities records and decides on the
is required based on analysis of data appropriate action (e.g., editing the
or significant changes in the record, conducting additional
operating environment or other observations, or taking no action).
triggers such as accidents, incidents,  Promptly identifies unsafe conditions
or occurrences. or possible regulatory violations
 Participates in periodic meetings observed during data collection,
with the operators to stay informed notifies the appropriate personnel,
on conditions that could cause an and makes appropriate entries into
imbalance between personnel BSEE data systems.
available and current operations.  Follows established procedures to
 Provides specific instructions for assist PIs in determining that the
completing inspections using the operator complies with its written
OGOS planning procedures. procedures and meets its
 Identifies and brings safety concerns established performance measures.
to both the Regulator and operator’s  Performs qualitative reviews of
attention. available data that falls within their
 Analyzes risk and ensures the subject matter expertise. Supports
certificate holder addresses hazards PIs and performs tasks associated
to document rationale, develop with the Risk Management Process.
action items, and monitor progress.  Conducts random inspections.

Safety Inspectors (SI)


 At a high level, participates in the
planning activities.
 Schedules, coordinates, and
accomplishes the work assignments
using OGOS tools. Inspectors may
work individually or as part of a team
on inspections.
 Accurately and promptly enters data
collection results into the OGOS
database in accordance with OGOS
data quality guidelines.
 Submits reports for observations that
are relevant to safety goals. These
observations are incidental to other

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 47
Training Program Development

The training scenarios are designed to train foundation for safety oversight data
mainly the Principal Inspectors and Safety collection. This data collection must be
Inspectors on Real-Time Operating Center timely and accurate.
operations and use for oversight and
The training program design would need to
regulatory purposes. The transition to a
incorporate RTOC operations with
Safety Management System environment
emphasis on the dataset questions and
between BSEE and the operator requires a
Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program
change of attitude throughout the industry
(VDRP) concepts, providing for a formal
and its current operating environment. The
management framework that can serve as a
attitude change is necessitated by the past
valuable interface between regulator,
appearance of collusion that resulted in the
operators and service providers. A
current, traditional cause and effect
successful training program would include
oversight relationship. This is a necessary
the following components:
step that requires a more collaborative
environment. Voluntary Safety Action Program (VSAP)

Data collection requires a collection plan Another input to the oversight dataset is
and a way to inspect the data either in real- established through a Voluntary Safety
time, or by using historical data. It is clear Action Program (VSAP) which is designed
that there needs to be standardized data to enhance safety through the prevention of
sets that the PIs are collecting. The process accidents and incidents. The focus of VSAP
for collecting the data will need to follow is to encourage voluntary reporting of safety
predictable guidelines. issues and events by the industry
workforce. The system is designed to
Standardized Industry Data encourage employees to voluntarily report
safety issues even though they may involve
Industry data collection will require
an alleged violation of the regulations. Open
collecting streaming real-time data that
sharing of potential, and apparent violations,
conforms to a standardized set of oversight
plus a cooperative advisory approach to
questions. The dataset of questions would
solving problems will enhance and promote
need to be developed in collaboration with
safety. The intent is to change the current
industry and contain data transfer from the
culture of the industry into a culture of
operator that will be exempt from potential
improved safety through data sharing
regulatory enforcement. This data is
without retribution.
referred to as Safety Attributes and is
described in detail in the following section. A successful implementation of a program
that enhances safety by examining and
Dataset questions derived from streaming
limiting enforcement actions is the Aviation
real-time operational data, creates the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 48


Safety Action Program (ASAP). It is a Controls—Checks and restraints designed
program that receives information on events into a process to ensure a desired result.
and/or conditions where enforcement
Process Measures—Validate a process
actions are possible. Reports are submitted
and identify problems or potential problems
by the operators to a central collection
in order to correct them.
facility for a decision to include or exclude
the operator from the program. If the Interfaces—Interactions between
operator’s report is accepted into the ASAP processes that must be managed in order to
program the threat of enforcement is ensure desired outcomes.
eliminated. The decision to include an Responsibility—A clearly identifiable,
operator’s report into the ASAP program is qualified, and knowledgeable person who is
based upon finding ‘willful disregard’ and accountable for the quality of a process.
‘intentional non-compliance.’ If the report is
not accepted into the ASAP program they Authority—A clearly identifiable, qualified,
will be eligible for enforcement actions. The and knowledgeable person who has the
ASAP program has been very successful in authority to set up and change a process.
increasing safety by uncovering events and These attributes are not necessarily
conditions that would have not been standards, but provide a structure for the
reported. The information received has tools used to collect data for PIs to make
shown that there are items that were not informed judgments about the design of an
eligible for enforcement but were previously operating system before approving or
withheld because of the possibility of accepting the design. The judgment would
corrective action. Reporting these items had be delivered when required to do so by the
contributed greatly to the overall safety of regulations, and during recurring
the industry. assessments for continued operational
Similar guidelines can be implemented by safety. Industry-wide standardized data
BSEE to gain insight and information that collection using dataset questions will
would have previously been unavailable due require Data Collection Tools (DCTs) to
to the possibility of punishment. ensure the operators are following Specific
Regulatory Requirements (SRRs). DCTs
Safety Attributes are sets of questions that are designed to
be part of an ongoing process to ensure
The key to safety lies in managing the
continuing adherence to the SRRs. The
quality of safety critical processes. This is a
DCT should be developed and refined over
primary responsibility of an operator in
time as opposed to a reactionary generation
meeting its regulatory obligations. Oversight
by an operator in response to a periodic
safety employs six safety attributes to
audit. The DCT questions are always
evaluate the design of operator systems:
applicable and should become a ‘living’
Procedures—Documented methods to document. In other words, the adherence to
accomplish a process. DCTs does not become an occurrence
exercised once every two years, but will

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 49


always be updated and monitored to ensure system backups, authorized signatures,
continual compliance. DCTs can be broken separation of duties, or a final review. Few
into specific sections to ensure of these controls have their basis in SRRs.
completeness of the data. This includes For this reason, a response of ‘No’ to one of
objectives and question checklists. The these questions does not necessarily mean
following paragraphs describe potential that the company is not complying with a
dataset question sections: regulation or that any action is necessary.

Procedures Attribute Dataset Questions Process Measures Attribute Dataset


Questions
This dataset confirms the operator’s
documented procedures and identifies who, Process measures ensure that the operator
what, when, where, and how the operator uses an internal evaluation function to
accomplishes its processes and complies detect, identify, and eliminate or control
with written procedures. Operator hazards and the associated risk. Negative
procedures must allow all personnel to findings could require amendments to the
perform their duties and responsibilities with Safety/Internal Evaluation Programs (IEP)
a high degree of safety. The SI will or checklists. In most cases, process
determine if written procedures exist, if the measures are non-regulatory. For this
procedures contain sufficient detail, and if reason, a response of ‘No’ to one of these
they comply with regulations. The SI will questions, while not a violation, may
also determine that the procedures being indicate a hazard with an increased level of
performed are included in the operator’s risk and may require additional action.
system documentation. Several questions
may have SRRs for this process that apply Interfaces Attribute Dataset Questions
to the entire industry and may not apply to Data collected in this section helps
specific operators. For this reason, a determine if the operator manages the
response of ‘No’ to one of these questions interfaces (i.e., interactions) where the
does not necessarily mean that the responsibility for accomplishing work
company is not complying with a regulation, transfers from one person, work group, or
or that any action is necessary. organization to another. Detailed
procedures must ensure the smooth
Controls Attribute Dataset Questions
transfer of work and information.
This dataset will help determine if the
operator designed controls (e.g., checks Management Responsibility and Authority
and restraints) in the processes associated Dataset Questions
with this element follow policies and Data from this set of questions will help
procedures. While most controls are not identify if there is a qualified (when required
regulatory, they are an important safety by regulation) and knowledgeable person
attribute with necessary features that help to who is: responsible for the process,
reduce unacceptable levels of risk. Some answerable for the quality of the process,
common types of controls are flags, data

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 50


and has the authority to establish and  Risk analysis (analyze hazards and
modify the process. Often, many identify risks),
organizations disperse authority and  Risk assessment (consolidate and
responsibility. A ‘person’ can be an prioritize risks),
individual, a department, a committee, or a  Decision making (develop an action
position (such as vice president of drilling plan), and
operations). The intent is to identify the  Validation of control (evaluate
highest-level ‘person’ (at the appropriate results for further action).
level within the organization) who is
responsible or has the authority for that Hazard Identification (Identify Hazards and
particular element of the lease holder’s Consequences)
system. A hazard is a condition, event, or
circumstance that could lead to, or
Element Performance Dataset Questions
contribute to, an unplanned or undesired
After the Safety Attributes are established, event. Hazards are identified from studying
Element Performance is the next program de-identified information from Real-Time
design step. This step collects performance Data Systems, whether it’s streaming rig
data to ensure the operator is doing what data or data from the above datasets, and a
their processes and procedures dictate. determination is made whether the hazards
The Element Performance information is are isolated incidents or systemic problems.
standardized across the industry and is An operator’s analyst continually monitors
used to determine if the operator follows available data sources to identify events,
their procedures, controls, process trends, or patterns that indicate potential
measures, and interfaces for the process. It safety issues and reports them to the PI.
also determines if the process is functioning The data that may show cause for
as designed and achieving the desired enforcement action could be considered for
results. Data collected is used to assess the the VSAP program if the entrance criteria
system performance of the operator. are met. The analyst also reviews issues
tracked using an RMP to avoid duplication
Risk Management Process and identify any issues that might be
related. The PI analyzes and assesses
A Risk Management Process (RMP) systemic hazards and their potential
developed from the data collected is consequences to determine the level of risk
implemented as the next design step. The associated with the hazard. Without
RMP provides the PI with a method to conducting a complete analysis, the PI may
oversee and evaluate associated risks and notify the operator of any isolated incidents
to document identified hazards. The RMP that do not require a complete RMP.
process has five major steps:
Name and Describe the Identified Hazard
 Hazard identification (identify
hazards and consequences), All members of the operator RTOC should
be alert for potential hazards and follow the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 51


operator specific protocol. As an oversight operator must later mitigate to reduce the
system is developed, once these hazards overall level of risk. An effective action plan
reach a determined criticality, the operator should address risk factors by eliminating
will notify the PI. Once the PI has identified them or by reducing their impact.
the hazard, the PI prepares a summary that
describes the identified hazard, and Risk Assessment (overall risk assessment
includes relevant facts such as who, what, value determines priority)
why, how often, and where. The ability to The PI considers the overall level of risk to
voluntarily identify hazards without determine the priority in ensuring that the
retribution within the parameters of VSAP operator addresses the hazard and its
will accelerate the reporting performed by associated level of risk. This assessment,
the operator. as shown in Figure 4, assists the PI in
decision making, action planning, and
Determine and Document Potential
evaluating operator actions. The PI uses
Consequences
this information from the risk analysis to
The PI determines, documents, and determine the overall level of risk using the
communicates the potential consequences following matrix:
that could result if the operator does not
address or correct the hazard. These Decision Making (Develop an Action Plan)
consequences could be any one of the Based on the results of the risk analysis, the
following: PI does one of the following:
 Equipment failure,  Eliminates the hazard,
 Human error,  Mitigates the risk,
 Damage to equipment,  Accepts the risk at its existing level,
 Procedural nonconformance, ~or~
 Process breakdown,  Transfers the risk
 Personal injury or death,
 Regulatory noncompliance,
 Decreased quality or efficiency, or
 Other

Risk Analysis (Determine the Likelihood and


severity of the consequences)
The next step in the RMP is risk analysis.
The PI analyzes hazards identified by
interpretation and analysis of the real-time
data to identify risk factors that assist in risk
analysis and provide specific targets for
action plans. Risk factors identify what the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 52


Figure 4: Example of a 5x5 risk matrix using log-log quantitative
scales.

When corrective action is beyond the may take actions that do not involve the
operator’s authority, the PI may delegate participation of the operator to effectively
the authority, responsibility, and oversee the operator’s mitigation of the
accountability for taking corrective action for hazard and associated levels of risk.
the identified hazard to the appropriate
organization. The PI uses this approach to Validation of Control (Evaluate results for
address risks that may require actions such further action).
as rule changes, policy changes, and safety After all action items are complete with
recommendations. If an RM action plan is indications that the action plan has
developed, the PI should include this with eliminated the hazard or reduced the
the information package sent to the associated risk to acceptable levels, the PI
receiving organization. Once the PI validates the effectiveness of the selected
transfers responsibility, he or she will close approach. The PI reviews the status of the
the RMP. The PI must enter the rationale for hazard and verifies that the operator has
closing the RMP. The PI might decide to eliminated the hazard, or mitigated the level
follow up on the status of transferred issues. of risk associated with the hazard, to an
acceptable level. After evaluating the results
Develop an Action Plan
of the mitigation strategies, the PI decides
The PI creates and assigns action items to whether to close the RMP or to require the
ensure that the operator addresses the development and implementation of
identified hazard and mitigates the additional action items.
associated levels of risk. The operator
usually carries out mitigation. The operator

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 53


Training Systems Development operates, the skills gained in learning to
Methodology Overview perform the tasks that support these METs
will enable those companies to succeed.
There are a number of training
methodologies used in system level training Organization of Tasks into Executable
programs, but most have similar core Events: T&R Manuals define the core skills
functionality. The author proposes using a required and are normally trained in entry-
Training and Readiness (T&R) model which level formal schools or in some instances
focuses on building T&R requirements during On the Job Training (OJT). For
based on individual skill sets and continued training after formal school, the
incorporates knowledge, skills and abilities T&R concept includes the gathering of
as well as establishes core competencies. associated tasks into executable events that
The Training Scenarios discussed in this are modeled after the essential skills
document are intended to be concepts for needed for that job.
discussion, not actual detailed training Sustainment of Training: T&R involves
syllabi. Once a training course of action has steps for helping learn skills and retain the
been decided upon, the following details the ability to perform those skills. Periodic
method used to design the actual training demonstration of skill is accomplished by
course using one of the Training Scenarios. establishing a sustainment interval for each
The T&R program provides: event to ensure perishable skills and
knowledge do not decay to the point that the
Focus on Expected Operations: The
employees can no longer perform the skills
ultimate goal of all training is to have
effectively.
personnel/offices prepared to perform
during daily operations. The Training and Readiness (T&R)
approach to managing training involves
Building Block Approach to Training:
establishing a matrix/spreadsheet that will
The T&R concept is a building block
be used to track and report the training
approach. At both the individual and
progress and rate the quality of the
collective levels, the goal is to achieve and
knowledge retained by the student.
maintain a minimum standard of readiness
by accomplishing a series of progressively The T&R process starts with a Front End
more challenging events that include the Analysis (FEA) to assess the scope of
tasks operators must be capable of training subjects and to develop a complete
performing during day to day operations. list of Mission Essential Tasks (MET) for the
entire training system. The tasks are not
Focus on Core Skills and Core
divided into respective categories for
Capabilities: In every occupational field or
different qualifications or training levels at
unit there are tasks that are the very
this time.
essence of the contractors’ existence and
comprise the most basic Mission Essential
Tasks (METs). Regardless of the
geographic location where a company

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 54


Importance Difficulty Frequency Training Aid

< 3.04 Exposure

> 3.04 < 2.04 Guided Exposure

> 3.04 > 2.04 < 3.04 Job Aid*

> 3.04 > 2.04 > 3.04 Guided Practice

> 3.04 > 3.00 < 3.04 Guided Practice w/job Aid*

* Tasks that would normally result in Job Aid or Guided Practice w/ Job Aid that must be
completed without reference to a job aid or for which no job aid exists will be trained using
Guided Practice. These tasks are identified in the task analysis as Job Aid N/A.

Each task is examined by a subject matter using the tasks and EOs to assign training
expert and a list of Enabling Objectives requirements to individual qualifications.
(EO) is assigned to each task. The EOs The qualifications generally build upon an
represents the skills needed to be exhibited initial qualification requirement for a new
before the student can be considered entrant into the training system.
capable of achieving the task.
The syllabus for training is generated from
An abbreviated example from a Blowout the tasks and EOs. The tasks and EOs are
Preventer (BOP) Function Test training examined by an instructor and rated for
system for the task ‘BOP Function Test’ and Difficulty, Importance, and Frequency (DIF).
supporting EOs is shown below. From the The rating assigned will determine the type
Code of Federal Regulations – Title 30: of instruction suitable for the task. A
Mineral Resources. The purpose of the representative criterion for assigning the
tests is to ensure the BOP system and DIF is shown below.
system components are pressure tight and
The tasks needed to complete a unique
fit for purpose.
level of training are collected and DIF
The tasks and EOs are collected into a ratings are applied to generate the type of
Master Task List (MTL) and the job of training aid and to begin to generate a
assigning training levels is initiated. The training syllabus. The training is sorted and
MTL is used to describe all of the skills and collated to initiate an effort to determine the
knowledge for the various training levels by level of resources needed for the training.

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 55
The resources needed for ‘Guided Practice importance and frequency requirements for
w/ Job Aid’ is greater than ‘Exposure’ and the training requirements for individual
will require more resources be applied to qualifications.
generate the proper level of knowledge
The T&R matrix uses values assigned to
transfer. A curriculum that has many
determine the level of training and
‘Guided’ events will require more Instructor
readiness by rating the currency of training
Led Training (ILT). A curriculum with many
(how long since the last training event) and
‘Exposure’ events could be supported with
the importance of the training. The ratings
printed material read at the student’s pace.

<30 Days <90 Days <Six Months <Calendar Year

Reviewed RTMC system 5 4 3 2

Received RTMC training 5 5 4 4

Received Refresher RTMC training 5 5 3 1

A ‘Job Aid’ can be a complex simulator or a are shown as ‘T’ ratings. The
simple desktop trainer. desired/required level of ‘T’ can be tracked
and reported to verify the necessary training
The construction of the syllabus is done by
has occurred and to indicate the level of
a team of subject matter experts with
readiness the student exhibits to be able to
intimate knowledge of the training
perform the necessary tasks to accomplish
requirements and the goal of the training.
their occupation/profession.
The syllabus will be broken down into
stages that use previous stages to build the An example of a possible T&R matrix is
necessary skills. The stages are Academic, shown below. The ratings can be adjusted
Computer Based Training (CBT), Procedure to attain the desired level of skill and
Trainer, Simulator, Actual device. The experience. The ratings are assigned to
Academic portion can be instructor led. properly indicate the level of training
attained by the student. In the example
Once the syllabus is completed the use of
shown, the level of training and currency is
the Training and Readiness (T&R) matrix is
more important for the ‘Received Refresher
initiated. The T&R matrix will allow the
RTMC training’ than ‘Received RTMC
tracking and reporting of the completion
training’ as shown by the sharp decrease in
status of the syllabus. The T&R matrix is
values indicating that refresher training is
constructed by the organization charged
required within every six months.
with oversight of the training process. The
organization will assign values for

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 56
The reporting and tracking of the T&R upon syllabus of instruction. This scenario
matrix is flexible in scale can be done at the would be extremely valuable as a method
individual level and/or at any other unit, for an in-depth understanding of the well
whether that be an operator’s team, group, planning process from concept thru
division or other grouping. The report execution. In order to understand the data
custodian can use the report to examine aggregated in an RTOC, the BSEE
individual training levels or to assess the representative must be familiar with the well
ability of the unit to perform the mission planning process of their specific operators.
goals. The custodian can use the report to
find resource challenges that have impacted Industry Feedback
the overall training and readiness as The author requested industry input for the
reported in the matrix. internship option and all companies
The sustainment of the skills is reflected in contacted expressed a high level of interest
the values assigned to each training event. in hosting BSEE personnel for potential
After training values for the unit are internships as long as confidentiality and
assessed, continuing education can be ‘hold harmless’ agreements could be put
tailored based on the indicated level of into place. Also recommended was that the
readiness and the training resources intern not audit or inspect the company for
available. which they trained during their internship.
The following is a compilation of the
Training Scenarios interview questions and combined industry
The intent of the following training scenarios feedback:
is to provide BSEE representatives with the
tools to operate effectively in the field List the goals and objectives you would
providing cooperative oversight, evaluation like to see for a BSEE internship to learn
how to monitor operations via
of operations and increased safety levels
RTMC/RTOC.
through the use of real-time data in
aggregated formats consistent with RTOCs. The intent of the program would be to
Syllabus development for these scenarios enable the intern to understand the big
should be conducted in conjunction with picture for drilling and production
industry experts and other industry operations. The program would provide high
stakeholders such as the American level focus into all the components of
Petroleum Institute (API). All scenarios are drilling; specifically identifying the reasons
options for training programs or contracted procedures are followed in coordination with
services necessary to incorporate real-time process safety at the operational level.
data into BSEE processes.
What would you like the internship to
Training Scenario 1: Internship achieve for someone attending?

This scenario suggests a focused internship To understand the information generated


at an oil and gas operator with an agreed from real-time data in an RTOC operation.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 57


The intent is to learn how to use the understand why real-time data is essential
data/information; generate ideas about how in operations.
to use different data sets better; understand
What might a syllabus of training activity
what is required as ‘important’ information in
look like or encompass?
the data; learn what decisions are being
made based on the data and actual The intern will be required to actively
operational data from the rig; what other participate and understand roles and
real-time data information is being used for responsibilities of all the RTOC job
decision making. descriptions. A requirement will be to learn
all the different RTOC functions from the
Which skills would be desired for a
people currently using the real-time data.
BSEE intern to learn during training?
The intern would shadow the actual
A Petroleum Engineer with a background employee for as long as it takes to
that understands the basics of drilling. The understand individual roles and
important skill is to have a basic responsibilities. This could last from one day
understanding, this cannot be somebody to one week.
right out of school, and the intern must
What training activities would you
understand drilling /production operations.
recommend the intern take part in? See
Briefly explain why the use of ‘on the question #6.
job’ training for this internship is
Are there areas the intern would not be
preferred to theoretical (classroom)
exposed to or you would need to keep
training.
company confidential?
Learning in a classroom based on books Based on the confidentiality agreement, this
provides a foundation for learning principles, could depend on many different variables
on the job experience provides important and would have to be agreed to prior to the
context for understanding real world internship.
operations. If there is an ‘on the job’ level of
Given the limited time, what principles
experience, the intern will be able to
will the intern be exposed to, and what
understand the decisions that are being
level of detail will they be able to
made based on the real-time data.
understand following the internship?
How do you envision this training will This would be designed to be ‘free-flowing’
make the BSEE team members more to ensure the intern has a full understanding
efficient with respect to evaluating of real-time data. If the intern felt they
RTOC’s? required a more in-depth understanding,
they would be able to spend additional time
The more the intern understands real-time
learning the specific function.
data used in an operational context, the
better they can understand the big picture
and can key in on critical items and

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 58


How long would the fellowship need to RTOC location with alternative time spent at
be and what would the time requirement a BSEE training facility. The intern would be
be for each learning activity? Based on a qualified Petroleum Engineer (PE) with
#6 and 9, the fellowship could last from 4-8 one to five years of experience depending
weeks. on the individual’s hands on experience,
understanding of drilling and production
How/who would supervise the intern?
activities, and oil and gas exploration
The intern would be assigned to a specific dynamics. Note: There is not currently an
supervisor (possible the Drilling industry consensus as to the appropriate
Superintendent) who would manage the experience level of the PE. There are a
high level curriculum and ensure the number of industry opinions that indicate
appropriate level of understanding. any person monitoring data in an RTMC
Depending on the specific setup of the should have at least 10 years of experience
operation, there could be multiple and should have in-depth understanding of
supervisors based on the RTOC structure. all rig functions. The other end of the
How would the intern interact with opinion spectrum believes that a certified
company supervisors? See question #6. PE with at least a year of experience can
learn the requisite information gathered in
How much time will be spent learning the RTOC. A dedicated training course that
each of the above activities? See is developed should account for different
question #6. levels of experience and by the end of the
How will the intern be evaluated during training course; all experience levels should
this fellowship? have credible experience and be able to
understand all training objectives equally.
BSEE management would be expected to
evaluate the interns understanding of RTOC The BSEE representative would work in and
operations following the internship. Follow around the RTOC as it relates to the well
up with the company could be initiated in delivery process. The primary focus will be
the event the intern would need to learn given to monitoring operations in the 24/7
more in specific areas. center, emphasizing drilling operations on
current projects and should utilize training
What is the expected interaction between
for the representative to understand all
the BSEE intern and operator following
levels of the well planning process. Basic
the internship?
levels of well planning process will be part
Feedback to the company that provided the of the training curriculum, but exact process
internship would also be required in order to may not be incorporated due to intellectual
make the program better. The interns could property/confidential information purposes.
visit more than one company to help Secondary consideration will be given to
develop a standardized program. field development planning, optimization,
The internship would last roughly 2-3 and application engineering support as time
months and be located in the operators’ and operations permit. The intent is for the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 59


intern to have a high level working manner as other aspects of business
knowledge of the use of RTM. Additional management.
training courses should be developed for
Interns will have the chance to observe the
more advanced concepts based on
organization's role in accident prevention
operator/BSEE cooperation. The following is
and see the following fundamentals
an example outline of a possible internship
demonstrated as part of safety monitoring:
at an operator and is based on the
compilation of information from actual major  A structured means of safety risk
oil and gas operators: decision making
 A means of demonstrating safety
Timeline management capability before
system failures occur
The following represents a rough
 Increased confidence in risk controls
approximation of the amount of syllabus
though structured safety assurance
time dedicated to particular events within
processes
the RTOC:
 An effective interface for knowledge
 24/7 Monitoring – 75% (Minimum 1 sharing between regulator and
Month) operator.
 workflow and integration with  A safety promotion framework to
operations support a sound safety culture.
 Field Development Planning – 5%
 Optimization – 10% RTOC Monitor Overview
 Applications – 10%
An intern’s experience in the RTMC
 Understand workflow in regards to
environment will provide an overview to
24/7 monitoring and support for
RTOC monitoring operations from spud to
wells engineering teams
rig release on a given well. These include
but are not limited to drilling, tripping pipe or
Safety Monitoring
casing, cementing operations, and wireline
The below timelines are initially set at activities.
industry recommended timelines, but the
Responsibilities include:
duration may need to be extended to ensure
adequate learning by the intern. The intern  Monitoring a maximum of 3 wells per
will learn how the operators integrate safety individual or station
monitoring into modern safety risk  Making recommendations based on
management and safety assurance observations of real-time data and
concepts into repeatable, proactive use of analytical tools
systems. The safety monitoring portion of  Intervention when conditions warrant
the syllabus will emphasize safety (Intervention protocol)
management as a fundamental business  Briefing the RTOC representatives
process to be considered in the same assigned to morning meeting

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


60
 Predictive real-time whirl – geologists, geophysicists and
monitoring Rate of petrophysicists understand where
Penetration/Weight on Bit (ROP they are in the context of the earth
/WOB) model
 Pore pressure estimation in real-time  Assisting well delivery teams in
 Connection flow monitoring building models for field
 Pressure while drilling development and well planning
 Correlation to previous wells projects
 Vibrational analysis and stick-slip  Transferring data and distribution to
monitoring G&G and 3rd party well planners as
 Monitoring real-time data against necessary
drilling and tripping models provided  Assisting G&G teams to show
by Applications Engineers. objectives and risks for upcoming
 Swab/Surge, Torque and Drag wells
 Participation in morning operational  Anti-collision analysis
meetings  Assisting optimization and
 Daily and weekly intervention reports monitoring engineers with
interventions
Field Development Planning Objectives  Mentoring personnel in the use of
During this phase, the intern would receive decision space and its associated
an understanding of Field Development components
Planning (FDP). The FDP engineer works
Optimization Objectives
with offshore and onshore assets
developing the best field planning and Drilling optimization service optimizes the
engineered well planning solutions. The drilling procedures through proven modeling
intern will need an extensive knowledge of practices to maximize performance while
well engineering, plus a good understanding helping to maintain safe drilling conditions.
of its relationship with other disciplines such The intern will be exposed to drilling
as geology, geophysical, production, optimization to further understand how
reservoir engineering and facilities planning. recommendations are made to help ensure
Expertise with well engineering and wellbore integrity and stability, maximize
subsurface software is required and duties ROP, extend target depth criteria, optimize
will include: or eliminate casing points based on facts
and results from preplanning, and modeling
 Assisting asset teams with field
to actual operations outcome. It is the
development projects
optimization specialist’s duty to correlate
 Setup and facilitation of collaborative
downhole data plus surface drilling
well planning sessions between well
parameters to take the corrective actions
delivery and subsurface teams
during operations to reduce damaging
 Daily collaborative session
vibration and improve performance. In the
organization; assisting engineers,
event of any drilling operation incident such

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


61
as damage to drill string components or  Drill-string integrity
borehole failures, the optimization specialist
will perform a root cause analysis to Determining which engineering ‘roadmaps’
determine the cause and future corrective are to be implemented on current hole
measures with documentation of findings section. Production of same for use in 24/7
and lessons learned. The optimization monitoring calibration of models between
specialist’s job is to help with the continued downhole sections using RTOC standard
improvement of well delivery. operating procedures.

Responsibilities include: Training Scenario 1 - Conclusion


 Performance improvement during As mentioned above, an internship BSEE
 Well bore pre-modeling planning representatives at an operator location is
phase viewed favorably by many of the oil
 Active monitoring during rig floor companies that use real-time data. The
operations industry is moving more towards the ‘smart’
 Post operations investigation and drill field and data/technology are being
incident investigations heavily utilized to make safer decisions
 Maintaining well team during all phases of operations. The oil and
communications gas companies are very open to providing
BSEE with the same knowledge that real-
Applications Objectives time data is giving the companies and this
Applications support provides drilling scenario would provide a valuable tool to
engineering modeling and calibration, with increase safety oversight within the industry.
an emphasis on T&D, hydraulics and
swab/surge. A high level understanding of
Training Scenario 2: Curriculum
drilling dynamics is required as well as an Development
expert understanding of the sensitivities of Bringing real-time data technology to BSEE
well planning and visualization or modeling is the second scenario for discussion. This
software programs. The internship will give concept requires BSEE, in conjunction with
an understanding of application support and industry, industry related institutions, and
how the ‘roadmaps’ that are produced for academia to develop training courses
use in the execution phase are an integral designed to bring real-time data technology
mechanism in the prevention of into a BSEE classroom format for the
nonproductive time (NPT) events. The purpose of understanding the available
engineer also has a key role to play in technology within the industry. Training
performing look back studies on related scenarios could be developed by the
NPT events. technology companies in accordance with
Responsibilities include: BSEE’s curriculum outline, which would
include instructional courses in application,
 Hydraulics management well development, visualization, logistics,
 Tubular analysis drilling, monitoring, close-out, production

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 62


and other requisite information. The  Identify, analyze, assess, control
curriculum would also incorporate industry and mitigate safety hazards
best practices with respect to available  Measure, assure and improve safety
sensor data, data transmission and data management at the highest level
aggregation currently used in real-time  Promotes an improved safety culture
monitoring. throughout their entire organization
 Realize a return on safety oversight
The syllabus objective would be to have
investment through improved
BSEE representatives recognize the
efficiency and reduced operational
technology they will see in the field and
risk.
understand its uses, advantages and
limitations. This training approach would be
Automation Evolution
designed to inform BSEE representatives
on technologies currently in use, in Process safety through automation and
development, and where technology for the digitization is a complex balance of
industry is headed for the purposes of managing risk, ensuring safety and
defining improvements in safety, automation increasing efficiency. In today's
evolution and advances in technology. The environment, efficiency through automation
latest implementations of an RTMC is based must be addressed in the context of
upon the latest concepts of data analysis, security. Getting all the pieces of the safety
communications technology, automation, puzzle to come together efficiently,
and sensors. These topics need to be effectively and in a cost-effective manner is
included in the training program to ensure a an ongoing challenge for midstream
well-rounded knowledge base for trainees. operators.
Automation functions in three parts: data
Improvements in Safety
mining, data-driven modeling, and model
One objective of using real-time data analysis. First, the data, which is often more
information is to assist operators and than three dimensional, is preprocessed for
service providers in developing and quality control, and is mined to discover
implementing an integrated, comprehensive hidden and potentially useful patterns. In the
safety oversight system for their entire second step, the data is parsed into
organization. An understanding of the latest machine-usable form, and after defining the
technology can help trained BSEE model the data is analyzed in the final step.
personnel to ensure that a safety oversight As the industry moves more towards smart
system will: drilling, these automation technologies need
to be understood by the BSEE team.
 Be capable of receiving safety input
from Internal and external sources
Advances in Technology
and integrating that information into
their operational processes Arranging courses taught by industry
 Establish and improve organizational experts could be further developed into an
safety policy to the highest level industry collaborative to enhance levels of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 63


safety through advancing new technology. is also advisable to keep BSEE
As an example, the Federal Aviation representatives abreast of the emerging
Administration (FAA) has established a technology provided by start-ups and
technology center called The Next smaller companies. The Ocean Energy
Generation Air Transportation System Safety Institute could function as a training
(NextGen) which is required to meet the center in addition to its initially intended
present and future aviation needs. Robust research functionality. From the Task 1
and dynamic aviation partnerships among report, we organized technologies into
government agencies, industry, and different categories. Below are examples of
academia are a critical component of companies from each category that may
NextGen and similar oil and gas provide the basis for curriculum
relationships would be valuable and development and necessary training:
necessary for this scenario. A similar
1. Subsurface/Formation Analysis and
concept may be implemented by BSEE to
Well Planning and Modeling Tools
ensure a higher standard of safety across
the oil and gas industry.  Visualization Sciences Group (VSG)
 National Oilwell Varco
The FAA has entered many partnerships to
(NOV)/TOTCO
deliver NextGen. The technical center’s
 eDrilling
complex gives research park tenants
 Kongsburg Gruppen AS
access to the nation’s leading aviation and
air traffic management Federal Laboratory – 2. Wellbore Stability and Drilling Integrity
a unique collection of laboratories situated (Downhole) Monitoring And Analysis
on a 5,000 acre complex that replicates the
National Airspace System – and the FAA’s  Halliburton
top-caliber technical expertise. An academic  Forum Energy Technologies (FET)
institution could be an impartial third party  National Oilwell Varco
central collection point for contractors within (NOV)/TOTCO
the oil and gas industry to provide the same  Monitor Systems Scotland Limited
caliber of expertise. 21  eDrilling
BSEE has the resources and ability to  Schlumberger
partner with the industry to provide a similar  SafeVision
capability. Partners like API, IADC, the  Sekal
Center for Offshore Safety, NASA and  Baker Hughes
academic institutions could form to establish  Verdande
a training and technology center focused on 3. Instrumentation for Drill Floor and Rig
improving industry safety. Operations
Potential Training Providers
 Pason
While it makes sense to use some of the  Halliburton
larger service providers to do the training, it  Forum Energy Technologies (FET)

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


64
 National Oilwell Varco  Baker Hughes
(NOV)/TOTCO  OSI Soft
 Schlumberger  National Instruments
 Fiber Optic Sensing  Kongsberg Gruppen AS
 Avocet Surveillance
4. Data Collection /Transmission Point,  RT Connect
Wireless/Wired, Standardized Languages  InterACT
Bandwidth Requirements  Halliburton
 Forum Energy Technologies
 Rajant Corporation  Monitor Systems Engineering Ltd
 Forum Energy Technologies  FUGRO GEOS
 Measuresoft  Vortex Induced Vibration Monitoring
 National Oilwell Varco (VIV)
(NOV)/TOTCO  DeepData
 Peloton – Pason  Optima Riser Management System
 Rig-Net  Production Riser Monitoring
 Rig Minder  Meshguard Wireless Gas Detection
 Schlumberger System
 Telescope  Phoenix
 CoilCAT
 Halliburton Training Scenario 3: Simulation
 Baker Hughes
The third training scenario should be
5. Onshore Center - Data Aggregation modeled from current Real-Time Operating
Standardized Interfaces/Screens/ Display Centers and would become a simulation
Of Relevant Data, User Interface (UI), center administered by BSEE.
Predictive Capabilities, Monitoring/ Conceptually, BSEE would setup and
Alarming Potential maintain a ‘training’ RTOC within its
organization and train its personnel with
 Rajant Corporation industry best practices using actual de­
 Forum Energy Technologies identified real-time data running simulations
 Measuresoft of actual events. The syllabus for instruction
 National Oilwell Varco
would include everything that might happen
(NOV)/TOTCO
in an RTOC environment, similar to Training
 Peloton – Pason Scenario 1: however, the boundaries can be
 Peloton expanded to many training scenarios given
 Rig-Net the nature of the simulation process. Much
 Rig Minder like Training Scenario 1, the syllabus would
 Schlumberger include the reservoir application process,
 Telescope well development/visualization techniques,
 CoilCAT logistics, platform placement, drilling,

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


65
emergencies actions, through to closing out time data is used to achieve operational
the well and production. The syllabus efficiency in the field. And more importantly,
should be created in conjunction with the syllabus will include the use of historical
industry experts and include API input. The data to train the BSEE team to detect
syllabus would need to encompass the problem early and provide oversight on
entire spectrum of well development, potential solutions increasing the ability of
exploration and production efforts in an the operator to conduct operations more
attempt to have BSEE representatives safely.
understand all aspects of evaluation for the
tasks they may encounter in the field. Communication
Industry Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) Simulation can help BSEE experience and
could potentially be contracted by BSEE as therefore more fully understand operator
RTOC instructors providing expert communication issues in order to quickly
instruction for the individual training understand actual operator support
modules. The SMEs would brief the requirements. Employing simulation
scenarios and train the BSEE team on best improves communication and decision-
courses of action for certain ‘known’ making protocols that need to be in place in
scenarios. order for the real-time data products and
services to have any impact within the
Simulation
operational context. Operational
The latest information technology (IT) communication and decision making roles
innovation has made the intelligent oil field and responsibilities need to be very clearly
possible. And access to historical data in a defined and standardized. The support
training center environment provides BSEE model is not about taking responsibilities
representatives the chance to simulate any and accountabilities away from traditional
number of conditions in the field. Massive decision-makers, such as rig supervisors,
amounts of sensor data can now be stored superintendents, and drilling engineers.
and searched using aggregation software Instead, it provides them with the
and is available to users at will. Complex information and tools to make much better
data patterns can be detected automatically, and more pro-active decisions. If BSEE
so training can be conducted in close to real representatives better understand this
world scenarios. Visualization, modeling communication protocol by using it in
and analytics are making it easier for simulated environments, these same
decision makers to understand the wealth of representatives will be in a position to
complex information, and would give the provide more effective safety oversight. An
BSEE team unparalleled training RTOC simulator would help the BSEE team
information that would be used in support of quickly understand the communication
real world field operations. dynamic at the operational level, and allow
BSEE representatives to utilize similar
Through simulation, BSEE representatives
communications effectively.
will understand how companies use real-

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 66


Increase in Safety online. Or if a change to a drilling plan
requires BSEE approval, those changes can
Real-time data monitoring, whether it’s used
be addressed using visualization techniques
in ongoing operations, or by accessing
and relayed to the appropriate BSEE
historical data, can improve safety. By
representative for approval and sign off. In
becoming familiar with the use of real-time
both cases, there is no travel time to the
data, BSEE can examine the details of the
location, and minimal spool up time.
data at the appropriate level to understand
root causes of incidents and become more BSEE engineers would periodically train in
proactive in developing industry solutions. order to help industry operators make
Real-time data is being used in the well decisions within regulatory requirements
planning process all the way to well and improve collaborative behavior between
completion and is becoming an integral the regulator and operator. Workflows can
component of drilling operations. The be easily linked to BSEE well acceptance
training being suggested in this paper will criteria to help provide BSEE with more
allow BSEE personnel to properly assess information about proposed well plans
the information presented to their office. allowing for collaborative decision making
and could be critical in helping BSEE make
Regulatory Decisions accurate and timely regulatory oversight
In the event of a major accident or incident, decisions.
the training center could be permitted
Big Brother
access to a data feed of the real-time field
data through the affected company’s web The BSEE training center may be viewed as
portal to allow BSEE’s industry experts to ‘Big Brother’ watching the real-world
assist in a regulatory oversight role. Given operations. This training center is primarily
equal information and access, the affected used to train BSEE representatives to
company employees could use remote provide an oversight and evaluation function
collaboration with the BSEE oversight team in the field. As the culture changes from
to get regulatory direction. prescriptive evaluation to cooperative
oversight, so too will the attitudes toward a
For example, BSEE interaction could be
BSEE real-time data center. Many of the
initiated by the operator’s real-time
companies employing an RTOC have also
operations center; BSEE engineers would
seen a huge cultural shift in attitudes toward
sit before screens and monitor well
their own RTOCs. Operators cannot operate
operations in the Gulf of Mexico on request
in a vacuum. Operations need oversight to
from the operator. If BSEE oversight or
ensure regulatory requirements are met.
involvement is requested, BSEE Engineers
The intent of a BSEE training center would
could access data instantly and be quickly
not be, nor could it be, to monitor every
brought up to speed on the developing
company’s minute-by-minute operation.
scenario. The operator’s experts and
consultants, as well as those of BSEE, can Implementation of a safety oversight
be called on at a moment’s notice to help, approach ensures BSEE and the operators

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 67


work in tandem to open communications,  Provides industry collaboration on
collaborate on and solve problems and emerging technology
improve safety.
Disadvantages –
Pro’s and Con’s  The focus could be more on
There are several advantages and technology than its application
disadvantages for each Training Scenario  Possibly requires more coordination
and specific training curriculum will have to among vendors and BSEE for
be developed for the decided upon training. scheduling
A few of the advantages and disadvantages  Necessitates vendors sign onto the
for each Training Scenario are: concept

Training Scenario 1 Training Scenario 3

Advantages – Advantages –
 Quick exposure to industry best  BSEE is able to keep up with
practices using real-time data technology and real-time data usage
 Collaboration between industry and  Industry/BSEE Collaboration
BSEE  Information dissemination quicker
 Enhanced understanding of real- and more efficient
time data and technology
Disadvantages –
Disadvantages –  Could be expensive to setup and
 Could encourage BSEE interns to implement
leave BSEE  Not actually working in an actual
 Depending on the number of BSEE environment; it’s simulated
auditors/inspectors, could be  Data acquisition; need to get the
challenging to manage which data from actual wells could be
interns/operators cannot work challenging considering the
together proprietary nature of the industry
 Necessitates an industry-wide
cultural change to collaborative
environment

Training Scenario 2

Advantages –
 Promotes technology understanding
 Increases interaction between
industry experts and BSEE

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 68
Conclusion

Safety Oversight as defined in this paper is Training Scenario 3 is modeled from


critical to developing collaboration between traditional Real-Time Operating Centers,
BSEE and the industry. BSEE should seek and would become a simulation center
to work in partnership with industry experts within BSEE. Conceptually, BSEE would
and other industry stakeholders such as API setup and maintain a ‘training’ RTOC within
to develop syllabus objectives and content. its structure and train personnel based on
Developing an approach that defines the industry best practices using actual, de­
minimum requirements for a RTMC/RTOC identified, real-time data to run simulations
would ensure data consistency and or potentially replay actual events.
standard escalation processes creating an
Developing standardized training for BSEE
industry minimum safety standard and a
to understand real-time data greatly
baseline for BSEE inspectors to evaluate
enhances industry safety. The safety
and audit operations via RTMC/RTOC.
oversight model is a proven model that is
By implementing the safety oversight used in other regulated industries and
concepts discussed, industry collaboration movement to this regulatory model can be
becomes more available and the training expeditious and advantageous. The model
scenarios become viable. manages standardization of training and
ensures the stakeholders continually
Training Scenario 1 suggests a focused
generate industry best practices, evolving
internship at an oil and gas operator with
as technology advances.
syllabus of instruction agreed upon by
BSEE and the operator. This scenario
would be extremely valuable as a method
for an in-depth understanding of the well
planning process from concept thru
execution. In order to understand the data
aggregated in an RTOC, the BSEE
representative must be familiar with the well
planning process of their specific operators.
Training Scenario 2 describes bringing real-
time data technology to BSEE. This concept
requires a curriculum developed by BSEE,
with coordination from industry, to develop
training courses designed to inform BSEE
representatives in real-time data technology
for the purpose of understanding the
available technology within the industry.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 69


CHAPTER 3 – (Task 6): Identify how real-
time monitoring could be incorporated
into the BSEE regulatory regime in either
a prescriptive or performance based
manner.

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 70
Chapter Summary

In light of technology, team and process can be used to model a new direction for oil
advances, incorporating real-time and gas regulatory processes.
monitoring into the BSEE regulatory regime
The current BSEE regulations provide a
is a concept that not only has great benefit,
solid framework for incorporating RTM into
but is a logical next step of regulation and
the oil and gas industry. The use of a
oversight for any high risk industry.
System Safety approach can be used to
Implementing RTMCs in either a
enhance the current Safety and
prescriptive (based on regulations) or
Environmental Management System
performance (outcome oriented) based
(SEMS) and effectively incorporate Real-
method should be driven by the desired end
Time Monitoring (RTM). The current training
state of the oversight system. This end state
and reporting requirements can be
is assumed to include promoting safe and
improved with modern principles of distance
efficient exploration, extraction and
learning and database management. The
production of hydrocarbons. The end state
use of a voluntary reporting system
solution should not only address the goal,
modeled after a successful program used in
but the path in which that goal is achieved.
aviation will be a powerful addition to the
For BSEE to remain an effective and
existing system safety efforts to incorporate
efficient regulatory agency, the
RTM.
incorporation of RTM should encompass the
principles of system safety. Regulating RTM in the industry should be
performed in a phased approach. The
The body of evidence of over 400 peer
current use of RTM will smooth the
reviewed articles and numerous interviews
regulatory debut of new rules. The use of a
suggests the oil and gas industry is
performance based regulation approach will
beginning to shift the culture of operations
provide the needed flexibility to keep pace
from predominantly reactionary regulation to
with industry innovation. In addition, there
forward-looking, performance-based
will be an opportunity to provide a minor
operations with formalized training. In large
amount of prescriptive based regulation to
part, this has been driven by the increase in
ensure there is no ambiguity in certain key
technological innovation that promises to be
areas.
the ‘new normal.’ This is a significant
industry shift that requires a commensurate In implementing these changes in approach
shift in regulatory approach. However, there to regulation, the incorporation of RTM
is still some room for discussion about the mandates or rules should be facilitated by
direction the regulator should take. Several working groups chaired by the BSEE with
other industries offer effective and active participation from industry and
respected safety oversight programs that academia. The primary focus of the group

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 71


would be the use of industry best practices,
with a goal of providing BSEE with the most
timely and technically pertinent information
and support for proposed rulemaking. In the
end, the product of the working group would
be to deliver a suggested regulatory
strategy and outline for BSEE to draft
regulations that have a greater degree of
interaction from industry partners while
keeping the BSEE firmly in control of the
process.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 72


Introduction

By promoting industry standards to shape morning reports and planning current and
the makeup of the regulatory environment, future well activities. The Collaboration
new programs can be developed and used Center brings in or reaches out for the
with greater synergy across the industry. In expertise necessary for achieving well
addition, existing regulations should be development objectives and resolving
reviewed and determinations should be issues.
made where data collection and RTM could
Knowledge Center: An onshore RTD
enhance and strengthen regulatory
repository with experts that have access to
requirements.
all aspects of planning and analysis data.
The industry is seeing a movement toward The Knowledge Center is available for
monitoring well development, drilling and services as requested by the drilling
completion operations and production in supervisor during well planning, drilling and
real-time. Real-Time Operations Centers completion operations. A Knowledge Center
(RTOC) provide a distinct improvement in may work across many or all the wells in the
efficiency and with it an improvement in the company’s portfolio and is not generally a
overall safety of the operation. In task 1 we 24/7 monitoring operation, but personnel
defined the RTOCs components as: may be ‘on call’ to provide services at any
time. The Knowledge Center may be
Real-Time Monitoring Center (RTMC): A
considered the company’s experience
24/7 function located at a centralized,
repository and center of excellence with
onshore location with continuous data feeds
respect to all phases of well development,
from the company’s active well projects.
completion and production.
Monitoring stations within the RTMC are
staffed with highly experienced drilling Prescriptive and/or performance based
experts who focus on mitigating drilling RTMC and RTOC programs should become
hazards and preventing nonproductive time a component of the established foundation
(NPT) while providing an added team of standards and will create a path for
member and safety observer to the onsite training the regulator in the principles and
rig team. process of implementing RTMC.
Collaboration Center: A dedicated Task 6: Identify how real time

workspace, fully equipped with real-time monitoring could be incorporated into

data (RTD) capabilities enabling full the BSEE regulatory regime in either a

integration of the onshore/offshore team prescriptive or performance based

working in a seamless environment for well manner.

operations planning, drilling and completion


activities. Daily routine includes meetings This task will provide an introduction of
with the onshore/offshore team, reviewing prescriptive and performance based

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 73


program implementation and how such a
program may be implemented into BSEE
regulations.
In addition to the prescriptive and
performance based system, this paper
includes a discussion of a possible
combination of the two methods which is
defined as ‘system safety.’ System safety
provides the firm foundation for
implementaion of RTMC regulations and
operations.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 74


Prescriptive/Performance-Based
Regulation for the Oil and Gas Industry.
In the development of regulatory oversight
Prescriptive Regulation Pros/Cons
programs for the energy industry BSEE
should determine a strategic approach to Prescriptive regulation benefits include:
guide all of its activities. A basic tenet of the  Standardized implementation
strategy should be determining if the method among all operations
oversight will be:  Prescribed procedures that do not
(1) Prescriptive - Entailing a detailed set of require interpretation or expertise to
standards developed by the regulator or an implement
industry standards setting body.  Simplified audit process
 Specifications and procedures
(2) Performance-based - Where the
designed to ensure that a material,
companies that operate sophisticated
product or method of service is
facilities such as offshore platforms and
suitable for its purpose and
drilling rigs are responsible to decide the
consistently performs in the manner
best approach to safety and efficiency.
it was intended
(3) A combination of the two - For our
purposes, a comparison and contrast of Drawbacks to prescriptive safety include:
prescriptive and performance-based  Inflexibility. It may be difficult to
approaches is beneficial for further apply common regulations to
discussions about implementation of uncommon conditions and
regulatory oversight in the oil and gas environments found in the oil and
industry. We will also address in this gas industry
chapter the current state of industry  Outdated standards as technology
oversight, the desired state and present a advances
road map from the current state to the  Overly conservative standards that
desired state. may be cost prohibitive
 Operators that may only work to
Prescriptive Regulation meet the minimum requirement in
A prescriptive based system specifies an the regulation
exact method of compliance that workplace  An over-reliance upon the
parties are required to meet. This allows for regulations to ensure safety
little deviation in components, plans, or  An system where the burden of
processes. incident/accident avoidance is on
regulations, creating an atmosphere
for creating more regulations

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


75
 A lack of consideration for future Drawbacks to Performance-Based
technology or conditions due to Regulation include:
regulations that are based on past
 Potential difficulty in defining
incidents
quantitative levels of performance
 Can define a material solution to an
 A reliance on experienced and
issue that is non-competitive.
qualified auditor/ inspectors to
 Inhibition of emerging industry best
recognize whether each
practices
independent operator is operating
 Variations and waivers which may
safely and within performance
become difficult to manage
standards
Performance-Based Regulation  A need for a robust, train-to­
proficiency, regulator training
A performance-based regulation specifies a program to ensure that the full
threshold of acceptable performance and a spectrum of performance
means for verifying that the threshold has parameters is understood
been met. The method of compliance that is  Difficulty in evaluating compliance
developed and implemented is unique to with established requirements due to
each facility and is considered the challenges measuring parameters
responsibility of the operator. for evaluation
 A need for standardization of the
Performance-Based Regulations Pros /
tools used for quantification
Cons
Performance-Based Regulations benefits
include:
 Flexibility for the facility operator to
specify the method of compliance
 The use of industry best practices
that can be applied to any situation
and yield the most cost-effective
solution
 The reduction of barriers to technical
innovation
 The methods of compliance can be
less costly
 The promotion of data sharing
 Reduced regulatory footprint

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 76
Regulatory Involvement

As a regulator agency, BSEE must industry representatives to provide insight


continually balance the need for control and into the details of the wide variety of
accountability vs. industry flexibility and operations. This approach requires that the
innovation. A prescriptive regulatory regulatory representative be a veteran of
approach emphasizes control and operator the industry with extensive training on the
accountability to rules. The regulator is interaction of the regulator and the
accountable for ensuring correct rules are in regulated. 24
place to achieve desired results. A
The performance-based approach to
performance-based approach allows
regulation avoids partiality and bias by not
implementation flexibility with operator
prescribing particular methods or materials.
accountability for results.
Particular producers, formerly preferred
Accountability is a fundamental and providers of prescribed materials or
challenging issue for performance-based methods are now not favored over others or
regulations. Typical Performance-based at the expense of the public interest and
approaches seek accountability for results, safety. Performance-based regulation is
but observing or predicting results can be aimed at promoting competition to provide
difficult or not feasible. 22 Prescriptive based better and more cost effective ways of
regulatory programs attempt to achieve complying with regulations. However,
accountability by mandating adherence to partiality and bias may be introduced
the rules and are biased towards monitoring through interpretation of whether the result
compliance with rules that are easy to is met.
observe. As a consequence, accountability
under such systems can be haphazard and Unreasonable regulations
misplaced with little attention to the end Critics argue that unreasonable regulations
result. 23 and capricious enforcement practices
Accountability in the oil and gas industry impose unneeded burdens on regulated
can be aided by the collection of detailed entities. For example, the National
data. The knowledge of the types and Association of Homebuilders found in a
quantity of data available can be an aid to 1998 survey of association members that 10
determining accountability. Data can also be percent of the cost of building a typical new
used in bounding the performance home is attributable to unnecessary
parameters to determine the measurements regulation, regulatory delays, and fees. 25
to be used for determining leaders and The goal any newly developed regulations
laggards in meeting or exceeding. for Real Time Monitoring (RTM) technology
and operations should be to reduce the
The regulatory issue of accountability can burden of regulation while allowing for
be determined by the involvement of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 77


proper oversight. The use of a system While a regulation may be designed to
safety approach with industry participation deliver safe and efficient wells through
will aid in right-sizing the regulations. promotion of innovation, encouraging
flexibility and minimizing compliance costs,
Balance the reality of enforcement rests with the
Any reform is at least in part a reaction to regulatory agents and what they do in the
perceived failures of what preceded it. As field when monitoring performance. This
such, the expectations for performance- requires high levels of agent experience to
based regulatory regimes are shaped as recognize the many different approaches to
much by prior shortcomings as they are by successful outcomes.
concepts of what constitutes ‘good’
System Safety Programs
regulation. With this in mind, it is useful to
consider performance-based approaches to Even though process safety has been
regulation as a reaction to the perceptions mostly prescriptive in the past, there has
of overly rigid rules and inflexible been movement to performance-based
enforcement. regulation by government agencies. BSEE’s
own SEMS program is a performance
Performance-based regulations are part of
based approach.
the more general trend in regulatory reform,
beginning with the Reagan Administration in The use of prescriptive and/or performance
the early 1980s, to lessen rigidity and based regulations should be driven by a
compliance burdens while promoting system safety approach. The determination
innovation and allowing for lower of the method to use won’t be made from
compliance costs. One indication of the using black and white information that will
multiple objectives of regulatory reform is clearly point the way towards the proper
contained in the principles of regulation set method. The system safety approach can
forth in Executive Order 12866 (section aid the selection and will be useful in the
(b)(5)), the primary federal regulatory ability to monitor the performance of the
planning and review directive adopted by process. There is a proper place for the
the Clinton Administration and subsequently application of prescriptive regulations and
reaffirmed by the Bush Administration. performance-based regulations. The tools
Federal agencies are directed to take into suggested in this report should be an aid in
account in regulatory design the need for, making that determination.
and effectiveness of, regulations along with
“incentives for innovation, consistency, API RP 75
predictability, costs of enforcement and Long before API RP 75 and SEMS were
compliance (to the government, regulated conceived, the practice of combining safety
entities, and the public), flexibility, standards with regulatory oversight began in
distributive impacts, and equity.” The the 1960’s as the American Petroleum
current administration has shown support Institute (API) wrote a Recommended
for this effort. Practice 14C (API RP 14C, Recommended

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 78


Practice for Analysis, Design, Installation frequency and severity of accidents and
and Testing of Basic Surface Safety requiring that all operators submit
Systems). API RP 14C is required by performance measure data outlined in the
government regulation for all offshore Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Performance
operators and the purpose is to protect Measures Program. 26 Incorporated in SEMS
personnel, the environment and facilities is the American Petroleum Institute’s
from threats to safety. It details the basic Recommended Practice for Development of
requirements for a safety system by a Safety and Environmental Management
identifying the ‘normal’ components for an Program for Offshore Operations and
offshore facility and the required safety Facilities (API RP 75). API RP 75 consists
devices. API RP 14C describes process of 13 sections and states the overall
safety and defines facility process in order principles for the SEMS and establishes
to attempt to identify undesirable events and management’s general responsibilities for
identify reliable protective measures. the program’s success. This doctrine
provides a stable framework for introduction
In 1990, the National Research Council's
of RTM to the oversight process and allows
Marine Board found that the Bureau's
for complementary and enhancing programs
prescriptive approach to regulating offshore
to be added as needed.
operations had forced industry into a
compliance mentality that was not Deciding to use prescriptive and/or
conducive to effectively identifying all the performance regulation presents challenges
potential operational risks or developing that could be overcome by using a system
comprehensive accident mitigation. safety approach. The regulator in a system
safety approach needs to provide
In the search for a more systematic
independent assurance that health and
approach to managing offshore operations,
safety risks are properly controlled by the
the newly formed BSEE concurred with the
operator. The use of performance-based
Marine Board’s 1990 findings and moved
criteria to improve safety can aid in
forward with the American Petroleum
providing this assurance. This could be
Institute Recommended Practice 75 (API
accomplished by providing continuous
RP 75). API RP 75 recommended a
interaction with the operator along with
voluntary approach to compliance and led to
regular audits and inspections. The system
the eventual establishment of a Safety and
safety approach should work to define
Environmental Management Program
levels of risk, determine cause, consider
(SEMS) for offshore operations and
human interaction/involvement, provide
facilities. Subsequently, SEMS has
voluntary reporting, and analyze the data
produced a level of acceptance and
collected from the well site.
standardization that has moved the industry
one step closer to a fully integrated System Safety Components
systematic approach to safety.
SMS is not one program made up of a
The purpose of SEMS is to enhance the single product or singular service. It is
safety of operations by reducing the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 79


comprised of many disciplines. Similar level that is as low as possible without
management systems are used in other requiring ‘excessive’ investment. The
areas for the management of quality, ALARP approach works well to identify the
occupational safety and health, security, point of diminishing returns. The ALARP risk
environment, etc. diagram is shown in Figure 5: ALARP 27
SMS for product and operators, as well as The use of ALARP should be used by BSEE
regulators, integrates modern safety risk to determine the threshold for performance
management and safety assurance based RTM regulation. The cost to
concepts into repeatable, proactive implement regulations is a prime concern
systems. SMS emphasizes safety for the industry. The use of ALARP can be a
management as a fundamental business tool for the regulator to justify and/or design
process to be considered in the same a regulation that is fair and defendable
manner as other aspects of business during deliberations.
management.
There is often disagreement of the cost of a
In a true system safety environment, there regulation. Recent discussions about new
are multiple systems that make up the offshore regulations could have been a
safety environment. Components of a showcase for the use of ALARP.
successful safety program complement Regulations were recently introduced for
each other by bringing different aspects and drilling, well-completion, well-workover, and
principles for a well-rounded safety decommissioning related to well-control,
program. For example, As Low as including: subsea and surface blowout
Reasonably Practicable Risk (ALARP), Root preventers, well casing and cementing,
Cause Analysis, Human Factors Analysis secondary intervention, unplanned
and Classification System (HFACS), disconnects, recordkeeping, and well
Predictive Analytics, Data-sharing and plugging. The regulation is known as
Voluntary Safety Reporting Systems all “Increased Safety Measures for Energy
compliment the system safety design and Development on the Outer Continental
will enhance RTM regulations. Shelf.” In the document is a section for
comments from industry on cost of
As Low as Reasonably Practicable Risk implementation of new policies. Several
The concept of “As Low as Reasonably comments on the cost of the regulation
Practical” (ALARP) can be used to indicate there is a lack of agreement
determine acceptable risk. The ALARP between the regulator and industry.26
concept is that risk should be reduced to a

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 80


27
Figure 5: ALARP

Beyond the disagreement on cost of the


policies, for instance, how much it costs to Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
retrieve a blow-out preventer (BOP) for RCA provides a tool to try to mitigate
mandatory testing, there were comments on problems by addressing the genesis of
the level of risk that could be mitigated by events versus addressing the symptom.
the new regulatory requirements. The use of RCA is used as a reactive method of
ALARP can be beneficial to the regulator identifying causes, revealing problems and
and to the operator to craft an agreement solving them since analysis is done after an
and justify the level of performance defined event has occurred. The effectiveness of
by a regulation. Implementation of RTM RCA is related to the ability to collect
regulations can then be methodically and information for analysis on a companywide
economically justified and defended using up to industry wide scale. RTM is an
ALARP metrics.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 81


enabler for RCA. RTM supports RCA by the workload does not permit using organic
collecting as much data as possible/feasible talent then the RCA should be contracted to
to ensure the root cause is not missed. The organizations that are skilled and
use of RTM should accompany the mandate experienced at performing RCA in the oil
to perform RCA and the use of RCA can and gas industry.
justify the need for RTM.
HFACS
BSEE should determine an acceptable level
of industry standardization for conducting When looking for safety improvements, it is
RCA in order to assist in identifying also necessary to consider the human side
equipment and safety issues. Using data of the equation. Most offshore oil and gas
acquired from an RTM environment, RCA incidents can be traced to human error or
can be used as a proactive tool to help poorly organized operations. 29 The
predict probable events even before they regulation of RTM will be more effective and
occur. relevant if human factors are considered for
all aspects of monitoring. The method of
The use of RCA can begin in the BSEE
studying the human side of incidents
Investigations and Review Unit (IRU) and
provides information beyond the failure of
Panel investigations. The principles of RCA
components or procedures.
were well practiced in the Chief Counsel’s
report on the Macondo Gulf Oil Disaster. 28 The Human Factors Analysis and
The report was extremely detailed and Classification System (HFACS), was
showed the level of investigation required to developed by S.A. Shappell and D.A.
find the root cause of the incident. Wiegmann from their original framework
called the “Taxonomy of Unsafe
The Chief Counsel’s Macondo report should
Operations.” This framework used over 300
serve as a template for future investigations.
naval aviation accidents to define its
BSEE should establish and provide
analysis categories. The original taxonomy
guidelines for the conduct and reporting of
has since been refined using input and data
future incidents and accidents. US Air Force
from other military (U.S. Army Safety Center
and US Navy accident investigation
and the U.S. Air Force Safety Center) and
processes provide successful examples for
civilian organizations (National
conducting an inquiry. The use of a
Transportation Safety Board and the
template and/or checklist would streamline
Federal Aviation Administration) to develop
the investigation process and provide
the Human Factors Analysis and
structure to the proceedings. The template
Classification System (HFACS). 30
should only serve as a minimum guideline
and the addition of information beyond the The goal of HFACS is not to attribute blame.
template is encouraged, but screened for The objective is to analyze the human
pertinence and relevance. interactions that preceded an
accident/incident.
Personnel performing the RCA should
represent the most experienced available. If

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 82


HFACS is used as a classification and investigation tool by building accident
organization component for human factors databases that can be accessed to analyze
information in conjunction with RCA as the potential failures. Common trends can be
investigative component. The relationship derived, identified and prioritized within the
between HFACS, RCA and RTM provide operation to provide an intervention
further justification for the need. framework. Historical hazards can be
identified and procedures can be put in
The RCA might find that a loss of well
place to prevent the hazards.
control directly resulted from an improper
mud weight. While further HFACS analysis As a system safety component, any efforts
may show that a lack of training was the to introduce RTM into the oil and gas
cause for improper mud weight. HFACS industry should include HFACS. HFACS is
complements RCA by providing a root scalable from the individual shift level of a
cause labeling system where this problem rig to industry level application. BSEE
would be labeled, and more importantly should consider industry level application of
tracked, as a training issue and not an human factors incident and accident
equipment issue. classification as a shared database with
industry. The design, installation, operation,
The HFACS was applied, for validation
analysis, reporting and decision making on
purposes, to four Norwegian offshore
oil rigs is performed by a human. Until the
accidents that occurred during 2007. The
oil rig is operated and supervised without
HFACS framework was suitable for these
humans there will be a need for HFACS and
accidents and revealed that latent failures
for RTM.
on the organizational level were most
prevalent, in particular failures related to Predictive Analytics
oversight and procedures. Once classified
Predictive analytics should be used in the oil
HFACS data from these 4 accidents was
and gas industry to predict and prevent
collated it was able to show common
equipment failure. The amount of data that
problems across all 4 accidents. 31
is available from RTD to BSEE and oil and
Once the data format and capture items are gas companies will allow a detailed failure
determined and agreed, HFACS can also analysis to target specific modes of
be used proactively by analyzing historical operation.
events to identify re-occurring trends in
Many industries and businesses are
human performance and system
learning how to make use of large quantities
deficiencies. These methods will allow
of data. Currently in the oil and gas industry,
organizations to identify weak areas and
there is a tremendous amount of data that
implement targeted, RTM supplied, data-
goes unused that could potentially serve to
driven interventions that will ultimately
save businesses money and reduce
reduce accident and injury rates by
injuries. By performing advanced analytics
providing a structure to analyze and review
to make predictions about future incidents
accident and safety data. Proactively using
and occurrences, businesses can start to
HFACS can be used as a future accident

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 83


‘predict’ future safety issues. When applied Commercial aircraft are highly instrumented
correctly, predictive analytics gives and have sensors to provide an indication of
organizations the ability to analyze past many performance and status parameters in
data and forecast trends in order to operate the aircraft. These measurements are
optimally. Advanced and predictive analytics stored on crash survivable recording
have revolutionized other industries, and devices for analysis in the event of a need
helped those industries make money saving to discover or verify the condition/position of
decisions. the aircraft. Some of the data from the
recorders is also transmitted in real-time
Predictive analytics can be used in a
and used by a FOQA team to spot trends in
number of ways, and can aid in planning by
the industry and to facilitate RCA and
helping to determine projected
Predictive Analytics.
requirements. It is enabled by enhanced
root cause analysis which helps detect Not all data collected by FOQA is reviewed
abnormal patterns in events and possibly or analyzed. The need to review recorded
prevent future unnoticed incidents and data could be initiated by exceeding a
accidents. It enables enhanced monitoring preset alarm, self-reporting by the aircrew,
of key components which can detect system accident/incident, or initiation by a third
failures and prevent outages before they party. Once the FOQA team collects the
occur. data, it will collate and analyze the data with
other information to generate a depiction of
RTM can be tailored to provide data that is
the environment.
useful to Predictive Analytics. An aggressive
data mining process should be required by The use of RTM by BSEE should be used to
the industry for analysis of stored facilitate a Petroleum Operations Quality
information delivered by RTM systems for Assurance (POQA) program. The POQA
use by predictive analytics. The overall goal program would function in similar fashion to
of the data mining process is to extract the FOQA program which in basic terms,
knowledge from an existing data set and provides an alerting system for dangerous
transform it into a human-understandable company and industry trends.
structure for further use. The extensiveness
The data collected can be proprietary and
of the data mining will set the tone for the
competition sensitive. To protect company
predictive analytics.
specific data the POQA team should be an
RT Data for Quality Assurance individual unit that is aligned with the
company collecting the data. The
The aviation industry uses a form of RTM to
composition of the POQA team would
ensure adherence to industry best practices
include a company representative and rig
and regulatory compliance. The program is
operator.
Flight Operations Quality Assurance
(FOQA). The goal of FOQA is to capture all When appropriate or desired, the BSEE
the pertinent data and present it in a usable regulator could review the data analysis in
format for analysis. an effort to spot trends. And, if appropriate,

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 84


provide guidance or corrective action before the reporting individual it will become
a negative trend results in an useless.
accident/incident. In addition, data approved
An example of data sharing that might have
for release by the company could be used
averted a serious accident was noted in the
to show wider industry trend. This would
Macondo Chief Counsel’s report. The
require that the list of data parameters
conditions that led to the
collected by POQA would need to be
Macondo/Deepwater Horizon accident were
standardized throughout the industry to
seen many times before and more recently
allow meaningful industry-wide comparison.
in the North Sea on a well being completed
A POQA would be largely built upon by Transocean, the same company working
historical data gained from RTM. the Macondo well. On December 23, 2009,
Participation in a POQA program should be Transocean barely averted a blowout during
mandatory for ‘critical’ wells. De-identified, completion activities on a rig in the North
safety related data from these wells should Sea. Rig personnel were in the process of
be aggregated by BSEE with trend analysis displacing the wellbore from mud to
shared across the industry. seawater. They had just completed a
successful negative pressure test, and they
Voluntary Reporting had lined up the displacement in a way that
Industry-wide Data Sharing inhibited pit monitoring. During the
displacement, a critical tested barrier failed,
The very nature of system safety requires and hydrocarbons came up the wellbore,
industry-wide data sharing to ensure onto the drill floor, and into the sea.
incidents and accidents are understood by
the industry as a whole. A system should be The event was noted in the Chief Counsel’s
report to be identical to the
introduced to the oil and gas industry to
Macondo/Deepwater Horizon accident when
allow the reporting and use of data from the
comparing the critical factors that led to the
operators. The data analysis reported to
BSEE would be de-identified and all loss of well control. The report stated:
proprietary information would be protected. “Transocean nevertheless failed to
effectively share and enforce the lessons
De-identified data ranging from equipment
learned from that event with all relevant
failures to job related incidents should not
be a closely held organizational secret. In personnel.”28 This report makes a strong
order for the entire industry to learn and case for industry wide data sharing for the
become safer, de-identified data sharing purposes of improving safety across the
should be implemented. BSEE would industry. Safety related RTD should be a
ensure that industry shared data was non- key component of an industry wide data
proprietary so the industry feels comfortable sharing program.
sharing the data. The ability to remain Safety Reporting Systems
neutral and ensure corporate secrets are
secure will facilitate further data sharing. If The ability to gather information from the
the system has leaks and is not trusted by field has been shown to greatly increase the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 85


level of safety in other industries. It is Reports sent to the ASRS are held in strict
recommended that BSEE implement a confidence. ASRS de-identifies reports
voluntary reporting system that expands the before entering them into the incident
“Reporting Unsafe Working Conditions” database. More than one million reports
section of SEMS II. have been submitted to date and no
reporter's identity has ever been breached
In the oil and gas industry, all information is
by the ASRS. All personal and
treated as highly proprietary and generally
organizational names are removed. Dates,
not shared willingly. The aviation industry
times, and related information, which could
once held the same proprietary views, but
be used to identify the person reporting are
has worked with regulators to share non-
either generalized or eliminated from the
proprietary data in an effort to make the
data.
industry safer as a whole.
Not all reports are accepted into the ASRS
Although anti-trust issues need to be
system. The first criterion is the requirement
considered, in order to facilitate the data
to submit the report within 24 hours of being
flow, a conduit needs to be put in place to
aware of the need to report. There is a clear
allow the operators to freely communicate
definition of actions that are not allowed to
the nature of their conditions, challenges,
be free from violation or regulatory
and operating principles when involved in
enforcement. The actions determined to be
incidents or near incidents. The fear of
willful disregard, criminal negligence, or
reprisal from reporting has been a barrier to
intentional noncompliance will not be free
collecting the details that can be used for
from regulatory prosecution. The review
RCA, HFACS and Predictive Analytics.
board of industry and government experts
Notwithstanding the legal hurdles, if the
will consider the action and determine if the
barrier of punishment can be mitigated there
report is to be accepted onto the system.
will be more useful information provided.
NASA has developed a voluntary reporting Petroleum Safety Action Program (PSAP)
program called the Aviation Safety A voluntary reporting Petroleum Safety
Reporting System (ASRS). ASRS captures Action Program (PSAP) should be
confidential reports, analyzes the resulting implemented by BSEE to collect data from
aviation safety data, and disseminates vital the operators in the field. This data is
information to the aviation community. currently not being collected in an organized
“Pilots, air traffic controllers, flight manner. There is also no recognized
attendants, mechanics, ground personnel, method for deciding if a report should be
and others involved in aviation operations included into the reporting system.
submit reports to the ASRS when they are
involved in, or observe, an incident or The Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP)
situation in which aviation safety may have is a voluntary program derived from ASRS
been compromised. All submissions are that should serve as a blueprint for BSEE to
voluntary. develop a PSAP program for the oil and gas
industry. ASAP is an operator/company

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


86
level program monitored by the FAA PSAP Reporting Process
designed to improve safety and identify
The PSAP program should encourage
operational deficiencies by providing de­
safety reporting from the actual employees
identified communication tools to facilitate
and must be designed to ensure non-
information flow from the operators. Events
punitive action for those employees. Similar
submitted through reports from the
programs exist throughout the industry on a
operators are critical for early identification
smaller scale. Consideration should be
of hazards, to maintain a proactive
given to consolidating them into an industry
approach regarding safety concerns, and
wide program. The program could have the
recommend corrective action. An important
following structure:
component of ASAP is employee input
designed to identify safety concerns,  Reporting procedures – within 24
operational deficiencies, non-compliance hours, if a worker observes a safety
with regulations, deviations from problem or experiences a safety-
policies/procedures and unusual events. related event, he or she should note
The program works cohesively within the the problem or event and describe it
context of a formal agreement among the in enough detail so that it can be
operational partners. The FAA, company evaluated by a third party. The ERC
and employee group examines each ASAP can contact the worker to resolve
report to determine if the event is included and information that requires further
in the ASAP program. Corrective actions interpretation or additional
are determined based on a non-disciplinary information.
approach to flight safety.  ERC points of contact are
established and communicated to
A group called the Event Review Committee
the industry.
(ERC), which is comprised of a
 A company PSAP manager will
representative from the FAA, the operator
record event specifics and serve as
and the employee group, is formed to
the focal point for the report.
review ASAP reports. The ERC may share
 The ERC will meet and review and
and exchange information and identify
analyze reports submitted to the
actual or potential safety problems from the
program, identify actual or potential
information contained in the reports. An
safety problems from the information
ERC incorporated by BSEE would be
contained in the reports, ensure de­
staffed by representatives from BSEE, the
identification of all reports and
company and the employee group. The
propose solutions for those
ERC must represent the full spectrum of
problems.
talent in the industry from the rig worker to
 Once those recommendations are
the reservoir planner.
published by the ERC, the PSAP
manager will publish the results to
the employee group and provide
feedback on the report.

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


87
 As information is made available, Level Zero: Orientation & Commitment.
industry de-identified information This is more a status than a level. It
sharing occurs and any specific indicates that the operator has not started
training is conducted. formal SMS development or implementation
 All de-identified PSAP information is and includes the time period between an
archived and is made available to a operator’s first requests for information on
national database administered by SMS implementation and when they commit
BSEE. to implementing an SMS. Level zero is a
time for the operator to gather information,
System Safety and BSEE evaluate corporate goals and objectives and
In order to ensure both regulatory determine the viability of committing
compliance and effective safety resources to an SMS implementation effort.
performance when implementing RTM, a Level One: Planning and Organization.
system safety approach that combines Level 1 begins when an operator's Top
prescriptive and performance-based Management commits to providing the
regulations should be introduced by BSEE resources necessary for full implementation
for the operator and contractors. To of SMS throughout the organization. Two
implement RTM in the oil and gas industry, principal activities make up level one:
BSEE should use an already established,
successful system safety model from a Gap Analysis: The first step in developing
similar industry. The current SEMS II an SMS is for the organization to analyze its
regulations are beginning to be existing programs, systems, and activities
implemented and received few comments. with respect to the SMS functional
The implementation of RTM for the industry expectations found in the SMS Framework.
will achieve greater success and will be This analysis is a process and is called a
more defendable during deliberations if the ‘gap analysis,’ the ‘gaps’ being those
full system safety approach is used to elements in the SMS Framework that are
complement and utilize RTM. not already being performed by the
operator.
Implementation Implementation Plan: Once the gap
System safety implementation has been analysis has been performed, an
designed to be introduced as a phased Implementation Plan is prepared. The
approach and can be rolled out to numerous Implementation Plan is simply a ‘road map’
operators concurrently. The phased describing how the operator intends to close
introduction of system safety is well the existing gaps by meeting the objectives
established with the roll out of SEMS. The and expectations in the SMS Framework.
following is meant to be used by BSEE as
Level Two: Reactive Process, Basic Risk
further guidance.
Management. At this level, the operator
The following implementation levels are develops and implements a basic Safety
recommended: Risk Management process. Information

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


88
acquisition, processing, and analysis complete Safety Assurance process,
functions are implemented and a tracking including continuous monitoring and the
system for risk control and corrective remaining features of the other SRM and
actions are established. At this phase, the SA processes are functioning. A major
operator develops an awareness of hazards objective of a successful SMS is to attain
and responds with appropriate systematic and maintain this continuous improvement
application of preventative or corrective status for the life of the organization.
actions. This allows the organization to
address problems as they occur and Oversight
develop appropriate remedial action. For This is a process that requires leadership,
this reason, this level is termed ‘reactive.’ standardized training (for both direct
While this is not the final objective of an employees as well as contract support), and
SMS, it is an important step in the evolution continuous improvement. Oversight is
of safety management capabilities. necessary to ensure the system is
implemented properly.
Level Three: Proactive Processes, Looking
Ahead. Fully functioning components of the A shift in the traditional mindsets is
SMS Framework expects safety risk necessary to more progressive safety
management (SRM) to be applied to initial aligned processes. The shift should include
design of systems, processes, a better and closer relationship with the
organizations, and products, development regulatory arm of the government. The
of operational procedures, and planned leadership provided by BSEE when
changes to operational processes. The implementing performance based rules will
activities involved in the SRM process be noticed and will create momentum for
involve careful analysis of tasks involved, further improvements.
identification of potential hazards in these
functions, and development of risk controls. Operations Inspector
The risk management process developed at The commercial aviation industry has a very
level two is used to analyze, document, and close working relationship with the FAA.
track these activities. Because the This culture is very different from the oil and
organization is now using the processes to gas industry’s relationship with the regulator
look ahead, this level is termed ‘proactive.’ and should be recognized for the value of
At this level, however, these proactive safe operations it brings. The major carriers
processes have been implemented but their have an FAA representative designated as
performance has not yet been proven. Principal Operations Inspector (POI) to
Level Four: Continuous Improvement, provide the primary interface between the
Continued Assurance. The final level of air carrier and the FAA. These aviation
SMS maturity is the continuous safety inspectors apply a broad knowledge
improvement level. Processes have been in of the aviation industry, the general
place and their performance and principles of aviation safety, and the Federal
effectiveness have been verified. The laws, regulations, and policies affecting

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 89


aviation. In addition, they apply intensive To complement the expertise of the POI, an
technical knowledge and skill in the extensive history with BSEE is required.
operation and maintenance of aircraft. The The POI needs to be aligned with the
POI for commercial airlines engages regulatory goals of the government and not
primarily in the following types of with industry. To increase the affiliation with
assignments: the government, the experience with BSEE
or a regulatory arm of the government
 Examining airmen for initial
should be mandated to be five years
certification and continuing
minimum with ten years as the desired
competence
experience level.
 Evaluating airmen training programs,
equipment, and facilities The embedded nature of the POI can breed
 Evaluating the operational aspect of an atmosphere of affiliation, favoritism and
programs of air carriers and similar relaxed enforcement. To deter the
commercial and aviation operations possibility of a bias towards the company
for adequacy of facilities, equipment, the POI should be mandated to rotate to
procedures, and overall another oil and gas company after a period
management to ensure safe of no more than five years.
operation of the aircraft.
The POI is assigned to one or two oil and
They may perform a variety of other gas companies depending upon the size of
inspections, investigations, and advisory the company. The POI is an interface with
duties. However, the primary requirement BSEE inspection and audit teams to
for positions in this specialization is streamline their process and to provide
knowledge and skill in the operation of prioritization to their efforts.
aircraft.
The POI is BSEE’s ‘boots on the ground’ for
It is recommended that BSEE initiate steps drilling and completion efforts. The
to incorporate a POI into their audit and information passed by the POI can be
inspection department. BSEE should useful in implementing Risk Based
support this level of leadership to ensure Inspections by other departments in BSEE.
standardization, training and compliance. The responsibilities of the POI should not be
BSEE’s POI can act in a capacity similar to diminished and truncated. The importance
the FAA POI. of their interaction with the operator is
critical to effective government regulation.
The POI would need to be a recognized
The position held by the POI in BSEE
industry expert with a career in the oil and
should be equivalent to a high level
gas industry. The knowledge and
manager. This should be equivalent to a
experience required to perform this job
GS-15 with GS-14 as a minimum. The
cannot be overstated. The range of tasks
government employment level of the POI
required to be mastered by the POI
should be equal to their impact.
encompasses full spectrum of oil and gas
production.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 90


Controls substantial undertaking and the only way to
effect change is to be in the field, lead by
BSEE should ensure controls are in place to
example and communicate effectively.
provide standardized work process and
procedures. The following controls should While it would be desirable to quickly
be used throughout the life of the project: implement RTM using system safety, the
above process is a proven approach in
 Safety team leadership is the focal
multiple industries designed to reduce
point for system safety related
implementation time and does not require
rulemaking and policy development
reinvention. Traditional industry methods
efforts
need to be revitalized with fresh
 Oversight and evaluation of
perspectives, and while there is a great
collaborative projects
number of existing industry tools to enable
 Standardization of concepts,
safety, a truly progressive organization
functional requirements, and
strives to maintain cutting edge policies and
terminology across managed and
procedures.
sponsored programs, initiatives, and
contracted activities
 Development and maintenance of
policy and guidance documentation
 Development of training
requirements and mentorship of
training
 Development of measures of safety
performance and effectiveness for
both internal and external programs
 Development and maintenance of
data collection and auditing tools
 Development and use of
standardized outreach,
familiarization, and orientation
materials

Coordination and management of an


Implementation Support Team to assist
field organizations and operators in
development and implementation
How the teams are lead through the cultural
shift is the key to this project. From a BSEE
executive level leadership standpoint,
implementing system safety can be a

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 91


BSEE Mandates and Regulations

Industry Best Practices The use of RTM/RTD has been shown to be


an industry best practice. It employs modern
Best Available and Safest Technologies
technology to increase safety and has
(BAST) and industry best practices form the
become a common practice for high risk
backbone of safe and efficient operations
wells. The use of RTM should be the
for the oil and gas industry. There is a great
benchmark for industry practices. The
deal of experience and knowledge resident
implementation of RTM should be practiced
in government, industry, academia, and
with close coordination between
trade organizations. The best equipment
government and industry by documenting
and practices are in place today in the
and enforcing best practices of RTM.
industry and waiting to be recognized and
promoted. Consideration should also be given to
identifying emerging best practices. As
Section 21(b) of the Outer Continental Shelf
technology moves forward, new abilities and
Lands Act, as amended, requires the use of
principles emerge. The regulator should be
BAST and assurance that the use of
aware of, and well briefed, on new
modern technology is incorporated into the
technologies. Industry trade shows are a
regulatory process. This report does not
useful venue for identifying embryonic
intend to dictate to the regulator any legal
technology. BSEE should promote those
responsibilities. This is merely an indication
technologies that are identified to be useful
that BAST is an established concept. It is
in current best practices. The ‘promotion’ by
recommended that BSEE increase
BSEE of new technology should be done
discovery of, and reliance upon, best
with counsel from industry and academia.
practices and modern technology.
The recognition of best practices and
The regulator should strive to identify,
modern technology should be included in
capture, and promote the industry best
the audit process. The performance based
practices and technology. A working group
regulatory environment is well suited to
sponsored by BSEE could be put in place to
promoting best practices. BAST and best
document and promote the current BAST
practices that are not formal regulations
and industry best practices. The working
should be addressed by the audit team to
group should consist of industry,
ensure exposure and industry wide data
government, academia, and industry trade
sharing.
representatives. The working group would
not be required to be a standalone entity. Audit (Assist Visit)
The responsibilities for discovery of best The term ‘audit’ is not viewed favorably and
practices and technology could be facilitated usually associated with fines. The negative
by a working group responsible for a broad nature of the term points to an adversarial
review of the industry and the regulatory relationship. A term that has been used to
landscape. put a positive tone to the audit is ‘assist

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 92


visit.’ The term ‘assist visit’ (AV) will create a e-Inspection
more positive atmosphere and will more
The use of RTD provides an electronic
accurately define the nature of the
means of capturing and storing data for all
inspection.
the parameters and conditions of properly
The OCS Lands Act authorizes, and outfitted instrumentation.
requires, BSEE to conduct inspections for
BSEE should implement an e-Inspection
all safety equipment designed to prevent
system to enable timely and accurate
blowouts, fires, spills, or other major
collection of data useful to the inspector. e-
accidents. The inspection programs in place
Inspection will reduce costs associated with
at BSEE to document Potential Incident of
paper forms and manually entering data into
Noncompliance (PINC) and Incidents of
the BSEE database. The system will also
Noncompliance (INC) should be modified to
allow inspectors to access critical data
include the use of RTM and RTD. The
including drilling permits while conducting
inspection checklist would be performance-
inspections and will improve the quality and
based and would need organizing and
efficiency of the overall inspection program.
planning to accomplish. The regulations
recommended in this document will not be With industry-wide implementation of RTM
incorporated into a checklist easily. data, all reports required by the OCS Lands
Act could be generated automatically from
The SEMS II program being initiated by
captured data at any interval desired.
BSEE is structured to facilitate the
introduction of RTM into the industry. There The structure for an e-Inspection program
are a few enhancements recommended to should be based upon a homogeneous
complement the robust process already in reporting format for the parameters
place. collected from the rig. The ability to perform
e-Inspection is dramatically enhanced by
Measuring Regulatory Compliance standardized inputs that do not require
conversion efforts and decisions on viability.
When performance-based regulations are
incorporated, it may be difficult to measure
Risk Based Inspection
or determine compliance. There is a need
for a standard of measure for assessing the Risk Based Inspection (RBI) is a principle
level of adherence to regulations. used by other industries and other sectors
of the oil and gas industry. The principle of
The standards for measurement should go
RBI promotes the efficient use of inspectors
beyond the use of incident statistics and
and inspection methods by prioritizing the
include the generation of metrics that would
risk and assigning greater oversight and
indicate leading and lagging areas. These
inspection rates for high risk events and
new prescriptive metrics should be
operations.
managed with an eye towards incorporating
a reasonable level of oversight without API Recommended Practice 580 provides
creating an undue burden. users with the basic elements for

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 93


developing, implementing and maintaining a who meets standard acceptance criteria
risk-based inspection (RBI) program for should be structured on a ‘Train to
pressure vessels. It provides guidance to Proficiency’ principle. The training for an
owners, operators, and designers of auditor with a previous career in offshore
pressure-containing equipment for drilling operations would be much less than
developing and implementing an inspection the training for an inexperienced new hire to
program. These guidelines include means the department. An experienced auditor with
for assessing an inspection program and its limited offshore exposure and a relative
plan. The approach emphasizes safe and newcomer would need the same level of
reliable operation through risk-prioritized training on RTM systems.
inspection. A spectrum of complementary
BSEE has implemented the National
risk analysis approaches (qualitative
Offshore Training and Learning Center
through fully-quantitative) can be
(NOTLC). The NOTLC supports the
considered as part of the inspection
Bureau’s goals by providing upfront and
planning process. This API RP is useful for
ongoing learning and development
structuring BSEE RBI and should be used
opportunities to Bureau staff. The principles
as a guide to developing RBI for the drilling
of distance learning, knowledge
and completion phases of the oil and gas
management, and online assessments
industry.
should be included in the NOTLC. The
An important principle of RBI is that a courses included in the NOTLC should be
relatively large percentage of risk is expanded to train the regulatory staff on the
associated with a small percentage of current RTM technology and the emerging
equipment. The key to finding the risky capabilities.
equipment is found in historical data on the
utilization and failure rates of the equipment. After-Action Report To Rig Operator
The data on failure events can be used by The current regulations for conducting
Predictive Analytics to pinpoint the audits do not include a robust program for
equipment and condition most likely to providing feedback to the operator. The
create a failure. The consequence of the feedback is currently in the form of penalties
failure is compared against the possibility of and enforcement actions. The after-action
a failure to rank the risk and facilitate reports from BSEE auditors can be a useful
prioritization. tool to assist the operator in determining
future steps to correct or enhance current
Training for Auditors
operations. The use of the audit forum could
To properly assess the compliance of also serve as a setting for introducing BAST
industry with government regulations in a and emerging best practices. The use of
performance based RTM environment, the RTM should be evaluated and suggestions
auditor must possess the ability to work with for better implementation included.
shades of grey. The training for the auditor

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 94


RTM Implementation

Implementation of RTM into the industry standards coincide with industry best
should be guided by performance-based practice and safety procedures.
regulation implemented with a system Organizations such as API could be
safety approach. The recommended requested to provide input.
regulations should describe a system of
A document such as API RP 14C would
parameters and/or methods based on
frame the implementation and subsequent
current industry best practices. The rules
adoption of RTM for the oil and gas
should avoid prescribing the nature of tool
industry. Based on previous API
measurement or any brands or trademarks
recommended practices, structurally the
unless recommended by best practice.
implementation of this type of program for
Organizations such as API should be
BSEE could have the following outline:
requested to provide input to rule
generation. 1. GENERAL
1.1 Introduction
The requirement for RTM would provide
1.2 Scope
opportunities to collect key compliance
1.3 Organization of Technical Content
indicator data, equipment performance data
1.4 Government Codes, Rules, and
and/or to use real-time operational data
Regulations
flows to complement BSEE inspection
1.5 Industry Codes, Standards, and
programs, enhance compliance, and
Recommended Practices
address regulatory gaps. This would include
1.6 Metric Conversions
the reviews necessary to determine the
costs and benefits of obtaining electronic
2. RTM SAFETY DEVICE SYMBOLS
access to real-time data transmitted from
AND IDENTIFICATION
offshore platforms/drilling rigs, such as BOP
2.1 Introduction
monitoring systems, and/or other non-
2.2 Functional Device Identification
proprietary automated control and
2.3 Symbols
monitoring systems. The goal would be to
2.4 Component Identification
provide BSEE with additional oversight tools
2.5 Example Identification
that can assist the agency in the inspection
and oversight process.
3. RTM MEASUREMENT
Government Standards Framework 3.1 Parameters to be measured
3.2 Reporting Standards
In order to implement RTM in the oil and 3.3 Minimum Bandwidth for required
gas industry using a performance based transmissions
safety process, industry standard 3.4 Data Transfer Protocols
procedures and parameters will have to be 3.5 Data Storage Standards
identified. BSEE should generate 3.6 BSEE accepting data
government standards and ensure those

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 95


4. RTM INTRODUCTION TO SAFETY Parameter Standards
ANALYSIS AND SYSTEM DESIGN
The parameters monitored through RTMC
4.1 Purpose and Objectives
should be mandated using performance
4.2 RTM Safety Flow Chart
based regulations. These parameters
4.3 Modes of Safety System Operation
should be communicated to be the minimum
4.4 Premises for Basic RTM Analysis
required for monitoring. Monitoring more
and Design
parameters should be encouraged.
5. RTM PROTECTION CONCEPTS A smaller, more critical set of parameters
AND SAFETY ANALYSIS will aid in the introduction of RTM and
5.1 Introduction facilitate further regulations as needed.
5.2 Protection Concepts
5.3 Safety Analysis Wellbore pressure
5.4 Analysis and Design Procedure Wellbore pressure has been shown to be a
causal factor in a significant portion of well
Summary incidents. 32 As shown in Figure 6: Pressure
This framework should build upon the related events, 48% of well incidents were
current regulatory standards for drilling and pressure related. It is recommended that the
well monitoring. There has been pressure of the wellbore column be included
considerable work by BSEE to quantify, in the minimum list of parameters mandated
identify, justify, and issue regulations for the for RTM. The monitoring of pressure in the
oil and gas industry. There are areas where wellbore was not included in the final drilling
further effort by the regulators can produce rule and should be added.
increased safety, efficiency and
accountability.
The potential final drilling rule mandated:
 Procedures for monitoring the
volumes and rates of fluids entering
and leaving the wellbore
 Minimum training standards for
persons monitoring and maintaining
well-control 27

These rules were developed as


performance based regulations and left a
substantial amount of implementation in the
hands of the operators.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 96


32
Figure 6: Pressure related events

The pressure in the drill pipe should be indicators for detecting an influx are pit gain
complemented with pressure monitoring of and variations in pump pressure. In
the kill line and choke line. Depending upon managed pressure drilling, the well control
the position of valves and the routing of emergency may not apply, as the system is
wellbore fluids, the choke and kill lines could already set up for this occurrence.
provide timely data on pressure events.
One of the most important issues in drilling
such wells is the narrow mud window
Gas influx and content
between fracture and formation pressures.
In a Constant Bottom-Hole Pressure Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD)
(CBHP), MPD, the bottom-hole pressure is techniques rely on precisely controlling
kept relatively constant which allows annular pressure profile in the wellbore. The
circulating small influxes out of the well intention of MPD is to avoid continuous
without shutting in. The most important influx of formation fluids to the surface.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 97


Moreover, on floating rigs, because of less Flow measurement
accurate flow and pit level measurements,
Rate of fluids and volume of fluids is a
the detection of gas influx is important to the
mandatory measurement under the final
ability to avoid dangerous levels of
drilling rule. The use of real-time data
explosive gas.
capability to sense, collect and transmit the
Rig personnel (primarily the driller) watch data should be included as a more
several different indicators to identify kicks. prescriptive approach to measurement of
One is the amount of fluid coming out of the flow. The remote monitoring of flow
well. If flow out of the well exceeds flow in or parameters will provide another set of eyes
the volume of mud in the mud pits increases for monitoring a critical parameter. It will
unpredictably, that may indicate that also provide data collection for studying
hydrocarbons are flowing into the wellbore. industry trends and for reconstruction of
Data from sensors that measure the gas events and/or incidents.
content of returning drilling mud can provide
a warning of hydrocarbon flow.28 This Remote oversight of RTMC events
information would assist in identifying the Macondo did not have onshore monitoring
nature of the substance entering the by the operator despite classifying the well
wellbore. as critical. The well was being monitored
Mud pit content is another method to gauge from remote locations at the contractor’s
the amount of undesired fluid entering the facility with no connection to the operator’s
wellbore. The pit is usually monitored by decision makers. The report on the
electronic mud probes or video cameras Macondo well accident found this surprising
that show mud level to the mud engineer. since the well was identified by the
The nature of the video broadcast creates contractor as a high risk well.
difficulty in transmitting the images to a BSEE should mandate that high risk wells
remote monitoring station. should be monitored at a remote location
using RTM. This would seem to be intuitive
Gas content
to the operator but recent events prove
An increase in the gas content of fluid otherwise. Monitoring from a remote
returns over time can indicate an increase in location will serve to counteract the push by
pore pressure, penetration of a the rig crew to press a risky situation in
hydrocarbon-bearing zone, or a change in order to make schedule and reduce costs.
wellbore dynamics allowing more effective The benefit of an outside observer has been
cuttings removal. But unexplained increases shown many times to be useful.
in gas content are always a cause for
concern. They can indicate either that a kick Bandwidth requirements
is occurring or that wellbore conditions are An aid to the use of RTM for monitoring
becoming conducive for a kick. from an onshore facility is the ability to
facilitate large amounts of data through the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 98


current information pipeline. The use of data  Providing stakeholder outreach
to properly regulate the industry requires the  Categorization of operators
full set of data without removing or (Preferred, Acceptable and
truncating events to allow transmission on a Unacceptable based on
clogged network. performance reviews with the
unacceptable category receiving
BSEE should mandate the minimum
reviews more often)
bandwidth and latency for RTM
implementation for transfer rates that are STEP TWO: BSEE should review the
suitable for the complete set of data to be guidance and choose specific targets,
sent in real-time. This will enhance the outcome indicators, and activity indicators
ability to bring RTM to the industry through that might be relevant, taking into account
the development of more robust network the overall safety objectives and the key
solutions. The determination of the aspects to be measured and will include:
minimum data transfer rates or an
information protocol is beyond the scope of  Implementation of the critical items
this report. inspections for the operators
 Expanding Compliance
Implementation Reviews/Random Inspections to all
types of operators
Introducing RTM regulations into the oil and  Implementation of additional
gas industry should be accomplished with enforcement activities as needed.
all the system safety tools identified in the
previous section. The implementation STEP THREE: Requires BSEE and the
should come in phases. There are many industry to adapt and define the safety
different performance safety strategies that indicators. Each operator should adapt the
exist today, many of which have the same chosen indicators so that they are
basic tenets and include the following: consistent with local procedures and
STEP ONE: BSEE should define standards, using vocabulary and
goals/objectives with respect to safety. parameters that make sense to members of
the operation. The choice of indicators, and
Identifying safety goals and objectives as how they are adapted, should be tied to the
well as an infrastructure for implementing strategic plan, goals, and objectives of the
those goals and objectives and will include: operation. The size and structure of the
 Sharing program framework with operator, and the operational environment
stakeholders have to be considered when setting up
 Providing an opportunity for input safety monitoring arrangements in the
and comments operation.
 Finalizing program details
 Developing staff protocols and
training

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 99


STEP FOUR: Identify what each indicator already have RTM to understand from the
will measure and determine the appropriate operator standpoint the inherent trials and
metrics (or scale) for the performance tribulations involved with RTM. Because the
indicators. major oil companies all use real-time data in
one configuration or another, BSEE should
In cooperative efforts, BSEE and the
have an industry perspective understanding
operators should clearly define each
of established standards. A robust
indicator and develop metrics that are both
continuous improvement program capable
appropriate to the particular circumstances
of generating continuous lessons learned
and can be easily applied, and therefore
would be important to ensure acceptance by
can reveal meaningful insights.
the industry. As programs evolve over time,
Identification of indicators to be monitored ­ continuous improvement ensures the
Safety indicators can be quantitative or prescribed standards don’t remain stagnant.
qualitative, leading (proactive) or lagging By the time the program is required for the
(reactive). smaller operators, a substantial amount of
Collation of the information for safety turmoil can be reduced, which lowers
monitoring - There should be a systematic overall cost and reduces the barrier to entry.
collation and evaluation of results from all The introduction of RTM to smaller
safety monitoring activities to ensure that operators may be facilitated by a third-party
interrelationships can be detected. contractor. The contractor should not be
STEP FIVE: Apply the appropriate metrics excluded from the regulations requiring the
to the indicators. As BSEE determines the system safety implementation of RTM.
appropriate indicators, the industry should
Smaller Operators
apply the metrics to the indicators chosen
and prepare a report analyzing the results Once a prescribed period of time transpires,
and the changes that occurred since the last perhaps two to three years, the real-time
evaluation. The report may also set targets data and RTM implementation should occur
for progress into the future and make in the smaller operators both in the Gulf of
recommendations for follow-up. Mexico and possibly onshore. Many of the
growing pains would have already
Analysis of indicators - The evolution of the
transpired and any larger costs that would
indicators should be analyzed, trends and
have served as barriers to entry into the
related causes and influencing factors
real-time data use would be minimized
established.
though normal equipment upgrade cycles.
Industry Roll-out In regulated industries, a method for adding
regulations is through a notice of proposed
Rolling out a plan to the industry could be rulemaking (NPRM). The proposed rule
overwhelming if performed in a vacuum. must not exclude the lowest common
Suggested models might include a pilot denominator among the group of operators.
program with the major oil companies that

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 100


Meaning, the rule must be achievable by the make sure that once the information is
smallest operators, and in the case of correctly applied to the procedures,
implementing RTM in the oil and gas continual assessment needs to occur at all
industry, would need to be considered prior levels in the operation and everybody needs
to implementation. to understand what tasks need to be
completed and who is responsible for those
Continuous Improvement tasks.
The safety system, including the indicators
and metrics, needs to be periodically
reviewed and evaluated. Performance
based systems are an iterative process and
should be refined as experience is gained.
BSEE would need to establish a formalized
process of continuous improvement that
ensures the indicators are well-defined and
continue to correspond with the subjects
that the operation wants to measure. It
provides the basis for determining whether
the process and the metrics are appropriate
for the operation and the indicators provide
the type of information needed for an
understanding of trends over time.
Application of corrective action process ­
Corrective actions need to be identified, and
action needs to be taken when monitoring
shows an indicator is approaching a safety
threshold. Those same corrective actions
need to be shared industry wide,
documented and actions need to be taken
to ensure future occurrences do not
happen.

Process assessment
Health and safety controls should be
integrated into the procedures and within
those procedures, the organization needs to
understand all safety related information in
order to present accurate procedures that
paint a complete picture. BSEE should

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 101


Conclusion

Mandating RTM use in oil and gas drilling streamline the introduction of a system
and production should be included as one safety approach.
piece of the entire oversight program. The
System safety implementation requires
challenge is to implement complimentary
additional, complementing programs to be
programs to support RTM and improve the
an all-inclusive safety program. Voluntary
chance of success. This can be done using
reporting, routine auditing, risk analysis, root
a system safety approach. Industry and
cause analysis, human factors, industry-
government organizations are all moving
wide data reporting and other safety related
toward a system safety approach to ensure
programs are critical for driving down
regulatory compliance as well as keeping
incidents and accidents.
abreast of technological advances.
Incorporation of RTM and additional system
The authors described and presented an
safety components into an actively involved
example of both prescriptive and
oversight program as demonstrated by the
performance based systems and it should
aviation and nuclear industries will provide a
be perceived that a system safety program
more robust solution to safety in the oil and
would be the most beneficial method of
gas industry.
implementing RTM into the oil and gas
industry using components of both
prescriptive and performance regulation.
Coupled with implementing monitoring
process, implementing RTM would require
identifying all the parameters to be
measured and reported to ensure that
requirements are met.
As system safety is implemented, the
oversight authority should select the
programs to use for each safety
implementation. The true essence of a
safety management system is to incorporate
many different safety interdependencies in
order to make the entire system work as a
whole to improve safety.
The efforts of BSEE to implement system
safety principles and to other proven
methods should be done using examples
from other industries. The use of
demonstrated principles and programs can

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 102


Intentionally Left Blank

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 103


CHAPTER 4 – (Task 4) Identify all
necessary information which needs to be
collected, calculated, or monitored
during operations to improve the current
level of safety. Identify any existing or
proposed modeling tools that can be
used in connection with real-time data to
prevent incidents

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 104
Chapter Summary

As the industry is pushed into more complex development and adoption of advanced
exploration and production environments, measurement systems and sensors
more complex tools and technology are producing the data are lagging behind the
necessary to allow safe recovery of requirement to produce what is fast
hydrocarbons. This paper explores the becoming a near zero acceptable risk
current information available for deep water tolerance for well delivery and production.
operators in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and
The rigs operating in the GOM today range
what additional information might be
in age from brand new to over thirty years
necessary to improve the levels of safety
and the sensor systems aboard vary just as
during exploration and production.
greatly. Generally, these sensors provide
On newer rigs, increasingly sophisticated data from drilling and performance
sensors are delivering enormous volume of equipment which measure how the well is
data that is being harnessed to generate being delivered; lithology data which
more efficient well delivery and production. encompasses wellbore data; and
information on the condition and wear of
To best take advantage of this valuable
equipment to determine service and repair
asset, new work processes are being
interventions. 33 The industry needs to
developed and revised on a daily basis to
embrace methods of continuous and direct
utilize the data. The organizations striving to
measurement of well control parameters
be successful have adopted these
and not be satisfied with the status quo of
advances and aggregated the data streams
intermittent and surface measurements that
into real-time operations centers and
provide data requiring highly experienced
collaboration centers offering real-time
drillers to infer downhole situations. These
monitoring of day to day operations. These
measurement changes will offer a marked
centers provide centralized collaboration
decrease in the risk factor of operating
and communication; and highly skilled
deepwater well and a corresponding
expertise for creating safe operations. The
improvement in safety.
aggregation and organization of the data is
extremely important to all parts of the However, improving the technical aspect of
exploration and production process. In this well delivery and production is only half of
enterprise, third party vendors offer many the safety improvement equation. Improving
commercially available and custom the human element is the other half. People
solutions to formulate coherent information make mistakes. Human error is cited as a
for well optimization and event monitoring. contributing factor in the majority (up to
But regardless of the sophistication of the 80%) of industrial accidents and incidents.31
data analysis operation, the data is only as The key to decreasing risk and improving
good as the sensors, and considering ever safety requires continuous learning from the
increasingly complex operations, the mistakes of others as well as our own. The

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 105


aviation industry has embraced the study of plays directly into improved safety margins.
the human factors side of accidents and The industry is also seeing a rise in Human
uses it as a basis for training and safety in the Loop (HITL) simulation allowing for
improvements. The Human Factors increased experience levels and practiced
Analysis and Classification System procedures prior to ever being on the rig.
(HFACS) is a framework used to identify The use of Crew Resource Management
and classify the human data element (CRM) tools is a necessary addition to these
thereby providing an avenue for improving training methods.
human interaction with technology and
Every new well drilled represents new and
painting a holistic approach to improved
different challenges than all previous wells.
safety.
With advancing technologies and new
HFACS is based on James Reason’s model processes becoming available almost daily,
of latent and active failures, the ‘Swiss operators must accept that new drilling
cheese’ model. The oil and gas HFACS standards are necessary and required for
framework has been adapted from the safe operations in the Outer Continental
aviation industry and provides a common Shelf (OCS) Gulf of Mexico in order to
framework to systematically classify mitigate risk factors in today’s ‘critical’ and
accident and incident contributing factors. extremely challenging well scenarios.
Updating measurement, collection and
Errors, incidents and accidents are
monitoring systems to BAST (Best Available
analyzed for their root causes and
and Safest Technology) for the technical
categorized in the HFACS nanocodes
and human data elements along with
permitting further analysis for organizational
advanced, predictive analysis open the
trending allowing for systematic
window for improving the safety culture of
improvements to identified problem areas
the industry and lowering acceptable risk
and avenues for predictive analysis of the
tolerance.
human element.
Proactively avoiding errors, incidents or
accidents, with improved training can have
a significant impact on safety. With
advanced computing power and
developments in the gaming industry, oil
and gas industry engineers can now
visualize the well planning process. 3D
modeling and simulation enables all
relevant parties to come together using
common databases and common
professional languages, pooling resources
for the project. The efficiencies gained by
these enhanced planning tools inherently

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 106


Introduction

The use of drill string measurements and sets and information directly related to
basic sensor data has long been the key to improved safety without regard for data
informing the drilling process and considerations for improvements in Non-
maintaining well control within acceptable Productive Time (NPT) and other
safety margins. In December 1937, time- efficiencies in the exploration and
based analog charts were introduced with production processes.
the Geolograph as a basic tool for trend
analysis and identification of anomalies. Task 4: Identify all necessary

This invention quickly became the de-facto information which needs to be

method for keeping a record of events.1 The collected, calculated, or monitored

transistor’s introduction in 1947 brought during operations to improve the

about another step change in well current level of safety. Data should

monitoring with the introduction of sensor include, but is not limited to, pressure

capabilities. In the early 1970’s, the oil and drops, fluid influx, fluid loss, and the

gas industry entered a new era by operation of BOP functions. Identify

employing digital analytics throughout the any existing or proposed modeling

exploration and production chain providing a tools that can be used in connection

wealth of new information about the with real-time data to prevent

condition of the well. The relatively low data incidents.

rates at the time made for a manageable


The assumption should not be made that
solution, but the limited information only
having this data or mandating its collection
provided part of the well environment
will inherently make the project safer.
picture.
Appropriate analysis, experience and
The introduction of measurement-while­ recognition are necessary to transform data
drilling (MWD) and logging-while-drilling into usable information for the purposes of
(LWD) has enhanced the downhole picture improving margins of safety. Many of the
from wireline technology bringing this data leading operators have pooled this
to near real-time, but low downhole data information in collaboration centers where
rates limited by bandwidth remain a barrier the data is processed in real-time or
to a truly revolutionary breakthrough in real- analyzed post-process to provide enhanced
time data and analysis of the downhole business solutions and increased operating
picture. safety margins.
The question for this paper requires The industry has moved years and
outlining the information necessary from the technological generations beyond simple
well site to improve margins of safety during mud logging. The aggregation of rig sensor
exploration and production. Keeping within data, accompanied with real-time and post-
this scope, this paper will explore those data processing analysis, delivers enhanced

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 107


levels of production, reduced NPT and with crew resource management (CRM) tools is
it, improved operating safety margins. a necessary addition to these training
methods.
The technical advances and enhanced data
only provide part of the palette necessary to This paper explores collection methods,
paint the safety improvement picture. The data calculation and monitoring
human element plays a huge role and in requirements during operations for both the
effect is the most susceptible to failure in technical and human aspect of the safety
the dynamic environment of the oil and gas equation. We also explore the technology
industry. Human error is cited as a currently used to acquire data and potential
contributing factor in the majority (up to improvements in collection, monitoring and
80%) of industrial accidents and incidents.31 calculation of data ensuring a safer
operating environment.
The Human Factors Analysis and
Classification System (HFACS) framework
provides a common framework to
systematically classify accident contributing
factors and is the basis for continuous
improvement of the human element in the
safety equation. HFACS originates from the
aviation industry and is based on James
Reason’s model of latent and active failures,
the ‘Swiss cheese’ model.
And just as HFACS can lead future
advancements in safety, advanced training
programs can stop accidents before they
happen. Gaming industry technology and
advancing computing power have changed
the well planning process. The addition of
3D modeling and simulation enables all
relevant parties to come together using
common databases and common
professional languages. The efficiencies
gained by these enhanced planning tools
inherently plays directly into improved safety
margins.
Use of human in the loop (HITL) simulation
is also on the rise promoting increased
experience levels and practiced procedures
prior to ever being on the rig. The use of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 108


Information to Improve Levels of Safety
Data collection and organization centers are generally organized to use real-
time streaming data or may analyze data
The collection of data is only the beginning previously collected.
of the process to improve industry safety
levels. The collected data must be Five common success factors have been
organized, analyzed and presented to observed in established collaboration
enable an accurate decision which will centers that have demonstrated reliability
result in improved levels of safety. and/or performance improvements:

Drilling industry operations primarily Environment - Putting equipment operating


produce three parallel data flows that occur condition into context. Equipment operating
with varying degrees of interdependency. in a dynamic environment, under a range of
conditions requires data to be collected and
The first data stream includes all data referenced with respect to the conditions
collected for drilling and performance which encountered during the evaluated
measures and describes how the well is timeframe.
being delivered. This data is usually
acquired by multiple third party contractors Data - Collecting and managing data by
from sensors throughout the rig, downhole exception. The blizzard of data now
and at times, in a manually written format. available requires machine learning and
management by exception to reduce data
The second data stream can be generally into usable information.
classified as lithology data and
encompasses wellbore data measured Analysis - Using both predictive analytics
continuously and intermittently by service and deep diagnostics as complementary
providers. Data is acquired by specialized technologies that operate in different
sensors through surface and downhole tools timeframes. Deep diagnostics may include
and is used to update the subsurface such things as vibration signature analysis
model. and cylinder performance analysis, while
predictive analytics employs pattern
The third data stream is usually acquired by recognition algorithms to detect minor
the Rig contractor and provides information events and anomalies.
on the condition and wear of equipment to
determine service and repair interventions.33 Cooperation – Industry wide
communication of observations, diagnoses,
The amount of data streaming from the rig recommendations and lessons learned
continues to grow with new technological through collaboration tools. Such tools add
advancement. To utilize this data the value on multiple fronts that include
industry has been slowly embracing the use knowledge transfer and equipment-specific
of collaboration centers which provide learning such as Root Cause Analysis.
handling and analysis. The collaboration

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 109


Management - Managing the findings in a Pressure
knowledge-management system or
The measurement of pressure is
collaboration system. This provides
complicated by the wide range of
feedback for further improvement.
requirements from small variations to large
Collaboration centers utilizing these factors pulses. Quartz resonator technology
have been able to successfully meld the currently dominates the single point sensor
parameter data into a relatively accurate market for pressure. Pressure sensing is
picture of the downhole environment used throughout the industry to indicate
allowing them to operate within an enlarged performance and to act as an alarm to an
safety envelope. unsafe condition. Important pressures to
track include:
Collected Data
 fluid pressure
The oil and gas industry operates in  hydrostatic pressure
extreme conditions and encounters many  formation pressure
types and ranges of physical conditions that  fracture pressure
can and should be measured. In  bottom hole pressure
conventional operations, drilling engineers
track various operational parameters such Each of these pressures plays a key role in
as pressure, flow, torque, temperature and well control.
others. These parameters provide only a
simple picture of the behavior of the drill Hydraulic
string bottom hole assembly (BHA) and well Hydraulic measurements involve constant
condition. Typically, a driller will use this monitoring and analysis of flow, flow rate,
limited operational information, his density and rheology of the drilling fluid.
experience and a few rules of thumb to Flow of a fluid is performed based on the
manage drilling operations in the most principle of a Venturi. The Venturi has two
efficient and safest manner possible. pressure sensors that measure pressure
In addition to these traditional tools, before and after the Venturi device. The
dynamically derived data can be useful for measurement of flow is particularly
providing a clearer picture of the exploration important to drilling operations for ensuring
and production processes. Measurements proper flow of mud and pipeline monitoring
of these parameters provide the necessary for oil and natural gas. Flow can also be
data to properly control the well during measured by counting pump strokes and
exploration and production. 34 A applying an efficiency factor and through
comprehensive, but not exhaustive list of acoustic measurement devices. Coriolis
measured parameters that should be meters continuously measure mass flow
collected for operating conditions in well rate (density of the mud and the rate it is
operations includes: flowing).33 Mud density and flow properties

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 110


are also measured by a fann viscometer Temperature
and others offering real- time density and
The extremes of temperature mirror those of
viscosity measurements.
pressure. Subsequently, there are many
sensors that perform both functions. Quartz
Torque
resonator technology currently dominates
The measurement of torque is one of the the single point sensor market for
most important parts of drilling a well. temperature. Temperature sensing is used
Historically, the torque meter has been an throughout the industry and important when
unusually large dial in prominent view of all safe limits are exceeded for a desired
personnel on the rig deck. The necessary operation or when there are changing
torque applied to the drill string by the rotary conditions for fluids and pressures.
table or top drive tells the driller much
information about the formation through Chemical Composition
which he is drilling and stresses placed on
The chemical composition of the
the drill stem. Weight on bit changes, Rate
substances in the oil and gas industry is
of Penetration (ROP), formation transitions
wide and varied. It is important to know the
and stick/slip situations cause noticeable
composition to be able to judge the
variations and/or spikes in torque as
environment for hazardous substances,
displayed on the torque meter. This alerts
flammability, consistency, density and other
crews to drill stem anomalies or changing
properties of oil, natural gas, and mud. The
bit dynamics causing potential hazards to
products going down the well need as much
drilling operations. A spike in torque
attention as the products coming up the
exceeding drill string limits will likely
well. It is critical to safety to sense the gas
damage equipment and could cause
composition of the fluids in the well by
injuries.
sensing for gases such as Hydrogen Sulfide
(H2S).
Tension
The simple force on a strain gauge is used Vibration
to report tension. It is important to know the
When drilling operations are underway it
tension on riser tensioners and on mooring
seems that vibration is in every part of the
lines used for station keeping of floating
rig. There are limits to the vibration that
drilling rigs and structures. Additional uses
certain pieces of equipment will sustain. An
include measuring tension and compression
unexpected change in vibration can be a
to avoid damage to the logging tools and
sign of impending failure. The vibration is
detecting strain on cables. Tensions
measured with some of the same
measurements provide logging engineers
technology that is used to measure
with early indications of over-pull, tool drag,
pressure.
stuck tools, tool compression, and irregular
tool movement.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 111


Weight technology as vibration sensors. They are
generally deployed over a large area to gain
Weight on bit, drill stem, and casing is
insight to the capability of the rock strata to
critical to measure properly to assess the
produce product by returning different
work being performed by the drill bit. The
frequencies based upon the composition of
proper weight on bit is a balancing act that
the material and the propagation of sound
requires a constant vigil. It is an important
through different media. The vibration of the
parameter that is reported alongside the
drill string and the equipment connected to
torque applied to the drill stem. Important
the well are sensed by the toolpusher and
aspects include setting/releasing
are a valuable tool for detecting problems.
mechanical set tools, indications of hanging
Access to real-time seismic data while
up / restriction while tripping, and indications
drilling has the ability to produce 3D imaging
of amount of overpull applied.
for deeper wells providing a more accurate
Position picture of the formation and allowing for
‘look ahead’ to discover potentially
Current position and position change are problematic formations.
necessary to ensure the intended
geographic location is maintained or is Corrosion
attained. The location of the drill ship during
The chemical decomposition of structures
drilling operations is paramount. The
used in the Oil and Gas Industry for
position can be reported in conjunction with
production and transport of product can be
the tension on mooring lines to anticipate
measured. Corrosion is a chemical process
movement of the vessel. Engines and
that occurs as a result of the difference in
thrusters are also monitored and controlled.
atomic potential between two objects. The
Buoys can provide wave height by simple
difference in atomic potential is easily
measurements of inertial energy. The
measured as an electrical current when the
position of the drill bit is the prime objective
two objects are connected. The
and must be monitored constantly. A
effectiveness of an anode to protect the
change in position can be compared against
structure of a deep sea structure can also
time to produces a rate of change. Directing
be assessed and reported.
the position of the bottom hole assembly is
also important for directional drilling where
Visual Conditions
MWD tools have proven invaluable for
guiding the directional drilling process. The visual inspection of equipment and
conditions can be done on site or remotely.
Seismic The inspection criteria are limited to the
conditions that are visible without
The use of seismic sensors has utility in the
dismantling or disrupting the equipment.
detection of production fields that contain
enough valuable products to warrant The environmental conditions being
exploration. Seismic sensors use the same encountered by a piece of equipment can

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 112


be measured by assessing the visual Human Element
conditions in the area. The ability to assess
The elements of human actions on the rig
fog, excessive vibration, external damage,
should also be measured as aggressively
movement, smoke, and fire is enabled by
as the parameters above are monitored,
sensing of visual conditions.
calculated and analyzed. Measuring the
The introduction of video surveillance human element; however, is not so easy,
aboard rigs has been instrumental to though it is just as important a part of the
understanding the context of the working safety of the operation.
environment. Video is becoming a vital part
Measurements from these parameters
of interpreting data streaming from the rigs.
provide data for all aspects of well delivery,
A real-time video feed from the drill floor
but none as important as the SAFE delivery
provides an immediate context of the
of the well. It is widely recognized within the
operations giving enhanced meaning to the
oil and gas industry that safety and effective
streaming data. Bandwidth limitations
well delivery are synonymous; with
however, hamper the streaming of all
acceptable risk being extremely low and
camera data to onshore facilities. The
potential for failure a constant threat.
camera feeds that are streamed onshore
are usually at a lower frame rate, preserving Monitored Data
bandwidth. Camera data is not normally
A kick in a deepwater well is a serious
recorded.
threat with a huge potential for failure and
Time loss of life. With the Blow Out Preventer
(BOP) stack on the sea floor, early kick
The time a piece of equipment is in use has detection is extremely important. In
direct correlation to the reliability that can be deepwater wells, the marine risers above
expected. The measurement of the duration the BOP stack comprise a substantial
of service life of a piece of equipment can portion of the total wellbore making it crucial
also be compared against the conditions that the kick is detected before the
that affect lifespan. A harsh environment hydrocarbons rise above the BOP stack and
with large excursions of temperature and into the riser. Once hydrocarbons are in the
pressure will cause a reduction of lifespan riser, the risk of a blowout increases
compared to equipment that has remained significantly. Operation of the BOP has
at more optimal operating condition. limited affect and well control response
Another time oriented measurement is options become severely limited. 35
Tripping data. Tripping data is gathered
while running in/pulling out, and is a The safety of the operation requires that the
commonly reported value that is used to company monitor all parameters, and make
assess the performance of the drill team. decisions continually regarding the health of
While useful, Tripping data has little direct the operation. The numerous acceptable
bearing on reliability of components. drilling techniques, formation types,
reservoir anomalies and myriad other

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 113


variables involved in the exploration and The oil and gas industry is still wrestling with
production of hydrocarbons makes a minimum acceptable levels of BAST. An
prescriptive list of required measured important lesson can be drawn from
parameters less than ideal. Emphasis healthcare and evidence based medicine.
should be placed on monitoring those The scientific based healthcare community
parameters necessary to provide for safe is continually pursuing new treatments and
execution of the operation through the use improved methods of treatment, but not at
of proven, evidence based processes and the risk of the lives being saved.
techniques along with best available and Introduction of new treatments and
safest technology (BAST). protocols must show a “conscientious,
explicit and judicious use of current best
Industry practice shows that conduct of safe
evidence” 36 before widespread adoption of
operations necessitates remote monitoring
the processes. The lesson is not so much in
the following parameters:
the adoption of the new treatment or
 Fluid dynamics process, but in the development of the
 Mud flow – in/out evidence base behind it. The oil and gas
 Mud quantity and density – in/out industry is in its infancy with respect to
 Mud temperature – in/out evidence based research necessary to
 Mud properties (MW, PV, YP, safely field advanced drilling and production
chlorides, pH, oil/water, low gravity techniques and technologies.
solids (LGS) %
As with healthcare, diagnosing a situation
 Continuous chlorides in/out
through monitored data requires correctly
 Drill gas - Total and/or compensated
interpreting data for developing downhole
for ROP and hole volume
events and is impacted by many external
 Well control pressures
circumstances such as:
 Wellbore pressures (along the drill
stem)  Properly functioning flow meters and
 Fluid pressures pedal position meters
 Fracture and formation pressures  Correct lining up of (trip) tanks and
 Pressure readings from shut-in surface lines
events  Plugged lines or hydrate formation,
 Torque  Heave, roll, and pitch
 WOB – weight on bit  Volume transfers, solid equipment
 RPM – revolutions per minute of the operations
drill stem  Gas remaining soluble in oil-based
 ROP – rate of penetration mud and avoiding detection until
 Connection gas (CG), background shallower depths near or even
gas (BG), trip gas (TG), short trip above the BOPs
gas (STG), dummy trip gas (DTG)  Ballooning or wellbore breathing and
 Gas chromatography lost circulation37

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 114
Sensor Limitations plaguing the industry in his 2013 Offshore
Technology conference paper:
Sensor data acquired aboard offshore rigs
has traditionally been of varying low quality.  “Reliance on predominately surface
The hostile environment in which sensors data for event detection and well
are used and historic lack of technological control
investment has taken its toll on the early  Appreciation for further technology
advancement of data quality. adoption to aid early kick response,
distinguish from ballooning
The industry is, however, beginning to see
 Recognition that well control is about
marked improvements with some
prevention as well as response
specialized sensors providing higher quality
 Realization that well control events
data. But it is still plagued by many of the
occur throughout all well
more traditional sensors still in use which
construction phases, and not just
are inadequate for what they are expected
while drilling ahead
to provide. Data also continues to be
 Need to independently verify well
manually reported through measurements
control barriers to ensure well
and observations when advancing sensor
integrity during all well construction
technology to acquire this data could
phases
provide a much more accurate
 Awareness that humans still play a
representation at a much higher data rate.
significant role in identification and
Additionally, the number of third party
emergency shut-down decisions
providers to the operator all but ensures
pertaining to well control while
separated data acquisition processes and
recognizing that the industry is
inadequacies in identifying the gaps
currently challenged with a shortage
between them will result in a non-integrated
of proven competent people” 35
approach while managing the drilling
operations.33
Antiquated Collection Methods
Industry leaders continue to make new
Drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico vary in age
inroads to improved techniques including
from newly deployed to over 30 years old
reams of data analysis as support. But there
and some of the older rigs still employ many
needs to be a recognition that basic issues
of the same sensors first used years ago.
in the well control equation need to be
These are typically equipment control
solved with new processes and
sensors which often measure parameters
technologies especially for deepwater
intermittently versus continuously and have
operations to ensure the safety of workers,
limited accuracies with varying tolerances.
environment and assets. At the present
time, deepwater operations’ status quo is Weight on Bit (WOB) is a typical example of
well below technological capabilities. D. a derived parameter where a direct
Veeningen, offers the following well control measurement is achievable and possibly
observations of fundamental issues still more appropriate. WOB is generally

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 115


displayed as a loss of weight from the top of
the drill string and as measured includes
everything exerting tension on the drill line,
including the traveling blocks and cable. In
order to have an accurate weight
measurement of the drill string, a zero offset
adjustment must be made to account for the
traveling blocks and items other than the Figure 7: Example of a Paddle Type Flow
38100
Measurement Device
drill string. Measure-while-drilling (MWD)
instrumentation has the capability to provide Mud circulation in the well generally
continuous measurements of the drill string operates in a closed loop system where
tension and torque providing a more calculations of volume and density
accurate direct measurement of WOB.33 variations between the balance of inlet and
outlet mud flow can indicate lost circulation.
Fluid Dynamics - Loss and Influx Fluids encountering fractures along the
Monitoring drilling fluid (mud) volume by wellbore may flow out to the formation or
using flow rate and density is critical to well fluids from the formation, such as
control. The process involves a continuous hydrocarbons could flow into the wellbore,
calculation to determine loss of mud or causing a kick and potentially a blowout.
influx of other fluids such as gases and Pump strokes and paddlewheels are not
hydrocarbons into the drilling circulatory accurate enough indicators of drilling fluid
system in order to maintain well control and flow in the deepwater environment of High
gauge well integrity. However, traditional Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) wells
measurement systems, dynamic conditions where oil based and gas injected mud is
and diverse flow patterns lead to high becoming the norm. In addition, volume and
variability in resulting indications making it density variations are difficult to correlate
highly complex to determine influx or loss of results for showing an influx of fluids and
the drilling fluid during operations. gas to the wellbore or loss of drilling fluid to
the formation. Given the varying state of rig
Traditionally, density was measured sensors, in today’s high risk wells, loss of
intermittently, often four times an hour, even well control can occur without real-time
though control of mud weight on a indications. And given the industry-wide
continuous basis is one of the fundamentals shortage of experienced personnel, there
of a safe drilling operation. Mud pump may not be highly experienced drillers on-
stroke count was used to calculate flow rate hand to enable appropriate action.
entering the well while flow rate exiting the Together, these conditions can lead to
well was normally measured using a paddle catastrophic events such as a blowout.
type device (Figure 7: Example of a Paddle
Type Flow Measurement Device) that It is important for the safest operations to
generally indicated only a percentage of accurately account for all fluids and gases
flow in the flow line. and their respective dynamic factors in the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 116


circulation system in order to accurately density of the mud and the rate at which it is
assess fluid losses and gains. The BAST flowing are the preferred method for input to
capabilities explained below are operational the MPD system. The continuous data
today and permit operators to fully monitor produced from these highly accurate flow
fluid dynamics within the wellbore. meters enables a significant amount of
interpretation to be made on the conditions
Pressure within the borehole and the ability to provide
Monitoring pressures within the well is a early warning systems for potential problem
fundamental necessity for safe operations in situations.33
oil and gas exploration and production. “Dedicating one portion of the rig control
Safely drilling a well is a constant battle of system to the processing of continuous
maintaining bottom hole pressure (BHP) drilling fluids data would facilitate clear
within the pore and fracture pressure and concise displays of this information
window through drilling fluid densities. Too with early warning alarm indicators.” 39
much pressure causes a formation break
Accurate control of BHP results in fewer
down or fracture resulting in a loss of drilling
pressure fluctuations allowing for better
fluid to the formation. Too little pressure
control of the well and especially necessary
allows an influx from the formation to the
where the difference between pore pressure
wellbore leading to a kick or worse, a
and fracture pressure gradients is extremely
blowout. The very narrow margins between
narrow. MPD is meant to keep the well in
pore pressure and formation fracture
balance at all times.
pressure are most pronounced in high
pressure, high temperature environment. Although several different flow meters are
used for MPD, the Coriolis flow meter is the
LWD and MWD technologies are utilized in
most widely used for its ability to accurately
Ultra Deep Water operations where these
and continuously measure the flow rate,
pressures must be tightly managed to
fluid density and wellbore pressure,
maintain the drilling window. Managed
providing for an early kick detection
Pressure Drilling (MPD) balances flow and
capability. Just as in a conventional well, a
hydrostatic pressure to allow a more precise
kick can be detected by monitoring and
control of BHP. This is achieved through a
comparing when flow out deviates from flow
closed loop, pressurized fluid system. Close
in. The tighter tolerances of the MPD closed
control of wellbore pressure is maintained
loop, pressurized system and the accuracy
and varied through drilling fluid pumps, fluid
and continuous measurements of the
density and importantly, backpressure
Coriolis meters allow for a much quicker
control on the fluid returns which is
recognition of fluid flow out/in differentials.
dynamically controlled using a dedicated
Trends can be monitored through a data-
and most times, automated choke manifold.
acquisition system and alarms set and,
Highly accurate Coriolis flow meters that depending on the MPD system being used,
continuously measure mass flow rate, the the kick can be controlled automatically.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 117


After an influx is detected in an automatic limited bandwidth capability of up to a few
MPD choke system, the choke automatically dozen bits per second (bps).
closes to increase the backpressure at the
surface until the influx is controlled. No Fiber Optic Sensors
change in flow rate is required. After the Fiber optic cables offer many exciting new
influx is controlled, the annular surface applications and are proving to be extremely
pressure is controlled to circulate the influx versatile providing many solutions for
out of the well. 40 sensors in the high pressure, high
Dynamic Formation Integrity Tests (FITs) temperature environment. These sensors
and cementing operations can also benefit are replacing current legacy sensors
through the use of an MPD system. FITs because of the fiber optics’ advanced
can be conducted more often providing measurement properties and robust nature.
more information to confirm that the The multidimensional ability for one sensor
wellbore integrity is suitable for planned to measure many different parameters is
casing. Running surge pressures and, if accelerating the introduction of these
necessary, advanced notice to make sensors in the field. High accuracy,
required corrections to fluid densities. distributed array, temperature sensing,
optical distributed pressure sensing, sand
Cementing operations can be conducted on
detection, and distributed strain (e.g. for
a more stable wellbore and benefit from
riser monitoring), are just a few of the new
improvements over conventional
generation of fiber optic sensing systems.
techniques, including: proper fluid
conditioning and hole cleaning prior to The unique properties of a fiber optic strand
cementing; proper fluid dynamics and enable multi-sensing of parameters such as
placement of cement to achieve drilling fluid pressure, temperature, chemical
removal; and sustained hydrostatic pressure composition, permeability and porosity. The
during cement curing. 41 state-of-the-art in optical sensing technology
includes Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) based
Sensor Improvements Pressure and Temperature sensors,
permanent Distributed Temperature
The industry has seen recent advances
Sensing (DTS), Single- and Multiphase
over the past ten years in drilling system
Flowmeters, and Seismic sensors. 42
sensor technology including applications for
LWD and MWD capabilities. This FBG is a simple, robust, linear, repeatable
technology provides ‘at-the-bit’ data and absolute sensor, making it ideal for long
measurement capability in memory modes term subsea measurements. Introduction of
and in near real-time using mud pulse FBG has enabled fiber optic technology to
telemetry and other techniques such as move from a single sensor per fiber optic
electromagnetic (EM) frequency strand to many applications by producing
communications, both of which provide different measurements from the same
sensor.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 118


Wired Pipe indicating a potential influx into the wellbore.
These downhole, direct pressure
In the past few years Wired Drill Pipe
measurements provide early kick detection
(WDP) has emerged to fill the downhole
and can provide the ability to distinguish
broadband transmission void. WDP has
kicks from ballooning incidents, improving
enabled the benefits of high bandwidth
the ability to analyze and control an influx.
telemetry for challenging drilling scenarios
where high speed, bidirectional Figure 8: Pressure detection along the
communications is necessary for control of DrillstringDrill string, below shows the
directional, measurement and logging pressure differential detected by sensors 1
bottom hole assemblies. and 2 and traveling up the annulus where
over time the remaining sensors will report a
The drill pipe consists of an embedded
pressure change indicating an influx from
stainless steel, sheathed coax cable
the formation moving up the annulus.
capable of bidirectional communications
Utilizing the WDP network’s ability to
with speeds currently up to 57,600 bps,
acquire high-definition log data in the
approximately three orders of magnitude
absence of flow also provides the ability
higher than present industry standards of
distinguish an influx from wellbore
mud pulse and EM telemetry systems. Mud
ballooning.37
pulse and EM telemetry systems’
transmission rates decrease with depth,
normally operating at data rates from 1.5 to
40 bps. WDP transmission rates are
independent of depth, distance, and surface
induced noise.
Conventional MWD tools offer pressure
measurements only at the BHA. WDP offers
the added advantage of data acquisition
and broadband communication along the
entire drill string independent of surface
measurements enabling real-time Figure 8: Pressure detection along the
37
measurement of pore pressure and fracture DrillstringDrill string
gradient along the entire wellbore. This Traditional mud pulse systems are
capability allows the continuous calculation unavailable when the drilling fluid is not
of safe drilling margin as well as circulating and the mud pumps are off, for
identification, analysis and control of a example, while tripping. With the ‘always on’
wellbore influx. Through distributed sensors data capability of WDP, pressure
along the entire hydrostatic column of the fluctuations associated with tripping and
drill string, the system directly measures swabbing/surging operations, downhole
annulus pressure and can immediately data is now available to provide early kick
identify pressure differentials in the wellbore detection enabling more rapid response to

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 119


changing conditions and the ability to industry by increasing the probability of
monitor and control the well more closely.37 finding weak links within this safety system.
Tracking time and cycles of the BOP
Blow Out Preventer Operations
components and individual parts is a
In conventional drilling, control of the well is complex task. The BOP; however, is much
provided through a two barrier principle for more than another piece of equipment on a
the prevention of well control issues and in maintenance schedule. It is the last line of
the extreme, a blowout. The primary barrier defense between continued safe operations
is the hydrostatic column of drilling fluids and potential loss of life and environmental
bearing down on the formation inside the disaster. When the BOP is needed it must
wellbore which acts to prevent work and it must work correctly the first
hydrocarbons being released from the time.
formation into the wellbore. The Blow Out
A lesson on critical parts maintenance can
Preventer (BOP) is the second barrier.
be taken from the aviation industry. Critical
The BOP is actually an assembly of devices aircraft parts have a manufacturer specified
designed to shut in the well at varying life span expressed in calendar terms,
stages and when circumstances dictate, cycles or time-in-service with specific
close down the well completely. It is inspection and overhaul requirements.
comprised of numerous components with a
highly complex logical control system. The
reliability of the entire BOP stack is the
product of the reliability of each of these
parts and also dependent upon the number
of times each of its components is cycled.
Activation cycles of each of the parts should
be tracked and as a result the overall
reliability of the system can be closely
estimated through probability functions of
success or failure to operate.
Applying basic predictive analysis tools to
this information can help determine weak
points in the system. Additional resources
can then be allocated to increase inspection
cycles of the individual parts and improve
design or materials in order to increase
overall BOP reliability, meet prescribed
reliability factors and thereby reduce
operating risk. Sharing this information on
an industry-wide basis can only benefit the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 120


“No person may operate any aircraft
unless …the mandatory replacement
times and inspection intervals specified
by the manufacturer have been
complied with.”
This regulation makes it very clear that the
operator must track and complete required
maintenance before operating the aircraft.
FAA certificated mechanics oversee and/or
accomplish the work using accepted and
approved practices and procedures
providing an additional individual
accountability with the threat of potential
loss of license in the event required
procedures are not complied with.
The potential risk to life and environment is
no less with an improperly inspected BOP
as that of an aircraft with pilot and
passengers that has overdue inspections or
critical equipment time-outs. Tracking,
inspecting, overhauling and changing out
critical parts in accordance with
manufacturers’ tested specifications has
worked to improve safety levels of the
aviation industry.

Human Factors Analysis and


Classification System
When looking for safety improvements, we
Figure 9: BOP Stack
43 must look beyond the equipment and
technology and consider monitoring the
designated in these same terms. Its life human side of the equation. Human error is
history travels with the part regardless of cited as a contributing factor in up to 80% of
how many different aircraft or aircraft industrial accidents and incidents.31 During
components it has been installed in. Federal the last few decades, the study of human
Aviation Regulations (FAR) enforce this factors has become an important safety
rigorous tracking requirement by stipulating factor within central control facilities. More
that operators will follow manufacturers’ and more, automated, computer based
specified practices. FAR 91.403c states: systems including systems such as

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 121


Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition HFACS model, each of these four
(SCADA) employed on production rigs are categories or slices is further reduced to
supervised by human operators.31 subcategories which hold the classification
descriptors referred to as nanocodes.
The Human Factors Analysis and
Classification System (HFACS) is one of HFACS analysis results can be used as a
several frameworks used to identify and safety performance metric on different
classify the human data element and levels depending on its scope. With the
thereby provide an avenue for improving establishment of a national or perhaps
human interaction with technology. international cross-company database,
analysis results can be made to identify
HFACS is based on James Reason’s model
problem areas in an industrial domain, e.g.
of latent and active failures also known as
Exploration and Production. On a smaller,
the ‘Swiss cheese’ model. The oil and gas
company level, HFACS can provide metrics
HFACS framework has been adapted from
for performance and identify operationally
the aviation industry and provides a
areas that contribute to accidents requiring
common framework to systematically
more focus. HFACS might also be used to
classify accident and incident contributing
analyze a single installation or even a shift
factors.
in performance on an installation.
A wide reaching HFACS framework
database can be used to systemize data
and become a knowledge database that can
be used to learn from incidents and
accidents. This database may be part of a
formal knowledge transfer system providing
a number of possibilities for data analyses.
The framework can be used to identify
trends and become a metric to identify
accident trends and become a metric to
44
measure the effects of risk mitigation efforts.
Figure 10: James Reason's Swiss Cheese Model
For example, the occurrence rates of a
The HFACS framework labels four main nanocode can be used as a metric to
categories (cheese slices) of conditions: measure the effect of a risk mitigation
action.
1) Acts,
2) Preconditions The oil and gas HFACS was applied for
3) Supervision validation purposes to four Norwegian
4) Organizational Influences offshore accidents that occurred during
2007. The framework was suitable for these
Potential deficiencies in these conditions
accidents and revealed that latent failures
are represented by the ‘holes in the cheese’
on the organizational level were most
of one of the four areas above. In the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 122


prevalent in particular failures related to updated as actual pressures are
oversight and procedures.31 HFACS encountered in the well.
provides a common framework for
Calculated variables necessary for
comparison of accidents and incidents on
establishing the initial basis of planning a
many levels, e.g. within the industry, a
safely executed well include but are not
company or installation. The framework can
limited to:
be useful to systemize accident information
retrieved through an MTO approach.  D Exponent
 Hydrostatic pressure
Calculated Data  Overburden pressure/gradient
Safety starts with a well-developed drilling  Matrix stress
plan. Analyzing a new play for exploration or  Pore pressure
dropping in another development well  Formation fracture pressure
requires calculation of important parameters  Equivalent circulating density – ECD
just to understand the feasibility of the  Equivalent static density – ESD
project.  Mud densities and additives
 Torque and drag
For years engineers have been crunching  RPM
through equations with slide rules,  WOB
calculators and spreadsheets attempting to  ROP
predict the basic variables required for well  Cutting Volume
control of the new project. While these
calculations are still an integral part of well These variables are initially estimated with
planning, computer modeling and 3D relative precision using modeling software
simulations run the calculations in the and offset well information if available. The
background as engineers, geologists and real value and improved safety margins are
petro-physicists ponder the results, making gained through real-time updating during
higher level decisions on how to best the drilling process.
pursue the well strategy. Drilling the well requires keeping up with
Developing the expectations of formation additional calculations for well control.
pressures for the project is one of the first Several of which include:
steps for well planning and vital to the safe  Leak-off Test Equivalent Mud
planning of a well. Formation pressure Weight
predictions are used as the basis for  Maximum Initial Shut-In Casing
predicting safe mud weights to prevent Pressure
fracturing the formation and preventing well  Kill Mud Weight to Balance
kicks and selection of casing weights. Initial Formation
cementing design, kick control and selection  Slow Circulation Rate
of wellhead depend on the initial predictions  Annulus Capacity Factor
of formation pressures which are then  Final Circulating Pressure

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 123


 Surface To Bit Strokes, strokes to a problem. It also allows the discovery of
 Circulating Time long term trends that would be missed
 Capacity Factor during real-time data analysis. This type of
 Opened End Pipe Displacement analysis is most commonly performed, but
 Closed end pipe displacement is not limited to, analysis of Geophysical
Acoustic data. Post processed data can
Continuously updating these parameters also be used to fuel a ‘learning’ system that
through real-time processing is necessary in
can use previous data to predict the future
drilling HPHT wells to ensure the well is
remaining within required margins to reliability. This would be the electronic/
continue drilling safely. database equivalent of using lessons
learned for future projects. The conditions of
Real-time Processed the collected data would need to be
Drilling, completion, production and general matched to the environment under
surveillance are all areas that benefit greatly consideration. An example would be to use
from remote real-time analysis, providing pump failure rates compared to the change
significant value to operators through of seasons to be able to predict the most
proactive, rather than reactive, responses to critical time of year to prevent pump failures.
challenges during day-to-day operation. To properly correlate the data pumps from
Several different disciplines that previously similar regions would need to be compared.
operated separately are today integrated in Data from a pump in Alaska would not be a
their work; both in the field and remotely, useful prediction tool for predicting pump
continual monitoring and remote data failures in the Gulf of Mexico.
analysis includes and integrates areas such
as drilling optimization, pressure
management, pore-pressure predictions,
and wellbore stability. Software models that
utilize case-based reasoning and physics,
together with real-time drilling and well data,
enable immediate situational analysis and
trend monitoring. Advice today is provided
remotely, requiring fewer personnel at a rig
site.

Post Processed
The analysis of trends over long periods of
time will require post processed data. The
data will be selected from a repository using
the proper query to extract the pertinent
data. The ability to post process data allows
much more computing power to be applied

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 124


Modeling Tools to Prevent Incidents

Modeling has become an integral part of  Strategic planning of E&P


well planning and development, from the  Risk based process simulations
days of manually ‘drilling it on paper’ to the  Geologic
advanced three dimensional computer  Geomechanic
programs that help visualize the entire  Geosteering
project before spud in. It’s been said many  Well control modeling
times over that all the easy wells have been  Fracture modeling and simulation
drilled. While the modeling doesn’t  Hydraulics/equivalent circulating
necessarily make it easy, it attempts to take density (ECD) modeling
away many of the unknowns enabling  Dynamic modeling of wellbore
informed decisions for the drilling process pressures
by optimizing economic options, analyzing  Torque, drag and drill string
production requirements, determining modeling
technical risks and estimating geological  Bottom hole assembly vibration
uncertainties. Planning for all these factors modeling
ahead of execution coupled with risk  Reservoir characterization models
analysis leads to improved margins of  ROV operations simulations
safety.
Modeling Geomechancial and
Many commercial modeling tools exist for
Hydraulic/ECD
planning purposes. This section explores
the scope of these tools, discussing in more Each modeling component above plays an
detail those that enable exploration and important role in the overall improvement in
production companies to produce at a well efficiency and more importantly,
higher level of safety. improved safety levels. Hydraulics/ECD and
geomechanics, however are likely the most
Available Modeling Tools critical parameters to properly estimate,
Today's technology provides models for all control and understand for safely drilling the
aspects of exploration drilling and well. Carefully predicting formation strength
production processes covering the gamut and planning for drilling within the narrow
from strategic planning to modeling of margin between the pore pressure gradient
individual pressure sensors. Many of these of the formation and its fracture gradient is
modeling techniques are used to plan the vital for wellbore stability. Most important is
well before the spud date. While others that hydrostatic pressure remains within a
require data from the well being drilled to safe mud weight window above pore or
enhance the model to enable post drilling predetermined minimum stability pressures,
analysis. Below is a list of many of the below the fracture initiation pressure, and
process models: that adequate hole cleaning is achieved.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 125


Fully understanding these ratios and the avoid the negative effects of excessive
uncertainties in other operational swab/surge pressures. 45
parameters such as potential salt intrusions
Hargis et al. suggests combining the
and potential changes in the planned
geomechanical and hydraulic modeling of
formation lithology is crucial to the well
the wellbore at the planning stage, merging
planning process.
the information prior to spudding the well.
Simulating the expected formation and Updating each of the models with real-time
preparing for its uncertainties along with the data during the drilling process enables an
wellbore and drilling fluid parameters ahead accurate feed of variables to the other
of drilling operations enables the planning model. For instance, “the geomechanics
team to prepare for uncertainties. model can use real-time ECD data from the
Geomechanics modeling enables planners hydraulics model when a pressure-while­
to closely approximate formation lithology drilling (PWD) tool is not being used. In turn,
enabling calculations of safe mud weight the hydraulics model requires updating
parameters, optimal casing points and when the safe mud weight limits are being
provides for wellbore stability analyses. exceeded. The two models can use
Formation uncertainties are a key focus in information from the other when performing
well planning. Data from offset wells drilled the post-well analysis and planning for the
in the same field if available are analyzed next well.” 45 Used individually, these
and used to create the mechanical model to models are powerful tools, but when used
better understand the formations and together and combined with real-time
hazards likely to be encountered. updates, the models can more accurately
Assumptions are made about the field and depict the downhole picture allowing for a
calculations performed based on the data to safer overall operation.
estimate the pore pressure and fracture
gradient establishing an appropriate drilling Modeling the Cementing Process
pressure window. Before pumping cement into the wellbore
Operating within these narrow margins in and cementing the casing into place,
many of today’s ‘critical’ wells require engineers use computerized models to
careful planning for and monitoring of determine the complex flow of cement and
drilling fluid flow and densities. fluids within the wellbore. Using real-time
Hydraulic/ECD modeling is used to develop data from the wellbore including casing
the equivalent circulating densities geometry, characteristics of fluids in the
necessary for keeping mud weight within wellbore, volume, placement of centralizers
the tolerances of the pressure window. This and pumping rates, engineers run
modeling enables planners to predict simulations to determine the characteristics
optimum operating parameters for ROP, of the cementing job. Simulations help
adequate flow rate for proper hole cleaning predict pressures required to pump the
and recommended tripping practices to cement and model the complex process of
displacing the mud from the annular space.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 126


Understanding of expected behavior is an require a higher quality data stream from
important part of evaluating the potential improved sensors at higher data rates
effectiveness of the cement job. If the mud through improved bandwidth. At the present
is not properly displaced during the time only real humans in the loop can
cementing process, channels could form. accurately judge the final design. In many
This is important because if the mud is not highly variable scenarios the human
fully displaced during the cementing element is still better suited at processing
process, channels could form creating a changing variables, applying experience
potential for hydrocarbons to flow and and judgment to provide necessary
thereby compromising zonal isolation. information to the system to determine the
next course of action.
Modeling plays an important role in the oil
and gas industry, but these simulations
Human in the Loop Simulation
cannot completely and precisely model
these phenomena and depends entirely on Human-in-the-loop (HITL) is defined as a
the accuracy of the input data. The model’s model or simulation that requires human
overall accuracy is greatly improved with the interaction that allows the user to change
use of real-time data inputs and the outcome of an event or process.
continuously updated parameters. The more HITL has been used effectively in training
complicated well designs require models to scenarios. Major airlines have utilized full
help the engineers predict the impact of motion HITL simulators for years to train
changing parameters throughout the drilling pilots and provide the platform to administer
process. While the principles remain the the qualification checkride. The pilots’ first
same, every well is different and modeling flight in the actual aircraft is with a full load
with the use of real-time data allows of paying passengers. These simulators
engineers to optimize interrelated fully immerse trainees in the syllabus
parameters for individual well conditions requirements without the influences of real
rather than relying on rules of thumb to world distractions.
guide complex decisions.43
HITL is also used for knowledge acquisition
Simulation in regards to how a new technology or
process may integrate with or impact a
Simulations vary from simple computer
particular event. When testing new
programs to predict pressures, fluid flow
equipment and processes HITL allows
and interactions to complex drilling human-
participants to interact with realistic models
in-the-loop visualization domes giving
utilizing the new technology or processes
personnel rig experience without ever being
and perform as they would in an actual
on the rig.
scenario. These simulations bring to light
Today’s intelligent systems can only go so issues that would not otherwise be apparent
far in certain circumstances to automate a until after deployment of the new technology
process. Fully automated systems will or process.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 127


Operational Simulation  Visualizing the bit or tool joint going
through the BOP or Casing shoe
Not only can today’s simulators use
 Visualizing well pressure profile and
available real-time data, including surface
prediction of pressure when drilling
and downhole sensor inputs, but they also
ahead through linking real-time
serve to include all the different disciplines
software models with real-time
involved, enabling enhanced collaboration
performance optimization analysis
of all drilling activities. The addition of real-
 Reviewing the processes through a
time modeling, using 3D gaming software,
‘rewind’ function 46
adds to the visualization and optimization of
the drilling process.
Training Simulation
The ability to evaluate the drilling plan prior
Training simulators utilizing mockups and
to spud in date by validating, through
visualizations of the rig environment are
simulation, key drilling parameters such as
making their way into the industry
ECD, temperature, pore pressure, wellbore
attempting to provide experience where the
stability and torque & drag is invaluable.
industry is seeing a shortage in skilled labor.
Further analyzing dynamic predictions of
drilling parameters will reduce the potential These simulators provide an improved
of drilling hazards, such as kicks, wellbore understanding of platform theory, concepts
instability, stuck pipe and lost circulation and knowledge of the plant functions and
contributing to reduced risks and increased interactions. They accelerate learning and
safety margins. provide operating experience in normal and
abnormal operations providing practice in
Integration of dynamic simulations of the
operating procedures, plant startup, shut
different drilling sub-processes and their
down and facility optimization.
interactions is also simulated in real-time.
Enabling both looking forward during the A lesson should be taken from aviation
drilling process and ‘what-if’ evaluations. By simulation where the emphasis originally
providing real-time data to continuously was also on procedural training ensuring the
updating drilling simulations, drillers, pilot was proficient in all normal and
geologists, engineers and petro-physicists emergency procedures. He was expected to
all monitoring the drilling process in real- know exactly how to maneuver the aircraft
time with improved awareness through: within acceptable parameters. The
simulators were very good at what they
 Seeing if the bit follows the well path
were designed to do, but the accident and
plan
incident reports were still indicating that
 Monitoring the bit going through
pilots were making inaccurate and
different geology layers in real-time
inappropriate decisions in normal day-to­
 Monitoring the bit entering seismic
day operations and when faced with
information layers real-time
emergency situations.
 Visualizing accurate depth by
tally/BHA in real-time

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 128


While evaluation emphasis in aviation lessons and techniques from aviation
remains on procedural proficiency, the pilots simulator training, evaluation and CRM.
are also now trained and evaluated on
Modeling of the well environment prior to
application of Crew Resource Management
spud date is important to understand the
(CRM) techniques. The essence of which is:
project, its expected risks, costs and to
how well the crew use its resources to
enhance safety. The use of dynamic
manage problem situations utilizing
simulation programs incorporating real-time
interpersonal communication, leadership
data during drilling; however, has
and decision making tools.
contributed to a quantum leap in increased
CRM training is the product of NASA safety margins, reduced risks and reduced
research into the causes of air transport drilling nonproductive time.
accidents. This research identified that
The use of training simulators will also serve
aspects of the majority of the crashes were
to improve safety through enhancing
human error failures of interpersonal
experience levels in the industry where
communications, decision making, and
relative experience has been dwindling
leadership. United Airlines was the first
through mass exodus. The addition of CRM
major airlines to apply CRM training
training will do well to help the oil and gas
processes in 1981 to reduce ‘pilot error’ by
industry avoid relearning the early lessons
making better use of the human resources
of failed crew interaction within the
on the flight deck. All major airlines now
commercial aviation industry.
employ CRM in their training syllabi.
In commercial aviation, aircrew are trained
and evaluated for proficiency, usually on an
annual cycle. At the major airlines these
evaluations are normally done in a simulator
where the evaluator can present adverse
situations which pilots may actually see in
flight only once in a career. The evaluation
or checkride consists of an objective
evaluation for procedural proficiency and a
subjective evaluation of application of CRM
while handling normal and emergency
situations. Just like procedural deficiencies,
in the event of identified CRM deficiencies,
these pilots are retrained in the CRM
skillset.
If rig simulation in the oil and gas industry is
to be used to its fullest potential,
consideration should be given to utilizing

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 129


Conclusion

A true cultural shift is necessary in order to industries such as aviation should be taken
improve the safety of operations in the GOM into account when developing standards of
for deepwater exploration and production. care and health monitoring of the BOP.
This sweeping statement is made to
Technological improvements have done
emphasize the necessity for a change of
much to improve the safety of the oil and
mindset for operators. The status quo is not
gas industry, but 80% of industrial accidents
sufficient to sustain safe operations in the
still have human error as a causal factor.
long term. Operators will need to demand
HFACS is an analysis and classification
higher quality from their contractors.
system that provides for a robust analysis,
Updating quality of measurement, collection
tracking and preventative safety program for
and monitoring systems to BAST (Best
the human element of the safety equation.
Available and Safest Technology) for the
Analyzing and tracking the root causes of
technical and human data elements along
incidents and accidents on the rig, within the
with advanced, predictive analysis open the
company and industry-wide enables users
window for improving the safety culture of
to see deficiencies, monitor trends and put
the industry and lowering acceptable risk
in place programs to avoid potential human
tolerance. Every well drilled represents new
failures as pointed to through HFACS
and different challenges than all previous
findings.
wells. With new technologies and processes
becoming available regularly, to mitigate Modeling and simulation has become an
risk factors in today’s extremely challenging accepted standard for well planning. The
well scenarios. ability to model all aspects of the well before
spud date including pore and formation
Although improvements are occurring daily,
fracture pressures, ECD, ESD and fluid
much of the data currently collected from
dynamics greatly reduces the risk of
the rig is of varying low quality requiring
unexpected problems and increases
experience and human interaction to place
margins of safety. Training through
the data into context. Test scenarios and
simulation has also seen a rise in the
small scale deployments of these improved
industry as companies are installing
systems show great promise, but availability
visualization training simulators to add
and relative cost thwart widespread use
experiential learning for otherwise
among operators.
inexperienced rig crews. Exposing rig crews
The industry’s recent change in BOP to operational and safety procedures
requirements have improved the standards through simulation prior to employing these
for the maintenance and testing of BOP concepts in actual operations has worked
operation. Predictive analysis and lessons well to improve safety in other industries
in critical parts management from other such as aviation, maritime and more

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 130


recently, healthcare. Adding CRM to the
training syllabus is an important aspect of
training individuals to work in a crew
environment. The CRM elements of
interpersonal communication, leadership
and decision making are crucial skill sets
necessary to master when working in a high
risk environment of rig operations.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 131


CHAPTER 5 - (Task 5) Technologies and
Data Helpful in Measuring Field
Performance of Critical Equipment to
Predict Potential Failures and Replace
Current Methods

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 132
Chapter Summary

Today’s operators face a number of by the physical properties of current


challenges. Among them: technology.
 Increased energy demand However, newer technologies are
 Increasingly hostile conditions overcoming traditional obstacles. For
 Lack of specialist domain expertise instance, the use of Fiber Optic cable has
opened new methods of sensing conditions
Due to these challenges, operators have and/or performance of equipment and the
been forced to rethink traditional asset downhole environment. The unique
management techniques to increase properties of the light, going down and
productivity, operational efficiency and returning up the fiber, have enabled new
reliability. parameters to be sensed and reported.
In meeting these challenges, asset teams The ability to gather data in large quantities
have employed new technologies and with new sensors will pose new challenges
systems to help them quickly and efficiently to storing, retrieving, transmitting and
integrate and analyze the increasing processing information. The large amount of
volumes of data. information available will require a
The objectives for these systems are to disciplined and deliberate approach to
provide visualization of actual drilling extracting the desired information. Deciding
operations and system behaviors, to enable on what information is desired will be the
rapid and in-context diagnostic capability for first challenge.
increasing production uptime and assuring The methods used to process the data will
oilfield process optimization through be as important as the application of
reliability of equipment and increased sensors. The challenge will be to organize
efficiency. the infrastructure to handle the data. The
A complicating factor in these systems has new data available will create new methods
been the many, and varied, environmental of making decisions. The knowledge
and performance parameters experienced necessary to derive decisions from the
by the oil and gas industry which have many terabytes of data will be a powerful
presented substantial challenges to the asset to improve reliability and safety.
collection of data. Many of the sensors used These new processes for making decisions
today rely upon electrical signals to sense can be identified and properly applied by the
conditions and to relay information. industry.

The use of electrical equipment in the


wellbore has reached a level that is limited

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 133


Introduction

Task 5: Identify technologies and data

that might be helpful in measuring field

performance of critical equipment with

the goal of predicting potential failures.

Identify areas where this technology

could be used to supplement or

replace current inspection techniques

such as visual inspection or pressure

testing of equipment.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a


survey of current sensor technologies
employed today in the Oil and Gas Industry
that quantify and report the performance
parameters needed to properly assess the
potential for failure. This report is structured
to identify the parameters/conditions
necessary to be collected, identify the
sensors used, and provide an assessment
of emerging technologies. The replacement
of current inspection techniques with the
advanced sensors identified is examined
within the scope of the discussions about
current sensor technologies.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 134


Technology and Data for Measuring
Performance and Predicting Failure
The business of reliability management is to required to ensure these sensors continue
keep equipment in working order while to operate.
managing the costs, with a corollary that
Sparked by recent events, the technological
properly maintained and operating
advancement of sensors deployed to collect
equipment will increase safety. Each firm’s
data is beginning a revolution. The
level of investment in condition monitoring
emphasis on collecting data from previously
instrumentation and information
inaccessible areas has fueled the need for
infrastructure will have a unique level of
more advanced measurement systems that
diminishing returns depending on
are using the complex physical properties of
conditions, For instance, the age of the well
the sensor to report desired parameters.
and the technology that existed at the time
And while the majority of data collection
of installation can be an ROI challenge to
today in the industry is performed with
the successful implementation of sensors
sensor technology that has seen little
and collection of sensor data.
change in the last 30 years. The new sensor
In addressing return on investment, we systems coming into use by the industry are
have found that some companies have opening areas where data collection was
established, centralized collaboration previously impossible or prohibitively
centers and have re-engineered their work expensive.
processes in order to break through this
For example, the use of Fiber Optic
diminishing returns barrier. Others have
technology has enabled exciting new
initiated fledgling efforts aided by the robust
methods of condition monitoring. The
industry of companies providing sensors
unique properties of a fiber optic strand
and monitors.
have been shown to enable sensing of
In optimizing the information gathered, pressure, temperature, chemical
companies have been historically limited by composition, permeability, porosity and
the ability of sensors to continue to operate many other conditions not previously
in the harsh environments of the Oil and possible.42
Gas Industry. And while the technology for
collecting data is wide ranging, it is Sensors
performed largely by employing sensors Until recently, the technology used to
using electrical signals to collect and manufacture and employ equipment to
transmit the data. It has been the need for capture the performance parameters of
secure electrical connections that has been critical equipment and/or conditions has not
problematic in harsh environments as there seen much advance in the past 30 years.
is a great deal of insulation and protection

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 135


Drilling rigs employed the same sensors Transducers are widely used in measuring
that were first used many years ago. These instruments.
sensors had limited accuracies and often
A sensor is used to detect a parameter in
provide intermittent measurements instead
one form and report it in another form of
of the continuous measurements needed by
energy, often an electrical signal. For
real-time monitors. For example: Displaying
example, a pressure sensor might detect
the Weight on Bit (WOB) as loss of weight
pressure (a mechanical form of energy) and
from the top of the drill string when it is
convert it to electricity for display at a
measured as drill line tension near the drill
remote gauge.
line anchor point. Another example is mud
weight measurement. This is still measured Virtual Sensors
intermittently with a labor intensive mud
It is possible to use sensors employed at
balance.
different locations to predict the values
Now, there is a new class of sensor on the between the two (or more) locations. With
horizon that could provide a large increase knowledge of the conditions and a wealth of
in quality, capability and coverage. The use historical performance it is possible to
of advanced sensors in locations and reliably predict the conditions encountered
conditions that were not possible ten years without the use of a physical sensor. The
ago is exploding. And while sensors on data collected by the deployed sensors is
older wells are not commonly employed, reconciled with the historical measurements
almost every new well drilled has several from other events and interpolated to predict
sensors from the initial drilling stage to conditions that go beyond the immediate
regular operations. For instance, the use of sensor locations. 47
wired drill pipe has improved production,
Data reconciliation is a technique that has
reliability, and safety enhancements such as
traditionally been used in process control to
Logging While Drilling (LWD) and
verify measured data by reference to a
Measurement While Drilling (MWD).
process model. There is a more active form
Transducers and Sensors of data reconciliation in which a model of
the process is used to estimate a number of
A transducer is a device that converts a
unknown variables on the basis of other,
signal in one form of energy to another form
known variables in the process. Such
of energy. Energy types include (but are not
estimated variables may be seen as virtual
limited to) electrical, mechanical,
measurements of the process; therefore
electromagnetic (including light), chemical,
estimators based on data reconciliation are
acoustic or thermal energy. While the term
sometimes referred to as virtual sensors.
transducer commonly implies the use of a
They are also known as software sensors or
sensor/detector, any device which converts
soft sensors, which distinguishes them from
energy can be considered a transducer.
their hardware counterparts. Soft sensors
may be used with great success in the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 136


operation of chemical processes for optic strand have been shown to enable
supplementing, and in many cases even sensing of pressure, temperature, chemical
replacing, permanently installed hardware. composition, permeability, porosity, etc.
without the need for different sensors.
There is substantial potential for soft
sensors in offshore oil production. Even The requirements that drove early
though the added value of permanently development of optical sensing systems
installed sensors is undisputed, downhole were not supported by comparable electrical
equipment is particularly expensive to install systems. These requirements included:
because of the nature of offshore
 Small physical size, allowing simple
operations. Therefore it is appealing to limit
integration into small locations and
the number of downhole sensors to what is
embedding in composite structural
minimally required in order to get sufficient
systems.
insight into the production process, and to
 Multiple sensing point and
use inferential techniques to make the
measurement types on a single
picture complete. Also, it is widely
fiber, replacing multiple electrical
recognized that downhole measurement
sensors, instrument types and
equipment and the corresponding
associated electrical wiring. This
communication systems are prone to failure
reduced system complexity and
during installation in the well, during special
weight is critical in aerospace
events in the life of the well, or after a few
systems.
years in operation due to harsh operating
 Silica with high temperature fiber
conditions. Furthermore, it is exceptionally
coatings, enabling the development
costly to repair or replace downhole
of sensing systems for applications
equipment in offshore wells. Software
with operating temperatures in
sensors, as opposed to hardware sensors,
excess of 1,000°C.
typically do not break down. In fact, even
 High reliability maintained by having
though a soft sensor depends on the
simple sensing elements at the
availability of hardware measurements that
measurement point and the sensor’s
may be subject to errors, it does not
instrument in a readily accessible
necessarily depend on the availability of a
location for servicing or repairs.
particular piece of hardware. A software
 Immunity to interference from local
sensor will work as long as the total set of
radio or electrical transmission
available data contains enough information
sources.
for the system to make a decision.
 No spark hazard, reducing the risk of
Fiber Optic Sensors fire. 48

The use of Fiber Optic technology has Fiber Optic sensors are beginning to
enabled exciting new methods of condition replace current legacy sensors because of
monitoring. The unique properties of a fiber their advanced measurement properties and

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 137


their robust nature. The multidimensional composition of a compound has been long
ability for one sensor to measure many established. The same properties that allow
different parameters is accelerating the the sensing of chemical composition can be
introduction of these sensors. High employed to assess the composition of the
accuracy distributed array temperature rock strata during a drilling operation.
sensing, optical distributed pressure
The light reflected through a fiber optic
sensing, sand detection, and distributed
cable can be sensed with a high degree of
strain (e.g. for riser monitoring), are just a
accuracy over great distances with little
few of the new generation of Fiber Optic
distortion. The stability and predictability of
sensing systems.
the properties drive its use to sense many
The utility of Fiber Optic sensors is a physical properties. The properties imparted
product of using light to sense and report on the reflected light are easily quantified
conditions. In general, light is transmitted and the composition can be classified by
down the fiber optic cable. As the light comparison and contrast. A simple graphic
travels down the fiber the environmental example of this principle is shown Figure
conditions experienced by the cable will 11: Chemical Sensing42
affect the physical properties of the cable.
The change in properties of the cable will
impart conditions and characteristics on the
light that is returned to the origination point
of the cable. The returned light properties
are sensed and reported.
Transmitting light down the Fiber Optic
cable to generate a return allows many
different methods to analyze the properties 42
Figure 11: Chemical Sensing
of the returned light. It also allows one Fiber
Optic cable to be used to collect data along Limitations of Fiber optics
the entire length. The cable has shown the
ability to collect data from points along its The use of fiber optics in the industry is in
length at intervals as small as 0.5 meters. its infancy. It shows promise to become a
standard technology for gathering data on
Chemical composition exploration and production throughout the
oil and gas industry. The ability to sense
The novel use of fiber optic technology to
and report data that has been previously
sense that composition has only recently
unavailable or too costly to collect will have
been discovered. The refractive and
a large, positive impact on the ability to
reflective nature of certain chemicals in a
detect potential failures. There are
well are known physical properties that can
limitations that fiber optics should be
be sensed and reported. The ability to use
acknowledged in their use. Measurement of
the sensed property to classify the chemical

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 138


visual conditions, corrosion, low frequency (FBG) based Pressure and Temperature
vibrations, geographic position, and time are sensors, permanent Distributed
best performed with different sensors suited Temperature Sensing (DTS), Single- and
to those parameters. Multiphase Flowmeters, and Seismic
sensors.42
The largest hurdle for fiber optic systems is
the reliability of the connector for the tubing FBG is a simple, robust, linear, repeatable
that carries the fiber optic cable. The wet- and absolute sensor. Making it ideal for long
mate connector for downhole completions term subsea measurements. There are
with multi trip installation or upper many applications of FBG that will produce
completion equipment that needs to be different measurements from the same
replaced frequently has reliability issues. To sensor.
properly transmit the reflected light the
It can be considered as a linear optical
connection of the fiber optic cable must be
strain gauge responsive only to linear axial
mated with a high degree of quality. The
strain (i.e. strain along its own axis). The
constant connecting and disconnecting of
measurement of a strain gauge is very
equipment seriously degrades the quality of
useful in drill pipe measurements. Many
the mated surface and can corrupt data.
properties of the drill pipe can be
determined using FBG.
Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG)
The state- of-the-art in optical sensing
technology includes Fiber Bragg Grating

42
Figure 12: Drill Pipe use in FBG

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 139


Application of FBG in a drill pipe is shown the cable can be ‘distributed.’ The nature of
below. It is mounted in the collar of the drill this will increase by 20 orders of magnitude
stem and can report many parameters. An to reach 1 Mb/s.54 To take full advantage of
installation of FBG in a drill pipe is shown in wired pipe, such methods should be in
Figure 12: Drill Pipe use in FBG42 place in order to ensure an optimal usage of
the information for reducing the non­
During the last decade, wired pipes
productive time and ensuring safe
telemetry has emerged as a prevailing
operations.
alternative to mud pulse telemetry. The
current lower end of the data rate of wired There are a seemingly limitless number of
pipes is 57,000 bits/s and it is expected that applications of FBG in the Oil and Gas
would be in flexible and rigid pipe systems. Industry. The predominant use of FBG light
The long, distributed environment requiring reflected through the Fiber Optic cable
measurement is well suited to applying allows measurements to be performed
along the length of the cable. The desired
measurement parameters are sensed at
various lengths and reported to the head of
the cable. A practical application of the FBG
to measure strain in risers is shown in
Figure 13: Use of FBG on a Riser42

Integration and Use of FBG


There are novel ways to employ FBG to
report other parameters besides simple
tension of drill pipe. Using the wide array of
parameters available to be measured and
reported when using fiber optic cable, the
sensing and reporting of simple and
complex measurements is possible.

Temperature
The FBG can be inserted in a material with
a known coefficient of expansion (the ratio
of expansion compared to the increase of
temperature). The resulting expansion of
the material will cause the FBG to measure
strain. The strain measured by the FBG can
Figure 13: Use of FBG on a Riser
42 be normalized to the coefficient of
expansion to report the temperature of the
FBG. 49 When connecting the FBG in series material. Even though the material will
with a fiber optic cable the measurements of expand in a uniform manner when heated,

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 140


the installation axis of the FBG is important
since it must be isolated from any strain
present in the item being measured. 50
The entire length of a fiber optic cable can
be used to sense temperature. The ability to
measure temperature along the length of
the pipe is known as Distributed
Temperature Sensing (DTS). An
explanation of the physics of Raman and
Brillouin backscatter that enable a strand of
fiber optic cable to report temperature at
intervals as small as .5m is beyond the
scope of this document.

Pressure
50
Measurement of pressure in pipes without Figure 14: FBG for Pressure Sensing
the need to create a hole to insert a sensor
The application of the pressure sensor can
has benefits that can be quantified easily.
be done at any interval desired and can be
The structure of the pipe is not weakened
moved from the initial installed location to
by adding an external port for the sensor
another location with relative ease. The
and leaks are eliminated. The use of FBG
application of an FBG pressure sensor to an
sensors can be done in a non-invasive
undersea pipe is shown in Figure 15: Deep
manner to measure the pressure in a
water Pipe Pressure Sensor50
uniform pipe as shown in Figure 14: FBG for
Pressure Sensing50.
The axis of the FBG strain is important to
the measurement of the pressure being
experienced by the item being monitored.
Generally, pressure will expand a uniform
item in a uniform manner. As the item
expands due to pressure the strain exerted
by the FBG will be measured and reported.
The strain will be a linear increase
proportional to the pressure inside the pipe.

50
Figure 15: Deep water Pipe Pressure Sensor

The concept of a Distributed Pressure


Sensor (DPS) is in development and shows
promise by using polarimetry through optical

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 141


time domain reflectometry. The high value that propagate at the speed of the material.
of the information obtained from the DPS is A graphical example of inducing turbulence
fueling integration efforts. 51 is shown in Figure 16: Vortex Generation51.
The turbulence is measured as pressure
Weight pulses on the sensor. The distance between
The ability to sense weight is derived from the sensors is known and compared to the
the relationship between the deformations time between pulses to calculate flow rate in
of a material compared to the weight simple meters per second. The diameter of
exerted. The relationship is linear until the the pipe is used to determine flow in units of
material reaches the limits of elasticity and volume.
begins to permanently deform. The use of
the FBG to measure weight is a simple
application of the conversion tables for
deformation with respect to weight.

Sound, Acoustics, Vibration


Recently, very good progress has been
made in Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS)
for hydraulic fracturing monitoring, 51
Figure 16: Vortex Generation
production profiling for commingled oil and
gas producers, injection profiling for water Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems
injectors, gas lift monitoring and the
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or
acquisition of wellbore seismic data such as
MEMS, is a technology that in its most
Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP) surveys. 52
general form can be defined as miniaturized
Fiber Optic cable provides better response mechanical and electro-mechanical
to acoustics and vibrations in the higher elements (i.e., devices and structures) that
frequencies. The ability to properly report are made using the techniques of
very low frequencies is inhibited by their microfabrication. The critical physical
relatively small effect on the fiber compared dimensions of MEMS devices can vary from
to upper frequency ranges. 53 well below one micron on the lower end of
the dimensional spectrum, all the way to
Flow several millimeters.
Optical, strain-based, phase flow rate Over the past several decades MEMS
measurements via turbulent structure researchers and developers have
velocity and sound speed of the turbulent demonstrated an extremely large number of
flow is being implemented using FBG microsensors for almost every possible
sensors. To measure linear flow it is sensing modality including temperature,
necessary to generate non-linear flow into pressure, inertial forces, chemical
the stream desired to be measured. composition, magnetic fields, radiation, etc.
Turbulence is a series of pressure waves

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 142


Remarkably, many of these micromachined airfoils of an aircraft and have been able to
sensors have demonstrated performances steer the aircraft using only these
exceeding those of their larger counterparts. microminiaturized devices.
That is, the micromachined version of a
pressure transducer usually outperforms a Use of MEMS by Oil and Gas Industry
pressure sensor made using the most The ability to sense relative motion is the
precise macroscale level machining prime application of MEMS. As such, MEMS
techniques. Not only is the performance of devices are predominantly used for Strain
MEMS devices exceptional, but their gauges and for Seismic measurements.
method of production leverages the same However, beyond these applications the
batch fabrication techniques used in the ability to sense relative motion can be used
integrated circuit industry. This can translate in several novel ways to gain
into low per-device production costs, as well measurements of desired environmental
as many other benefits. Consequently, it is qualities.
possible to not only achieve stellar device
performance, but to do so at a relatively low The device shown in Figure 17: MEMS
cost level. Not surprisingly, silicon based Strain Gauge is a miniature device that can
discrete microsensors were quickly measure movement from a seismic event,
commercially exploited and the markets for elongations from applied tension,
these devices continue to grow at a rapid acceleration, expansion and contraction
rate. from temperature, and vibration. These
measurements are all calculated from the
More recently, the MEMS research and motion of the ‘combs’ at the top and bottom
development community has demonstrated of the picture. The center, dark grey section
a number of microactuators including: and the outer, white pieces are separate
microvalves for control of gas and liquid pieces that move independently. The
flows; optical switches and mirrors to movement of the ‘combs’ relative to each
redirect or modulate light beams; other can be sensed with very fine
independently controlled micromirror arrays resolution.
for displays, microresonators for a number
of different applications, micropumps to
develop positive fluid pressures, microflaps
to modulate airstreams on airfoils, as well
as many others. Surprisingly, even though
these microactuators are extremely small,
they frequently can cause effects at the
macroscale level. These tiny actuators can
perform mechanical feats far larger than
their size would imply. For example,
researchers have placed small
microactuators on the leading edge of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 143


Controllers, ESP Controllers under one
catch-all acronym, namely DOF.
The Digital Oil Field (DOF) is a somewhat
ill-defined, misunderstood and abstract
concept. The associated functional content,
scope of work and terminology is variable
from company to company and vague within
companies. Consequently it is unclear how
to gauge DOF degree of success, business
benefit and effective organizational
penetration. The vision of the DOF and
associated road-maps are sometimes
Figure 17: MEMS Strain Gauge
unclear. With clear objectives, clarity of
The use of MEMS in the Oil and Gas purpose and sufficient business justification
Industry has been growing as the there is a reasonable chance of meeting
technology becomes more resilient to the stated corporate goals. Without clarity of
harsh environment encountered in normal data all is shrouded in mystique and
operations. The small dimensions of the uncertainty.
sensors enable them to be very sensitive.
The Digital Oil Field is based upon data. It is
The small size also makes them more
the foundation for all the analysis and
vulnerable to environmental forces that will
decision making needed to ensure safe,
damage the devices. The installation of the
efficient operation. The collection and
MEMS in the correct manner is problematic
handling of the data is important to ensure
in a challenging environment since it is
accurate data, pertinent to the desired
generally critical that the orientation and
results, is properly managed.
location be accomplished with the same
precision as the manufacture of the device. Data Collection and Storage
Handling MEMS devices as wide as three
human hairs is challenging, even in a Collecting Data
laboratory condition. Vast volumes of data are continuously
generated in smart oilfields from swarms of
Data
sensors. While increasing amounts of such
There is a multiplicity of names for the data are stored in large data repositories
Digital Oil Field, coined by oil companies, and accessed over high-speed networks,
some of which are Digital Oil Field of the captured data is further processed by
Future, Smart Fields, Smart Wells, iField, different users in various analysis,
iWells, eField, and Intelligent Field. For prediction, and domain-specific procedures
convenience and simplicity we combine all that result in even larger volumes of derived
of these along with Fibre Optic Systems, datasets.
Micro Seismic Systems, Pump Off

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 144


The science of collecting data has been is simple. Choosing meaningful data
rapidly advancing in the Oil and Gas requires knowledge and planning. As data
Industry. The advanced physics and passes from system to system it can be
chemistry employed have given new mismatched. Sometimes you have multiple
reliability and utility to collecting data. sensors measuring the same thing with
varying results. This condition has to be
The collection of the data is a process that
rectified.
places a high importance on the accuracy of
the data collected. The collection of Cataloguing Data
inaccurate data is a useless endeavor that
will at the least be a waste of time and, at The decision-making process in smart
worst, create dangerous conditions. oilfields relies on accurate historical, real-
time, or predicted datasets. However, the
Data acquisition and pre-processing deal difficulty in searching for the right data
with issues such as; sampling, de-noising, mainly lies in the fact that data is stored in
removing outliers, compression, identifying large repositories carrying no metadata to
missing data, and time synchronization. describe them. The origin or context in
The application of the proper storage which the data was generated cannot be
principles is paramount to the quality of the traced back, so any meaning associated
data. The use of known database storage with the data is lost. Integrated views of
and retrieval techniques will be necessary to data are required to make important
begin the task of data collection and decisions efficiently and effectively, but are
storage. The database queries used by an difficult to produce; data generated and
administrator will need a specific skill for stored in the repository may have different
data mining the information useful to the oil formats and schemata pertaining to different
and gas industry. Database software should vendor products.
be tailored to the needs of skilled users A challenge to the orderly collection and
experienced with current techniques of oil storage of the data is the practice of oil
and gas data storage and retrieval. companies contracting multiple services for
the well site with multiple data acquisition
Choosing Data
systems that are installed on the rig. The
To choose the correct data for analysis the wide range of systems and sensors used to
goal of the analysis must be clearly collect the data are difficult to merge into a
envisioned. The terabytes of data that can coherent database. These systems have
be available must be filtered by selection the capability to transmit real-time data to
criteria. The determination of the selection office locations for tracking but often do not
criteria will generate data that is useful for include data processing systems to enable
the prediction of reliability. Using data that is fast evaluation.33
not pertinent to the stated goal of the
analysis will provide the same results as
using faulty or corrupt data. Choosing data

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 145


Retrieving Data of streaming data from drilling rig sensors,
intelligent wells, and digital oilfield
The queries for retrieving data are not far
installations enables early detection of
removed from the logic that was used to
drilling hazards and pending equipment
catalogue the data. The use of database
failures, thereby reducing rig time,
manipulators and Structured Query
intervention, and shut-ins.
Language (SQL) to manage data held in a
relational database is well established and a Problems with data include the lack of real-
reliable link in the data management chain. time integration of operational systems and
an inability to maintain accurate and current
Transmitting Data information across all systems and data
The current limitation for transmitting data warehouses. Poor integration leads to
from a remote location is the bandwidth duplication of data and systems, and a lack
required by Satellite Communication of visibility across all monitored assets,
systems. The general current industry resulting in the delayed identification of the
standard for data transmission is once per root cause of problems.
10 seconds. This is a manageable amount
Analysis
of data with current transmission
technologies. The bandwidth is easily Data analysis can be defined as the
exceeded if the data is transmitted at rate of procedure used to transform data into
once per second. The amount of data and knowledge for making decisions.
the rate of data will determine the collection
schema. The industry is aware of the Real-Time
limitations and do not install more sensors Drilling, completion, production and general
than can be handled by the data surveillance are all areas that benefit greatly
transmission pipeline extending down the from remote real-time analysis, providing
well. significant value to operators through
There is a fiber optic network in the GOM proactive, rather than reactive, responses to
that does have the ability to transmit large challenges during day-to-day operation.
amounts of data. However, the network was Several different disciplines that previously
very expensive to install and is owned by operated separately are today integrated in
BP. Bandwidth is available for purchase but their work; both in the field and remotely,
the cost is quite high. continual monitoring and remote data
analysis includes and integrates areas such
Real-Time Streaming as drilling optimization, pressure
management, pore-pressure predictions,
Oil and gas operators have a need to
and wellbore stability. Software models that
process, analyze, and react in real-time to
utilize case-based reasoning and physics,
increasing volumes and rates of streaming
together with real-time drilling and well data,
data in order to improve safety, compliance,
enable immediate situational analysis and
and profit. For example, real-time analysis

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 146


trend monitoring. Advice today is provided healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and other
remotely, requiring fewer personnel at a rig fields. There are very few instances of PA
site. 54 being used to enhance reliability in critical
equipment.
Post Processed
An example of using PA in deep water oil
The analysis of trends over long periods of exploration might be found in the study of
time will require post processed data. The deep sea equipment failures. If the data is
data will be selected from a repository using properly collected, it can be charted to show
the proper query to extract the pertinent trends that would be difficult to notice
data. The ability to post process data allows without looking at the results of a PA study.
much more computing power to be applied In this example the data would be collected
to a problem. It also allows the discovery of on failures of a specific model of deepwater
long term trends that would be missed check valves on Blow out Preventers. The
during real-time data analysis. This type of check valves will have a lifespan based on
analysis is most commonly performed, but the number of applications. The valves will
is not limited to, analysis of Geophysical also have a lifespan that is affected by the
Acoustic data. Post processed data can depth they are employed. Collecting data on
also be used to fuel a ‘learning’ system that number of cycles and matching with data on
can use previous data to predict the future depth the representative correlation can be
reliability. The conditions of the collected graphed. An example graph using derived
data would need to be matched to the data is shown in Figure 18: Check Valve
environment under consideration. An Probability of Failure.
example would be to use pump failure rates
compared to the depth to be able to predict
the most critical depth for pump failures. To
properly correlate the data pumps from
similar regions would need to be compared.

Predictive Analytics (PA)


The use of data for predictions of future
performance is the core principle of PA.
Predictive analytics encompasses a variety
of techniques from statistics, modeling,
machine learning, and data mining that
analyze current and historical facts to make
predictions about future, or otherwise
unknown, events. Predictive analytics is
used in actuarial science, marketing,
financial services, insurance, Figure 18: Check Valve Probability of Failure
telecommunications, retail, travel,

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 147


The graph shows the probability of failure is strain sensor (perhaps from a broken tensile
when the number of cycles is small and it is wire). However, if you look at all the data
not affected by depth. As the number of streams together, you can often see and
cycles increases, the probability of failure identify impending failures earlier. In some
increases for shallow and deep applications. cases, impending failures have a
The check valves used in the 7000’ to 9000’ characteristic ‘fingerprint’ across the
depth show little sensitivity to depth. This different variables that are being measured.
analysis would aid in the decision to use this A small change in one dataset would be
model of check valve for applications at this invisible, but small changes in e.g. three
depth range. separate datasets would be noticeable to
software ‘trained’ to look for these
Further analysis could reveal that the seals
patterns. 55
of the check valves are not performing
properly unless there is a sufficient amount For example, a small drop in temperature
of external pressure (depth). The seals work together with an increase in pressure and
well at the proper depth but the reliability H2O vapor concentration could indicate an
decreases and the probability of failure outer sheath breach, where the location of
increases rapidly with installations at depths the temperature drop could be used to
greater than 9000’. locate the position of the breach. This would
greatly ease the task of locating and
The current use of PA by the oil and gas
repairing the breach, thus also supporting
industry is focused upon predicting reservoir
the ROV search for the breach location. The
engineering capacity predictions. There is
challenge in this technique is of course
not much published evidence of the use of
learning to recognize the ‘fingerprint’ of the
PA for predicting failure of critical
different failure modes. This will probably be
equipment. This type of analysis is very
done by a combination of previous
data intensive and sometimes requires
experiences and a systematic collection of
dedicated testing to gather the proper
lessons learned during monitoring.
parameters.
However, the potential rewards of being
Cooperation able to correctly identify and prevent riser
failures will certainly be worth the effort.
Correlation
RTOC
Correlation of data from many sources can
usually reveal more about a system than the The RTOC is a central location for data
data from each source viewed separately. collection, storage, display, and analysis.
Most monitoring systems have software to The analysis provided by the RTOC can be
check for abnormal behavior in the separate used to monitor larger quantities of data and
data streams. This could be a sudden large to enable detection of trends over large
drop in temperature (perhaps from a breach areas and/or conditions.
of the outer sheath) or loss of signal from a

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 148


Workflow and timely transfer of information from point
A to B. 56
In the past forty years the digital field
technology has evolved from simply
Management
gathering data to making online analysis
and real-time optimization. The industry also Knowledge Management (KM)
leverages the rig to reduce operational
Important distinctions for knowledge
expenditures and capital expenditures by
management are the different concepts of
applying engineering workflows. The
knowledge. There is a distinct difference
workflows can replace human work with a
between data, information, knowledge, and
more efficient and quality job and/or provide
wisdom. The relationship of these concepts
proactive operation and optimization
is shown in Figure 19: Knowledge Pyramid.
options. However, the Exploration and
Production (E&P) industry are facing
technical challenges due to the high volume
of data collected and non-technical workflow
challenges in keeping up with change
management.

Knowledge Transfer
In studies performed by academia on
knowledge transfer, the largest inhibitor to
the proper transfer of knowledge was the
generation gap. Inter-generational Figure 19: Knowledge Pyramid
knowledge transfer requires recognition of
the differences in preferred approaches to IT infrastructure and organizational culture
ensure the exchange is optimized. Much have significant importance in
research has highlighted differences, for implementation of KM. The IT infrastructure
example in learning styles and will greatly affect the ‘Information’ and ‘Data’
communication channel preferences, levels of the pyramid. The organizational
between older and younger workers. Across culture will shape the wisdom and
cultures, different values, norms, and knowledge of the pyramid.
expectations can present roadblocks to
Decision Making
effective knowledge transfer, to which many
frustrated expatriate leaders will attest. The The concept of decision-making can be
oil and gas industry has its own additional broken down into four main parts:
challenges: offshore oil rigs and remote
 Gathering data about the problem or
sites can limit access to technology we
situation under consideration
otherwise take for granted. Together, there
 Generating ideas and alternative
is any number of hindrances to the orderly
solutions to the problem situation

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 149


 Making the decision analyzed to verify whether trends are real or
 Communicating and executing the anomalies explained.
decision.
The oil and gas industry has been
Hydrocarbon exploration is a complex, risk- advancing drilling automation concepts to
based process based on uncertain scientific increase safety, reduce drilling risk, and
data. Decision makers are faced with improve the overall repeatability of the
different types of decisions during different drilling process. At the same time, increased
stages of the exploration workflow. Relevant drilling costs, available expertise shortage,
data reside in structured and non-structured and safety-related issues with personnel at
repositories. Most data are spatially located the wellsite, have prompted the need to
and are connected through complex spatial provide interpretation and advice remotely.
relationships which make the data harder to Remote Operations centers enable subject
model and visualize. New software allows matter experts (SMEs) to work on multiple,
the regional geologists to outline the play geographically dispersed wellsite operations
and assess the risks and attributes. It concurrently without having to be on
guides them through proper risk location. These centers facilitate the ability
assessment and probabilistic uncertainty of multiple experts to assemble quickly and
analysis of the proposed prospects and collaborate to solve complex challenges
leads. All these assessments are compared without adding the HS&E risk of additional
against the play and regional trends. The personnel at the well site. However, the
risk and uncertainty of volumetric increased volume of information available
computations are handled using Monte from technologies like wired-pipe, combined
Carlo simulation. Collaboration and with the shortage of experienced SMEs to
knowledge sharing features help in reaching quickly interpret datasets, create new
group consensus and reducing uncertainty. challenges.
After drilling, the system captures post drill
Digital oilfield applications have challenged
analysis which helps in identifying areas of
operators and service providers to leverage
poor predictive performances and possible
remote capabilities to aggregate huge data
remediation steps can be taken. This will in
volumes and provide expert knowledge for
turn help in reducing risk and uncertainty of
multiple operations. Focusing attention of
proposed prospects. Finally, the system
personnel on the most important information
provides an integrated view of the
to make accurate and timely decisions
heterogeneous data and offers spatial
requires new techniques. New systems
analytical techniques such prospect
require automation so that risk recognition
historical analysis and prospect depth
and advice can be automatically delivered
analysis. Exploration companies can create
to the right experts to streamline while-
ad-hoc queries across the entire dataset to
drilling decision-making.
uncover trends and anomalies and then drill
down to the details. Using charting tools and New case-based reasoning technologies
GIS analytics the data can be further can compare the current drilling situation to

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 150


similar previous case histories where
problems occurred. This real-time decision
automation enables identification of similar
events that led to drilling problems on
similar wells drilled in the past. From those
historical cases, similar solutions are
presented to avoid potential drilling
problems before they occur. This while-
drilling response provides the automated
real-time connection between previous
experiences and current operations that
reduce drilling risk and ensure greater
repeatability.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 151


Areas Where Technology Can Replace
Current Inspection Techniques
The use of inspection techniques to assess ultrasonic, magnetic-particle, liquid
the integrity of equipment has been in place penetrant, phased array, radiographic,
since the inception of the Oil industry. The remote visual inspection (RVI), eddy-current
practices were originally primitive and have testing, ferrite testing, hardness testing and
since grown in sophistication. integrity services (corrosion/erosion) and
low coherence interferometry.
The inspection of equipment is done to
ensure integrity and fitness for service. The Current Inspection and Testing
physical characteristics are assessed with
emphasis on areas with high failure rates. Visual inspection and testing is currently
performed in all phases of the Oil and Gas
Inspection is one leg of the Inspection, Industry. Some techniques are used in
Repair, and Maintenance (IRM) services. multiple areas.
The ability to provide more cost effective
inspection techniques is growing the Subsea pipelines and Risers
importance of IRM services. The advances
Radiographic, eddy current and ultrasonic
in technology have provided fuel to the
devices are often deployed in subsea
reliance upon IR services.
conditions to assess the in-service integrity
Description of Nondestructive of pipes and risers. These inspections are
Inspection and Testing performed on the outside and inside of the
pipe. The external inspection is performed
Nondestructive testing (or Non-destructive by a human diver, an Autonomous
testing (NDT)) is a wide group of analysis Underwater Vehicle (AUV), or a towed
techniques used in science and industry to sensor.
evaluate the properties of a material,
component or system without causing The underwater sensor generally uses a
damage. The terms Nondestructive vision based assessment system. It
examination (NDE), Nondestructive assesses the integrity of the exterior and
inspection (NDI), and Nondestructive can document the presence of severe
evaluation (NDE) are also commonly used dents. Commonly, when a dent is
to describe this technology. Because NDT discovered, the only available information is
does not permanently alter the article being the actual pipe geometry (defect profile and
inspected, it is a highly valuable technique remaining wall thickness).
that can save both money and time in The interior inspection is performed by a
product evaluation, troubleshooting, and device known as a Pig. The Pig can be
research. Common NDT methods include pulled, pushed, or move under its own

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 152


power through the pipe. Pig inspections can Reservoir engineering
be performed to assess the following
With high resolution CT, the spatial
conditions:
distribution of the pore network in a drilling
 Severity of wax and other debris. core can be visualized and analyzed. Clear
 The presence of internal corrosion. knowledge of such a pore system is
 The presence and severity of important in the field of reservoir
mechanical damage. engineering. With advanced inspection
 The presence of pipeline shape techniques the wall of the well bore can be
changes (upheaval bucking, lateral inspected.
buckling, sagging).
Refining
Testing in the construction phase includes
Inspection is a critical aspect of
automated ultrasonic, portable X-ray, and
maintenance and process management to
digital/ film solutions.
help enable the safe and optimized
Re-injection stations operation of an oil refinery. Tools for high
temperature corrosion monitoring of critical
Rotating equipment requires regular locations and piping, vessel and rotating
nonintrusive inspections to help ensure the plant inspection include ultrasonic, remote
safe working of the machines. A visual inspection, eddy current, digital
comprehensive array of remote visual radiography and X-ray.
inspection, eddy current systems and
unique software tools are employed to Liquid storage
provide inspections and immediate
Storage tanks require inspection to help
reporting.
ensure they operate safely and within the
Offshore and land-based production regulatory standards. Tools for large area
inspections include remote visual
Asset integrity management and asset life inspection, hydro-testing, and ultrasound
extensions require inspection to provide technology for checking remaining wall
assurance of component integrity and thickness and weld quality.
regulatory compliance. Inspection
technologies, include continuous Petrochemical
erosion/corrosion monitoring, remote visual
Nondestructive testing and inspection are
inspection, digital radiography, ultrasonic
part of IRM and process management and
thickness gauges and flaw detectors, X-ray
optimize the safe operation of a
technology and eddy current to inspect
petrochemical facility. Current industry
pipes, vessels and parts of a rotating plant.
solutions offer high temperature corrosion
monitoring of critical locations and piping,

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 153


vessel and rotating plant inspections using Replacement Technology
ultrasonic, remote visual inspection, eddy
The process of performing integrity tests
current, digital radiography and X-ray.
and visual inspections has not advanced
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) liquefaction significantly in the last decade. The
technologies used in the past have been
Rotating equipment requires regular non- used in more novel solutions but there has
intrusive inspections. These include remote not been a breakthrough system that has
visual and eddy current systems. For new replaced the current industry standard
LNG projects, a large number of welds need processes.
to be inspected to ensure weld quality.
Radiography and ultrasonic systems are There are several technologies that can be
used for weld inspection. used to enhance and/or replace visual
inspection and testing.
Compression stations
Finite Element Analysis/Modeling
Rotating equipment requires regular non- (FEA/FEM)
intrusive inspections by remote visual
inspection and eddy current systems. Finite Element Analysis/Modeling
encompasses all the methods for
Floating Vessels connecting many simple element equations
over many small subdomains, named finite
The large investment in drilling ships and
elements. The small elements approximate
the remote location for their operation put a
a more complex equation over a larger
unique emphasis on the quality of integrity
domain.
monitoring. The inspection of these ships
includes: FEA is a good choice for analyzing
problems over complicated domains (like oil
 Hull inspection
pipelines and mooring chains), when the
 Underwater inspection in lieu of
domain changes (as during a solid state
drydocking (UWILD) for classification
reaction with a moving boundary), when the
requirements
desired precision varies over the entire
 Accurate hull evaluation for life-
domain, or when the solution lacks
extension purposes
smoothness.
 Assessment of floating assets prior
to sale or conversion The application of finite element analysis to
quantify the residual strength of the mooring
Manufacturing chain and estimate remaining fatigue life
can predict failures and extend the useful
Testing and inspection of plate, billet, bar
lifespan. A decision to extend the life of the
and pipe using ultrasonic and X-ray
mooring system can be made with a high
technology is performed to detect
substandard material before it is used to degree of certainty based on the physical
construct critical components. principles of the chain and the use of FEA.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 154


An example of FEA applied to a mooring The thickness of the material under
chain is shown in the figure below of the evaluation for C/E can be measured in very
Finite Element Model of Chain. small localized measurement by ultrasonic
transducers. Measuring the wall thickness
of a 45 mile long pipeline ultrasonically is
not practical. Measurement of the thickness
of the material can be performed for the
entire pipe by using a novel principle to
average the thickness.
The measurement principle is based on
dispersion of ultrasonic guided wave
modes, and by using electromagnetism
Figure 20: Finite Element Model of Chain these waves can be transmitted through the
pipe wall without the sensor being in direct
The information provided by the FEA can
contact with the metallic surface. It is
provide insight on unseen stress points and
installed on the outer pipe wall to produce
critical fracture areas. The colors on the
real-time wall thickness information – not as
FEA can correspond to areas of high stress.
a spot measurement, but as a unique
As shown above the red areas are predicted
average path-wall thickness. With several
areas of high pressure and therefore the
successful installations above the water
design can be modified to accept the
line, the technology has now also been
additional load.
made available for subsea installation. The
Using FEA can reduce the need for visual limitations for measurement and for
inspections by providing a more reliable reporting are still being explored.
product. An existing design can be analyzed
to pinpoint failure areas. The knowledge of Distributed Sensors
failure points is then used to influence The use of distributed sensors has been
procedures by avoiding usage of equipment used sporadically to replace inspection
in a manner that increases risk of failure. methods. The use of Fiber optic cable has
FEA can increase reliability and accelerated the concept of using data from
predictability which will have a related an array of distributed measurement
increase in safety to humans and the locations. 52
environment.
The distributed sensor will allow the
Corrosion Erosion (C/E) Monitor development of a trend to be modeled. A
prediction of the future movements of the
Corrosion and erosion will decrease the
trend can be made and the need for
amount of material in a structure or pipeline.
inspections and testing can be reduced or
The C/E can occur on the inside or outside
targeted to specific areas.
of the pipeline but generally occurs on the
outside of structure and vessels.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 155


An example of using a distributed sensor by Pigs during evaluation of the interior of
would be to use Fiber Optic cable along the long sections of pipe where it is not feasible
length of a well pipe. The sensing of the to bring a large power supply for the laser.
pressure along the length of the well can The movement of large equipment around a
provide a log of pressure versus depth. If congested rig floor is checked and
the pressure at a depth is reported to be monitored using lasers to ensure proper
outside the alarm limits for that section, an clearance during movements.
inspection can be made for only the areas
where the pressure exceeded the alarms.
Also, if the pressure was shown to have a
sharp decrease, the pipe would need to be
inspected only at the depth where the
pressure decrease is occurring.

Visual Inspection
Vision systems employed by AUV and
remote vision indicators have been using
increasingly sensitive recognition software
that can be post-processed to enhance
clarity and allow automated pattern
recognition software to detect abnormalities.

Laser
The use of lasers to produce two
dimensional (2D) and three dimensional
(3D) representations has slowly begun to be
introduced into the oil and gas industry. The
use of a laser as a tool to generate a
composite picture of a critical piece of
equipment has accelerated with the
advancement of computing techniques to
allow greater resolution of the returned
signal.
The application of the laser to smaller areas
has been enabled by reducing the size of
the power supply required to produce a
useful intensity of the laser. The small size
and low power consumption of lasers has
allowed them to be used for measurements

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 156


Conclusion

The recent innovations in sensor connection between strands of fiber optic


technologies have created a unique cable is critical and is very easily disturbed
opportunity for the oil and gas industry to by violent conditions and environments.
enter a new era of reliability for critical
Modern sensors have the potential to
equipment. Using analysis and tools to help
increase the reliability of all equipment used
with data overload, the data being made
in the oil and gas industry. Giving operators
available by new sensors will allow
the ability to better see current operating
decisions to be made with a smaller margin
states and predict future conditions. The
of uncertainty. Currently, there is a fair
challenge to implementation for the new
amount of ‘artistry’ applied to the decisions
sensors will be that the collection of larger
in oil exploration. Among other factors, the
amounts of data will also require new,
intense amount of human interaction
modern methods of data storage,
required when making decisions on future
transmission and analysis. The amount of
conditions or performance is a result of a
data currently being recorded is a small
lack of information from the wellbore or
subset of the total amount of data available
other areas in the production chain. And
as data handling pipelines and storage
while the exploration and production areas
centers are not configured for the large
may be able to deliver products without the
volume of complex interrelated data.
very latest technology advances, operations
can proceed more efficiently and with fewer The new sensors, and the ability to properly
incidents and accidents with improved use the data provided, can replace many of
sensor technology and modeling systems. the current labor intensive inspection
methods. The removal of the human from
The fiber optic cable has shown the ability
dangerous inspection environments and the
to provide data not previously available. The
ability to make accurate, data centric,
unique properties of light transmitted and
decisions has the potential to increase
reflected in the cable gives the analyst a
safety and protect the environment. The
new tool to collect information on conditions
human will remain in the loop as a manager
that provide valuable insight into the current
and decision maker.
conditions. The cable can be reliably used
in lengths up to 5 miles for single mode
usage. The ability to act as a distributed
sensor is a powerful feature that gives an
instantaneous picture of large areas under
hostile conditions. However, the cable has
limitations and cannot be used in all areas
of oil and gas exploration and production.
One of the limitations being that the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 157


CHAPTER 6 - (Task 7) Assessment of
Automation Technologies Impacts on
Human and Environmental Safety,
Efficiency Improvements, and Cost

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 158
Chapter Summary

Automation in drilling and completion sophisticated sensors. Automation of the


operations is coming quickly. Its rapid difficult and dangerous tasks in the oil and
adoption creates a divide in the industry gas industry is opening the door to drilling
between those companies able to ‘risky’ wells by improving the ability to
justify/afford automation and the companies closely control critical parameters. At the
clinging to the drilling practices of 30 years same time, the expansion and advances in
ago. Advances in control and automation of automation enable it to be applied in an
the whole drilling and completion processes every expanding array of tasks and
will improve safety, performance, quality, environments.
reliability, consistency and interoperability.
And while the primary driver of change in
Progressive application of automation will
regards to sensors, data and automation
also create shifts in skills and
may be the immense financial benefits that
competencies, and transform the role of the
accrue with operational efficiency, these
driller, rig crew, and service specialists
gains are also accompanied by an increase
along the way. Advances in automation are
in safety and environmental protection. And
being made on multiple fronts today, and
with the corollary increase in safety, the
many lessons are available from its
reduced accident rate will also positively
adoption in other industries and the
affect the bottom line.
transformation it afforded in the 1990s.
Industry representatives collectively agreed
that there will be a big jump forward in
automation of well construction in the next 5
to 10 year time frame. Early adopters will
likely progress when the vocal proponents
of automation obtain funding for pilot
projects. The primary application of
autonomous systems will occur on multi well
land locations where the drilling machines
will become purpose designed for stages of
the well construction operation.
Interoperable systems will become plug-
and-play; overall program management will
be provided by remote control centers. This
could occur within the next five years.
A new era in drilling is being ushered in by
automation and the increased use of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 159


Introduction

The requirements for this paper are to appropriate have seen small, simple
provide an assessment of the current systems that have been challenged by the
automation principles and the automation diverse nature of tasks and the challenging
available to the oil and gas industry. This environment. In these applications, the
paper details the impacts on human, introduction of automated systems has put
environmental safety, efficiency as well as emphasis on the quality and robustness of
improvements and the cost to industry. the sensors to provide reliable data for
control and monitoring.
Task 7: Perform assessment of

automation technologies and their


The need for automation is being driven by
impacts on human and environmental
difficulty in tightly controlling critical
safety, efficiency improvements, and
parameters during drilling operations for
cost to industry.
extremely deep wells. The ‘easy’ wells have
been drilled and the remaining prospects
The old focus on using automation simply to are more challenging to drill efficiently and
increase productivity and reduce costs was safely. The challenging reservoirs onshore
seen by the auto industry to be short­ and offshore are now being considered due
sighted, because of the necessary to to a lack of locations that are easily
provide a skilled workforce to make repairs justifiable on a basis of return on
to and manage the machinery. Moreover, investment.
the initial costs of automation were high and Drilling complexity can be more pronounced
often could not be recovered by the time in off-shore drilling. Challenges to
entirely new manufacturing processes deepwater drilling programs often include
replaced the old. Japan's ‘robot junkyards’ narrow, shifting, and relatively unknown
were once world famous in the drilling windows of mud weight margin
manufacturing industry. between formation pressure and fracture
Automation is now often applied primarily to gradient, kick-loss scenarios, risk of
increase quality in the manufacturing differentially stuck pipe, and wellbore
process. For example, internal combustion instability. In addition, routine borehole
engine pistons used to be installed strengthening operations and wellbore
manually. This is rapidly being transitioned instability contribute to drilling window
to automated machine installation, because uncertainty. And many deepwater wells
the error rate by a human for manual qualify as high pressure, high temperature
installment was around 1-1.5%, but has (HPHT). Which adds complication in that
been reduced to 0.00001% with automation. the potentially serious well control incident
rate for HPHT wells are 10 times the rate for
In the Oil and Gas Industry, automation is
normal pressure, normal temperature
beginning to be accepted into areas where it
(NPNT) wells.41, 57
is suitable. The places where automation is

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 160


Automation in the exploration for oil and gas
has begun to be realized as an avenue for
drilling high risk wells with more control to
enhance safety. It is also being promoted
for wells that were previously too costly due
to the inefficient means used to control the
drill string and fluids.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 161


Definition of Automation

Automation has many definitions depending been introduced, such as retail, mining,
upon the source. In general, it is the use of highway systems, waste management and
machines, control systems and information home automation.
technologies to optimize productivity in the
production of goods and delivery of Mechanization
services. A common incentive for applying Mechanization provides human operators
automation is to realize economies of scale with machinery to assist them with the
and predictable quality levels through muscular requirements of work. The
increased productivity, and/or quality Industrial Revolution was made possible by
beyond that possible with current human the introduction of mechanical equipment. A
labor levels. representative list of mechanized equipment
Automation is a step beyond mechanization. in use includes metal cutting machines,
The metrics of improved productivity are forges and presses, turbine generators,
relatively easy to quantify and catalog. electric motors, trucks, tractors, harvesters,
There are also definitive health and safety weaving looms, and power shovels.
benefits to using automated systems; Agriculture was one of the first areas to
however, sometimes the improvements in introduce mechanization and it continues to
safety don’t have units of measure and are employ mechanization at almost every step
harder to calculate. The removal of a human of the process. A weaving loom shown in
from a dangerous environment can be Figure 21: Weaving Loom is an example of
compared to historical values to show the mechanization and replaced hundreds of
decrease in human injuries and thereby an workers.
increase in safety. The reduced error rate
can be quantified and shows a direct
correlation to increased safety levels.
Automation greatly decreases the need for
human sensory and mental requirements for
conducting highly repetitive tasks while at
the same time increasing load capacity,
speed, and repeatability. Automation plays
an increasingly important role in the world
economy and in daily experience.
58
Figure 21: Weaving Loom
There are many applications for automation
in today’s society. The complete list would An extreme example of mechanization is
be too lengthy for this study. There are very extremely large excavating equipment
few industries where automation has not shown in Figure 22: Excavator.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 162


Figure 22: Excavator Figure 24: Tongs
Two examples of mechanization of an oil The use of high-output methods of
and gas industry task are the pumpjack mechanization of production in the oil and
shown in Figure 23: Pumpjack and the gas fields of Russia fostered an increase in
make-up / break-out tongs shown in Figure the extraction of petroleum and gas and a
24: Tongs. rise in their share of the world’s fuel
balance. In oil fields, powerful drilling
equipment (including rigs for drilling deep
wells) is in use and multiple hydraulic drilling
rigs, which perform lowering and raising
operations separately and in which all
drilling processes are mechanized and
automated, are being introduced. The
equipping of petroleum extraction
enterprises with rigs designed and built for
using automation is continuing. Gas
pipelines with a diameter of 55 inches and
an operating pressure of 1100 psi are used
Figure 23: Pumpjack extensively to transport gas. The
These two devices use mechanical energy compressors and associated machinery
to assist or replace human muscle. The have been designed to operate with
pumpjack operates without human minimum human interaction. As a result of
interaction but the tongs need intense the introduction of integrated mechanization
human physical interaction. Both are and automation, the compressor stations of
representative of places where automation gas pipelines built in the arctic and other
can be implemented to varying degrees with inaccessible regions of the country operate
enhancements to human and environmental virtually without service personnel.
safety.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 163


Agent Assisted Automation Moore’s law conjectures that the number of
transistors on an integrated circuit will
The lines of automation and mechanization
doubled every two years. 59 This prediction is
blur when considering systems that are
still as accurate today as when it was first
highly mechanized with small federated
predicted in 1965. However, the use of
automation technology that are ‘operated’
computers by society has seen a movement
by a human. This is also known as semi-
toward game-playing and cloud computing
autonomous operation. The level of
that has resulted in a flat trend in the
automation can vary widely but the need for
computing power of personal computers as
human interaction to perform the process is
shown in Figure 25: Computers and
necessary. Many of the systems listed as
Internet. 60
mechanized equipment and automated
equipment require human interaction to
complete their task. Some do not have a
task until directed by the human in the loop.
The large truck hauling away the cuttings of
the excavator in Figure 22: Excavator is an
example of agent-assisted automation. The
truck has many automated systems to
balance the load by sensing weight transfer,
select the proper gear ratio based on terrain
and load, adjust brake pressure to prevent
skidding, and even adjust the temperature
of the cabin. The truck and none of the
systems attached will operate without the
human at the controls. The need for human
interaction is common in mechanized and
automated systems.

Computer Automation
The use of computers to automate tasks
such as adding numbers, formatting text,
generating graphs, analyzing data, etc. has
reached a plateau. Computer size has
become smaller while memory available
and the processor speed of the computer
have increased at an exponential rate.
However, new uses for the computer have
not expanded at the same rate.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 164


60
Figure 25: Computers and Internet

With the introduction of these devices the capital requirements and the ability to
definition of ‘computer’ has become more increase the bandwidth for transmitting data
ambiguous. from the well site.
The remote nature of the current trend in The use of ‘automated’ spreadsheets and
computing can be seen in the oil and gas graphical software to analyze and display
industry by the use of Real Time Operation the data has also reached a plateau. The
Centers (RTOC). The RTOC receives data new frontier for computers in automation will
from many sources and remotely processes be provided by more sophisticated sensors
the data for monitoring progress, to collect data and feed this data to the
recognizing trends and health monitoring. If RTOC. The bandwidth available to the
the trend seen in other areas continues the operators not using a fiber optic
computing power at the site where the data communications network will limit the
is collected will be reduced to just levels amount of data that can be sent to the
necessary at the site. The timeframe for the RTOC. There are very few installations that
distribution of computing power will be are limited by computing power but have an
dependent upon the ability to justify the abundance of bandwidth.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 165


The bandwidth limitation, along with network Simply put, the control loop changes input
reliability and data latency will have a direct forces to maintain the target number set by
impact on the implementation of automation the operator. A stated goal is more common
where it is remotely monitored. This is in autonomous systems where the target of
covered in Chapter 1(Task 1) of this paper. the control loop is to perform a procedure.
The ability to monitor an automated system An example of a stated goal is to inspect
remotely enhances human safety. If the and record the condition of an undersea
automated system is monitored by pipeline. The autonomous underwater
personnel on the rig there is a limited vehicle operates without human intervention
improvement in safety. The loss of life and to complete the procedure.
injuries from the Deepwater Horizon
A closed loop control system that would
explosion could have possibly been
enable autonomous drilling operation would
reduced/eliminated by aggressive
include the ability to predict differences in
implementation of remotely monitoring
formation structure and to adjust the WOB
automated rig operations.
and fluid pressure to continue drilling
Control without human intervention. The goal of this
system would be ‘Drill the borehole without
The control of an automated system is fracturing the formation.’ The sensors on the
based upon a process requirement or a drilling rig would provide feedback to the
stated goal. A process requirement is more control system that would automatically
common in semi-autonomous systems adjust the parameters to provide corrective
where the environmental or process inputs with higher reliability, greater
parameter or condition (temperature, accuracy, and greater speed than with
pressure, etc.) to be attained and/or human intervention.
maintained is the target of the control
system. An example of a process An example of a simple control system is
requirement is maintaining a desired weight shown below in Figure 26: Control Loop.
on bit (WOB) during a drilling operation. Drilling operations are much more complex.

Figure 26: Control Loop

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 166


The ability for a system to operate
autonomously requires a closed loop control
system. The closed loop control system is a
sophisticated computer software program
that has complicated control laws based on
modeled performance of the sensors and
actuators. The closed loop system would be
controlled by a separate controller that
compares the current state and
performance of the automated system with
the desired state as set in the stated goal.
The control portion of automated systems
has many different forms and capabilities. Figure 27: Automated Tongs
The levels of control, and the associated The use of automated tongs and pipe
sensors providing information to the control handling systems will greatly reduce the
loop, have a wide range of sophistication damage to the pipe and save considerable
and abilities. cost due to the expense of
Process control, or machinery control, will repairing/replacing specialty pipe used for
convert a mechanized piece of equipment extreme well drilling. 61
into an automated system. The mechanized
Tongs in Figure 24: Tongs are considered Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
‘automated’ provided they have sensors to PLCs are prevalent in many industries and
determine the location of the seam in the machines. Unlike general-purpose
drill pipe; sensors to ensure the proper computers, the PLC is designed for multiple
amount of torque on the drill pipe and the inputs and output arrangements, extended
ability to move without human interaction. temperature ranges, immunity to electrical
Figure 27: Automated Tongs shows the noise, and resistance to vibration and
product of a simple sensor and control loop impact. Programs to control machine
to properly tighten a portion of drill pipe. operation are typically stored in battery­
The use of automated tongs can have a backed-up or non-volatile memory. A PLC is
significant impact on the rate of pipe an example of a hard real time system since
damage when compared to a manual output results must be produced in
system. The use of manual tongs and response to input conditions within a limited
human make-up/break-out operations has time, otherwise unintended operation will
an average damage rate of 14.7% for result.
American Petroleum Institute (API) PLCs are well adapted to a range of
connections and double shoulder automation tasks. These are typically
connections. industrial processes in manufacturing where
the cost of developing and maintaining the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 167


automation system is high relative to the an impediment to the operation of a system
total cost of the automation, and where suited for automation.
changes to the system would be expected
during its operational life. They have been Challenges and Pitfalls to Using
introduced into the oil and gas industry due Automation
to their rugged nature. Automation is not a panacea for solving
PLCs contain input and output devices problems. There are well documented
compatible with industrial pilot devices and challenges present for all applications of
controls; little electrical design is required, automation. The aviation industry is the
and the design problem centers on leader in automated systems and can be
expressing the desired sequence of used to predict the pitfalls of automation
operations. PLC applications are typically application in the oil and gas industry by
highly customized systems, so the cost of a serving as the example.
packaged PLC is low compared to the cost
of a specific custom-built controller design. Mode Confusion
On the other hand, in the case of mass- Mode confusion occurs when an automated
produced goods, customized control system behaves differently than expected;
systems are economical. This is due to the in such a way that the operator is not aware
lower cost of the components, which can be of or does not properly understand what the
optimally chosen instead of a ‘generic’ system is doing. Mode confusion is well
solution, and where the non-recurring recognized in the aviation community and
engineering charges are spread over has been indicated in a number of high
thousands or millions of units. profile aviation accidents. As an example, a
Jas Gripen fighter jet crashed during a test
Enabling other systems flight in the 1980s due to the pilot trying to
Automation requires that the system not manually correct instability while the plane's
only control sub processes, but also enable computer was automatically trying to do the
more complex intelligent systems to plan same. The confusion about the automatic or
and react to real-time evaluation criteria and manual mode of the flight controls caused
respond to predictive intelligence in real excessive, and counteracting, inputs to be
time. A well planned and purpose-built made. 62
system will use data/information to enable a The potential for the same type of problems,
‘distributed’ knowledge base. The use of and associated safety hazards, arises in
automation will be a default condition of a drilling operations as a result of the
distributed system that will rely upon, and increasing trend for automation and
enable, other systems and technologies to advisory systems. A simple example could
accomplish the desired task. When data is be formation fracturing with an automated
unlimited, direct human interaction will be Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD) control
system when displacing to higher mud

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 168


weight caused by the driller relying on the Preventative Maintenance
automated system to maintain sufficiently
The equipment used to automate processes
low flow rate without having reconfigured
is complex and requires a dedicated
the system with the new mud properties. 63
preventative maintenance (PM) program.
The majority of automated systems do not
Complacency
have the ability to suffer a failure and then
Accomplishing complex and difficult tasks revert to a backup system. The equipment
on a routine basis will lead to a complacent must have a high degree of reliability,
trust of the system. It will lead to a sense of redundancy, and a PM program to ensure
trust that will generate an environment the required reliability is maintained.
where the automated system will be trusted
to perform the task and little attention will be High Reliance upon Quality Data
paid to the progress or performance of the
The automated system working in a semi-
task. The system will be allowed to operate
autonomous manner or in closed loop
on the edges of the acceptable envelope
configuration has a heavy reliance upon
with little alarm or concern. Another
quality data in a timely manner. At best, the
example from aviation is the crash of an
lack of data, or the abundance of poor data,
Airbus A-320 in 1988. Air France 296
will render the automated system
crashed while doing an airshow flyover at
inoperative. At worst, the automated system
minimum speed. The pilots were
will become dangerous and unpredictable.
demonstrating that the computer system
The accident investigation of the crash of
would compensate for errant pilot inputs (or
Air France Flight 447 off the coast of South
lack of in this case) and keep the aircraft at
America discovered this as a contributing
a safe altitude and airspeed. The pilots’
factor to the crash. The sensors feeding the
previous flying experience with this aircraft
autopilot performance parameters about the
type led to overconfidence and
aircraft’s airspeed were providing improper
complacency with the automated systems. 64
data indicating that the velocity of the jet
Many factors can act upon the automated was increasing. This was attributed to the
system to push it out of the desired blockage of a sensor by ice crystals. The
parameters of acceptable performance. autopilot disconnected and the pilots took
When an automated system is performing control of the aircraft with manual control
on the edge of its capabilities, catastrophic wheel inputs. The improper airspeed
results can occur rapidly when the system readings continued to be interpreted and the
ceases to operate automatically. Proper pilots applied improper manual control
procedures for oversight and monitoring inputs that created a stalled condition. The
must be generated and practiced. The reliance upon the computer generated
hallmark phrase for automation is ‘Trust but airspeed and the disregard for other
verify.’ sensory inputs caused the condition to be
misdiagnosed until water impact. The

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 169


reliance upon the data provided by a faulty Without feedback it would be much easier to
airspeed indication could have been make control inputs that would cause
reduced with practice performed in a excessive airframe stress since the force
simulator with unreliable airspeed. 65 required to make the inputs does not vary
with airspeed. An artificial feel system is
Improper Feedback incorporated into most modern aircraft to
It is necessary to properly design the increase or decrease control wheel force
sensory perception used to regulate the with respect to airspeed.
amount and/or direction of human provided
Systemic Limitations
control force. If the feedback to the operator
is improper, the assessment of the control Other disadvantages of automation are:
input will be faulty. The resultant action
 Security Threats/Vulnerability: An
desired by the operator will not correlate to
automated system may have a
the actual action of the system. An example
limited level of intelligence, and is
of the feedback loop is in the fly-by-wire
therefore more susceptible to
aviation flight control system. A
committing errors outside of its
conventional flight control system uses
immediate scope of knowledge (e.g.,
cables to connect the flight control surface
it is typically unable to apply the
(elevator, ailerons and rudder) to the control
rules of simple logic to general
wheel or stick. Higher airspeed creates
propositions).
greater air pressure on the flight control
 Unpredictable/excessive
surfaces making them harder to move with
development costs: The research
the cable system. At higher airspeeds it is
and development cost of automating
important to avoid applying large control
a process may exceed the cost
inputs that would create erratic and rough
saved by the automation itself.
flight conditions that cause excessive
 High initial cost: The automation of a
airframe stress. The increase in force
new product or plant typically
needed to move the flight control at higher
requires a very large initial
airspeeds is a positive feedback.
investment in comparison with the
In a fly-by-wire system the control wheel is unit cost of the product, although the
connected to the flight control surfaces by cost of automation may be spread
an electrical connection that moves an among many products and over
actuator usually located near the control time.
surface. The simple movement of the
control wheel or stick will move the actuator. Other Limitations
Since the connection is made by electrical  Current technology is unable to
impulses there is no feedback to the control automate all the desired tasks.
wheel or stick on the amount of force  As a process becomes increasingly
needed to move the control surfaces. automated, there is less and less

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 170


labor to be saved or quality replace a human. Until recently, the drill rig
improvement to be gained. This is floor was an area that presented a
an example of both diminishing challenge to introducing automation.
returns and the logistic function.
Automation works well and is easily
 There are fewer remaining non-
justifiable for a repetitive task. Tasks that do
automated processes. This is an
not repeat often may be suitable for
example of exhaustion of
automation but may not be justified by
opportunities. New technological
return on investment. For example, the use
paradigms may however set new
of a robot to deliver the radioactive material
limits that surpass the previous
used for logging a well may be difficult to
limits.
justify if it is only used several times during
 Maintenance of the automated
the drilling process and not used for any
systems becomes critical and strict
other task.
Preventative Maintenance (PM)
plans. There are tasks where automation cannot
replace a human. The dexterity of the
Replacing Humans human musculoskeletal system and the
ability to adapt to new environments cannot
Many roles for humans in industrial
be matched by any machine. The agility and
processes lie beyond the capabilities of
range of motion provided by the human
automation. Human-level pattern
shoulder is not replicated in robotic
recognition, language comprehension, and
equipment. The seemingly simple task of
language production ability are well beyond
cutting hair has not been approached by
the capabilities of modern mechanical and
any robot or automated system. The athletic
computer systems. Tasks requiring
ability required when performing figure
subjective assessment or synthesis of
skating or the pole vault are not close to
complex sensory data, such as scents and
being attained by any form of automation or
sounds, as well as high-level tasks such as
machine. The unique ability to move and
strategic planning, currently require human
think has made the human hard to replace
expertise.
in certain tasks.
In certain cases, the use of humans is more
cost-effective than mechanical approaches
even where automation of industrial tasks is
possible. The return on investment for the
capital outlay for automating a process often
does not justify automation.
Processes where there is a large variation
in the dynamics of the task to be performed,
such as the timber industry, have shown the
limits of using an automated machine to

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 171


Assessment of Current Automation

Technologies in the Oil and Gas Industry

Areas using Automation The ‘state of the art’ MPD for deepwater
drilling operations is practiced with semi­
Automation of the oil and gas process is in
automatic or PLC controlled automatic
the initial stages of implementation. The
choke systems. For offshore applications
business case for the implementation is
where the objective is to drill into narrow or
beginning to be realized.
relatively unknown margins between
Fluid Control formation pressure and fracture gradient, a
PLC controlled choke manifold followed by
The hydraulics of conventional drilling was a gas chromatograph are the tools of
developed over a century ago. The concept choice.
of rotary rigs, weighted mud systems, and
jointed pipe in use today were developed MPD has also enabled Riserless Dual
early in the 20th century. They have been Gradient Drilling. The riserless drilling
vastly improved and have grown larger but technique uses an automated subsea mud
the basics are unchanged. pump that is connected to the well annulus
to return mud and cuttings back to the
One improvement in technique and surface. The pressure generated by the
technology, Managed Pressure Drilling, seawater column above the pump is
(MPD) opens previously unattainable significant and is used to assist the seafloor
reservoirs to exploration. This access pump with maintaining the proper wellbore
comes at the cost of complexity and the pressure. The pump system is used to
need for improved sensors. The MPD well is detect small well instabilities and provide
drilled using very tight tolerances for the data to the automated drilling system.
pressure of the fluids in the column. It is
important to control correctly, and quickly. 66 The need for frequent testing on the rock
formation is a critical component of the MPD
The need for automation during fluid control process. The tests ensure the formation can
has become more critical due to the nature sustain the pressure of the fluid column. If
of the wells being pursued and the nature of the sensors used for the testing produce
MPD. The need for tighter control of the data that is erroneous the wellbore will have
parameters of the fluid column can be seen a greater risk of suffering a formation failure
in the incident rate for Gulf of Mexico oil and the fluid will escape. Another result
wells as shown in Figure 28: Fluid Control could be a lighter Equivalent Circulating
Incidents. The chart shows that 48% of Density (ECD) that would allow a kick.
incidents were the result of pressure related
events.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 172


67
Figure 28: Fluid Control Incidents

MPD has enabled the industry to drill HPHT heave (for floating rigs) and weight on bit
and narrow margin wells with reduced risk. (WOB) are measured and compared to the
A survey has indicated that offshore drilling modeled values. The accuracy of the
decision makers believe that within 5 years modeled values is assessed and the ability
(2019) approximately 40% of offshore wells to make predictions using the model is
will be practicing MPD in some capacity aided by a more reliable prediction.
Figure 28: Fluid Control Incidents. 67 Automated adjustments to the Top drive
and Draw works, based on these
Drilling parameters, increases efficiency of the
Drilling is still at the level of automating drilling process and creates a safer, more
basic functions that either cannot be predictable environment. 68
controlled manually, such as dynamic
Continuous Motion Rig (CMR)
positioning systems, or are better performed
automatically, such as auto drillers and The Continuous Motion Rig (CMR) is a
MPD with auto-choke controllers.61 product of automation of the process
performed by the derrickman. It uses a
The process of turning the drill string is
double hoisting system to provide
relatively simple to model but challenging to
continuous, uninterrupted motion of the drill
automate. The physical values of
string or casing in and out of the wellbore. In
acceleration, torque, axial velocity, friction,

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 173
addition the drill floor and corresponding  Significant improvement in time to
equipment are designed in a compact run casing
manner allowing for fast short movements  Facilitates built-in continuous drilling
to and from the well centerline to enable and circulation by using two tool
automation. holders
 Compact drill floor facilitating
The basic system components of the CMR
automation or roughneck operations
are shown in Figure 29: Continuous Motion
 Reduced power consumption
Rig. The system consists of two hoisting
 Reduced equipment wear
systems (A and B), A retractable tool holder
 Redundant hoist equipment
(c and d), and a set of tongs and slips (e
and f). The grabber, tool carrier and tool Challenges exist in the automation and
slide are not shown. sensor aspects of CMR. Well construction
will benefit from continuous movement by
avoiding swab and surge forces and thereby
increasing wellbore stability. 69

Robotics
The use of robotic devices on the rig floor
has been proposed. The use of robots can
bring an increase in safety by removing
people from a dangerous environment.
They can be used to perform tasks that are
environmentally unsuitable for humans such
as handling radioactive material used in
MWD/LWD. The robot shown in Figure 30:
Robotic Roughneck is performing the task
of the roughneck on the rig floor. The use of
a robot to replace the roughneck is still in
the research phase. The difficulty of
69
Figure 29: Continuous Motion Rig replacing the human is showcased in this
The benefits of CMR include: job. When exposed to the range of tasks
needed to be performed on the rig floor, the
 Personnel Safety by removing agility and dexterity of the roughneck have
people from harm’s way not been attained by a robot or any
 Wellbore stability from constant mechanized object.
travel speed
 Improved tripping speed Robots are not well suited for occupying a
 Avoiding differential sticking work area with human co-workers. In
industries where large automated systems
are used, human interaction is tightly

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 174


70
Figure 30: Robotic Roughneck

controlled or prohibited when the equipment


Figure 31: Iron Derrickman
is operating. The reason is that the sensory
locations in the workspace and the software Automated Tongs
capabilities are not suitable for sensing the
presence of new objects at variable is not As previously shown in Figure 27:
capable of avoiding a collision when the Automated Tongs, the use of automated
conditions change. It makes more sense, systems to replace human operated tongs
from a safety standpoint, to make all the and/or agent assisted tongs is an area
tasks robotic or to make none of the tasks where justification of the cost of automation
robotic. 70 The rig floor is a place where is possible due to the repetitive tasks and
there should not be a mix of automation and the dangerous working conditions. Cost
savings have been realized by removing the
humans performing makeup and/or
operator and providing tighter quality control
breakout operations.
of the operation. Mitigating the loss of life or
Pipe handling loss of appendages is a large return on
investment.
During Tripping the drill pipe must be
racked/unracked and placed in the proper Cementing
position. This is a dangerous job performed
Some deepwater wells have been difficult or
by the derrickman from a position on the
impossible to execute on primary cement
upper structure of the derrick. The ability to
automate the job of the derrickman will placement by manipulation of the traditional
variables of cement density, flow rate,
remove the human from a dangerous
viscosity, and staging devices. Heave due
environment by performing a highly
to wave action on floating rigs can also
repetitive task. The Iron Derrickman®
contribute to the challenges of successful
(Weatherford) shown in Figure 31: Iron
Derrickman is capable of tripping double cementing operations. Automated features
of MPD allow other tasks similar to mud
and triple stands of drill pipe.
management, such as cementing, to be

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 175


performed with greater control and better periods. They are employed to perform
performance on HPHT wells and other simple observation and/or data collection,
challenging drilling operations. light work and manipulation, and heavy
work using hydraulic driven end-effectors.
Fulfilling the requirements for proper
cementing in challenging conditions is ROVs in use today are generally limited to a
greatly aided by the application of an speed of 2-3 kts and cannot execute
automated Closed-Loop Cementing station-keeping activities to ‘hover’ in heavy
technique. The data acquired when using currents. They have been outfitted with
an MPD system provides additional and increasingly sophisticated forward looking
more accurate information for improved sonar sensors and modern navigation
onsite and offsite decision making during systems. 71
cementing operations. The data also
provides inputs for improved hydraulics Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (AUV)
modeling, cementing, and wellbore behavior The use of the AUV for undersea inspection
predictions. Additionally, the data could be a requires a closed loop control system that
candidate to serve as documentation for operates without need for constant operator
regulatory compliance purposes.61 input. The AUV is used for broad area
In addition, the advances in Riserless Dual surveillance and feature recognition. The
Gradient Drilling are used to enable AUV is limited by the sensors used for
Riserless Dual Gradient Cementing. The surveillance, navigation, 3-D mapping, and
automated pumping system is used to feature recognition. 72
circulate displacement fluid, spacers, and The AUV operates on a goal-oriented set of
cement back to the surface in a closed loop instructions. It uses onboard navigation
system. The pump system is also used to systems to provide accurate geolocation to
manage pressure to decrease pressure correlate the information provided by the
when the cement reaches a critical/weak sensors.
zone within the open hole to avoid fracture
and losses.61 Oil and Gas Equipment Manufacturing

Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) Some manufacturing operations used to


construct the machinery used for
The use of ROV for subsea procedures and exploration and production are suitable for
inspection has been solidly established. The automation. The manufacturing of oil and
ROV is semi-autonomous, requires operator gas equipment has realized the benefits of
input to operate, and is tethered to the tighter tolerances and higher quality from
control station. They have been used most introducing automation. The tasks typically
commonly to replace divers at depths performed by automation include cutting,
and/or conditions not conducive to human milling, boring, painting and testing. The
operation. They also have the ability to need for higher quality in the equipment is
operate at these depths for extended being driven by the tighter tolerances

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 176


required by the increase in high risk /
difficult wells. The devices and machinery
used to automate processes used to
construct oil well equipment have mirrored
those in other manufacturing industries. 73

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 177


Impacts on Human Safety

Human safety can be positively influenced the tasks with little or no physical human
by introducing mechanization to aid in the interaction/presence.
physical requirements of the task, removing
The most hazardous and physically
the operator from the dangerous
demanding jobs in the industry are the
environment, or by removing/mitigating the
roughneck and derrickman. These jobs
hazards.
present great risk from close interaction with
The study of Human-Machine Interaction heavy machinery and large physical forces.
(HMI) is a well-established field and will not The injury rate is high and well known as
be expanded upon in this study. one of the world’s most dangerous jobs.
Removing the rig workers from close
Mechanization interaction with hazardous conditions is
Mechanization is beginning to reach the being done by some companies.
limits of physics and space constraints. The iron roughneck and iron derrickman are
There are very few instances where there is products available in various forms of
not enough hydraulic power to complete a automation and control. In a partially
task using a tool handled by a human. The automated system the operator moves the
use of mechanization paved the way for automated tongs into place for the make­
automation. up/break-out operation. The fully automated
In some instances of mechanization the systems use a vision system to guide the
application of forces larger than possible by automated tongs to the drill pipe seam.
human physical exertion creates an unsafe The oil industry has reported a reduction in
environment. The ability to apply great force experienced crews to operate the drilling
requires positive control and the ability to rigs. When oil was hovering around $10 per
monitor the application of force. Lack of bbl there were few wells being drilled and
attention to the application of force can end many skilled workers went to other
in disastrous results. Using a control loop on industries. As prices have risen, and drilling
a mechanized task provides the necessary has increased, this has left a deficit in
monitoring. experienced labor. An iron roughneck or
iron derrickman has the ability to greatly
Removing the Operator
reduce the need for skilled workers by
Removing the operator is an obvious replacing the most dangerous positions with
method of improving safety if the automated systems. 74
environmental hazards cannot be mitigated
or removed. The operator can be moved to Removing the Hazard
a remote location or can be eliminated by For some oil and gas applications it is not
using automated systems that can perform feasible to remove the operator. When this

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 178


is the case automation can be used to Real time monitoring systems are being
decrease or remove the hazard. developed that ensure human and
automated actions are effective and
Information overload auditable. Furthermore, the selection of the
During Critical, high intensity drilling level of automation and skilled operator
operations the driller can be overloaded with interaction must be defined based on the
inputs and tasks. Automation can solve the work system being automated. Critically, the
information overload by reducing the operator workspace must be designed
physical workload and changing the nature ergonomically to reduce stress from
of the work to that of manager/monitor. environmental effects and to display
effectively the information required through
A well-established principle of aviation is content/layout enhancements.
that automation of physical tasks allows the
pilot to perform more cognitive tasks. As Human Error
shown in Figure 32 - Physical and Cognitive
Human error can be physical errors or
Workload there is an inversely proportional
cognitive errors. Automation of physical and
relationship between physical tasks and
mental tasks has shown to reduce or
being able to provide mental acuity.
eliminate human error. Below is list of six
Automation in aviation has greatly increased
common, but by no means exclusive,
safety by allowing the pilot to spend more
causes of human error and how automation
time managing and planning and less time
can eliminate/mitigate the errors.
reacting.
Stress induced fatigue – replacement of a
human by automating tasks that are
repetitive and/or hazardous
Poor coordination/communication
between team members – Automation
equipment has a specific and well defined
communication and coordination protocol
that must be employed to create order from
Figure 32 - Physical and Cognitive Workload the chaos of the tasks and/or environment.
The human factors impact on automation is Inadequate operating procedures –
multi-faceted. Many of the issues relate to Automated processes follow established
the human interaction with an automated procedures with little deviation. The
system and how condition information is challenge for automated systems is to have
relayed to the human in such a manner that the correct procedures programmed.
an appropriate response follows. A
Insufficient/inadequate information –
significant amount of expertise is available
to identify and address the issues as an Automated systems require and provide
automated system is developed. great amounts of information. The skill of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 179


the developer in creating the automated
system will fill the information void.
Information overload – Automated
systems create usable representations to
the human that eliminate information
overload
Insufficient training and/or practice –
Automated systems do not require
training. 75 Although one of the main
objectives of automation is to reduce human
error, several studies suggest that the
introduction of automated decision aids
does not unilaterally lead to a reduction in
human error, but instead often simply
creates opportunities for a different class of
errors.63

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 180


Impacts on Environmental Safety

An accident free oil and gas industry will not and centrifuges has decreased the amount
have an adverse environmental impact. The of environmentally unfriendly products from
disposal of substances used by, or created the drilling operation. The centrifuge is used
by the oil and gas industry that are harmful to remove fine drilled solids from the drilling
for the environment is covered by various fluid. This prevents the volume of drilled
regulations. Under normal conditions the solids from exceeding the threshold level in
industry is environmentally neutral. If there the drilling fluid that can cause an incident
are no accidents/incidents there will be no and/or damage rig equipment. The common
detrimental effect on the environment. As method of correcting the drilling fluid to
previously noted, the proper application of drilled solids ratio is to dump fluid after
automation will reduce the number of diluting. The desired ratio between drilling
accidents/incidents. fluids and drilled solids is 95:5. Therefore,
for every barrel of drilled solids an
There are several areas where automation
automated centrifuge removes, it eliminates
has already shown a positive reduction in
the need for roughly 19 supplemental
incidents and thereby a reduction in
barrels of drilling fluid. The use of
environmental impact.
automated dryers further reduces
Drilling Tools environmental impact by returning base fluid
back into the mud system for re-use. 76
Automated drilling tools for wellbore
stabilization create fewer cuttings during the Computer modeling
drilling operation. When a drill bit deviates
The ability to accurately predict the drilling
from the desired path the driller must reduce
conditions greatly reduces the risk of
the pressure applied to the drill bit and
incidents. Encountering unforeseen
make frequent adjustments to the bottom
conditions that could cause instability in the
hole assembly (BHA) to steer the bit back
wellbore will increase the risk of an
on the desired course. These corrective
accident/incident that will endanger the
actions consume valuable drilling time and
crews and will harm the environment. To
result in efficiency losses as high as 200%.
this end, the use of computer automation to
The automated rotary steerable systems
collect and process data for the accurate
maintain the wellbore geometry and also
prediction of the geology that will be
reduce the amount of environmental waste
encountered is a common practice. This
by 30% through decreased cuttings and fuel
practice has been statistically shown to be
consumption.76
all the more critical with high risk wells.
Centrifuges, Shakers and Dryers
The tight control of environmental
parameters by automated dryers, shakers

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 181


Improvements in Efficiency & Cost

Efficiency is a primary product of an Database of prior experience


automated system. By tightly controlling the
parameters to the modeled values the gains The use of automation requires a data
in efficiency using automation are easily intensive approach to collecting and
realized. interpreting the large volumes of information
available. The data can be collected and
Efficiency and cost correlate directly and stored for analysis to build a model of
any gains in efficiency can be directly expected results. The ability to properly
translated into cost savings. model expected results will result in greater
efficiency. And to this end, the ability to
Reduction in the number of workers
construct proper models is often a product
By automating tasks and applying the latest of the quality and volume of data used for
in sensor technology the number of workers the model.
on an oil rig will be reduced. Automation
may cut up to half the number of workers Need for Standards
needed on an offshore rig and help There is a significant division regarding the
complete jobs 25-percent faster. 77 need to implement standards for
interoperability. Essentially, standards have
Automation provides more efficient
been the key in enabling islands of
operation
automation to interconnect as the
As seen with the Continuous Motion Rig penetration of industrial automation into the
(CMR) robotics coupled with the CMR can oil and gas industry expands. These
save between 25-40 per cent of the drilling standards are universal and are available
time required by non-interruption of the for adoption by drilling systems automation.
drilling process. Experienced advanced robotics
practitioners warn that standards can be a
Tight control of drilling parameters barrier to true innovation while endorsing
It has been shown that close control of the standards that promote collaborating
Weight on Bit (WOB), RPM, and fluid flow systems. The level of automation must
rate have a dramatic effect of Rate of clearly match the need for rapid reaction
Penetration (ROP). Application automation closed loop control and not superimpose
to control all parameters at the same time itself on strategic tasking. Graphical system
shows that overall decrease in the drilling design tools are available to assist in the
time can be of the order of 30 to 50% on the development of autonomous control
average, thus bringing significant savings systems. Offline programming can
for drilling new wells. 78 significantly reduce the lead time to develop
and implement robotic systems.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 182


Items not needed incorporated, the environment needs to be
prepared to provide the proper contrast and
Automated systems do not need the
lighting condition to optimize the optical
infrastructure that is required to sustain
qualities.
human life. The unmanned aircraft has
benefitted from weight savings from not The business case for automation is
needing pressurization systems, ejection highlighted by drilling industry practitioners.
seats, graphic displays, flight control It is anticipated that systems integration will
interfaces, etc. that were needed by the enable plug-and-play between downhole
onboard operator. Not including those items and surface tools and machinery. It is
also decreased the complexity of the anticipated that operators will begin to
system and increased reliability. specify automation in their contracting
documents with service companies and
The oil and gas industry can see similar
drilling companies.
savings by using automation to remove
human operators from the drill rig. The
drilling rig without operators will not need
insulation, air conditioning, shelter, catering,
fire protection systems for humans, etc. 79

Cost of implementation
The cost of automation can be substantial
compared to operating with human workers.
The initial capital required for automation
can be justified when the return on
investment is scrutinized to be able to make
a business case to automate.
The cost of the modern drilling rig can be
$50 million for a land rig and $150 million for
an offshore rig. Some of the newer, complex
offshore drilling rigs can cost $500 million or
more. The construction costs to outfit the rig
for human occupancy can be traded for the
cost of implementing automation.
The area where automation is to be
implemented needs to be prepared. Special
structure needs to be designed and installed
to support the increased weight and
leverage requirements of the automated
systems. If vision systems are to be

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 183


CHAPTER 7 – (Task 2) Perform Cost
Benefit Analysis of the systems identified
that details potential costs to industry,
potential increases in safety
performance, government resources
needed for implementation, and
necessary training for all parties
involved.

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 184
Chapter Summary

The ability to justify investment in new value of the downhole sensor is considered
technologies and/or products is a balancing a worthwhile investment.
act between cost and benefits. The ability of
This study is scoped to consider the cost
the government to justify regulatory
versus benefits of automation and the use
mandates is also rooted in the ability to
of a RTMC incorporated within the function
prove to industry that new regulations are
of Real Time Operations Centers (RTOC).
not a financial burden without merit.
The use of automation and RTMC is
To conduct meaningful research of cost considered to have a return horizon of five
versus benefits requires setting defined years. The use of five year rate of return
limits in scope. The cost/benefit analysis also aligns with the usage rate of rigs that
(CBA) can become cumbersome and may are less than five years old. The utilization
not generate any meaningful results if the rate of newer rigs allows this CBA to be
scope is too large. It could also require based upon a higher utilization rate that
more resources to conduct than is shows more likelihood to prove or disprove
reasonable. The scope of the CBA should economic viability. As an example, if a rig is
not include more details than is necessary not utilized or is stacked, the ability to
to properly assess the merits of the realize a return on investment would be
approach selected. The scope cannot be difficult. The CBA will not consider the
limited to a small set of data. A small scope economic principles of future investment,
with a small set of parameters for inflation, opportunity costs, net present
comparison could indicate a false positive or value, tax implications or other accounting
negative outcome. The data set should be applications specific to individual
properly scoped to produce the desired organizations and would require complex
results with the resources available to analysis and selection of values rooted in
conduct the study. accounting best practices utilizing
proprietary data.
The CBA performed in this document will
focus on two technologies permitting a high The use of an RTMC is not a practice that
level analysis of their value. The intent is to has been limited to research facilities. It has
look at a macro scale in order to value the been in use by large corporations
benefits and compare the costs as a unit. monitoring six to nine wells at one time. It
The value of the enabling technologies will has been scarcely used by small offshore
be considered to be validated or disputed by operators and land based operators. The
the valuation of the entire system. As an use of a RTMC can be justified in other
example, if the Real Time Monitoring Center phases of exploration. Using data from
(RTMC) uses downhole sensors that allow other wells and previous operations can
Real Time Monitoring (RTM) and the RTMC benefit the planning process and reduce the
can be shown to have a value, then the cost of bringing in a well. The use of

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 185


automation on the drilling rig will enhance Directing the use of the RTMC principles
the ability to collect data that will allow more can be justified by enabling return on
accurate valuation of benefits while allowing investment to the operators. The use of
a relatively stable cost structure. The ability RTMC can provide rapid returns by avoiding
to reduce incidents could have benefits that one rig incident. Similarly, the use of
are justifiable by economic measurements automation is easily justified by the
of reduction of ecologic impact, production reduction in human error resulting in lower
inefficiencies, non-productive time and impact to the environment and reducing loss
human injury. The use of an RTMC has of life or injury. The pushback from industry
already been shown as a tool that could based on economic reasons will be easier
have been used to avert and/or mitigate to address with useful metrics that are
drilling incidents. general enough to cover the topic and
detailed enough to provide proper
Drilling automation has great potential to
justification. The use of drilling automation
provide gains in efficiency and safety that
and RTMC has been shown to be justifiable.
should not be ignored. A necessary first
Regulatory incentives can be used to
step to incorporating automation in the oil
provide fiscal justification for adoption of
and gas industry is taken by advancing the
these principles where the operator may be
industry in real time monitoring. Without the
too small to realize economic gains.
ability to provide data and control in real
time off the rig, full automation will not be a
viable option. The current use of automation
has been hampered by the incremental and
incomplete use of automated equipment
and principles. The use of automation
requires technologies that are key to proper
implementation of real time monitoring and
are useful in solving problems in difficult
conditions. For instance, the use of the
continuous motion rig (CMR) has great
potential to stabilize the pressures in the
wellbore and decrease non-productive time.
Development of a drilling rig purposely
designed and constructed to support an
automated configuration shows great
potential for taking people out of harm’s
way. There are some challenges to
implementing automation that can be
properly addressed with purposeful
planning.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 186


Introduction

Task 2: Perform a cost benefit analysis


to push in a new direction. Making a
of the systems identified that details
general statement about the ability of the oil
potential costs to industry, potential
and gas industry to invest in a technology or
increases in safety performance,
access a new reservoir will be difficult to
government resources needed for
justify when considering the varied financial
implementation, and necessary
status of all players in the industry.
training for all parties involved.
The focus of this study is the offshore
operator and the direct cost benefits of
The cornerstone of business is the ability to using RTMCs and technology that supports
return a profit on an investment of time the use of RTMCs. The difference between
and/or money. The ability to generate a onshore and offshore wells has enough
financial gain makes a company viable and variation to create error in an analysis if
provides validation on their business model. assuming that the RTMC cost for onshore
The use of complicated fiscal calculations wells is similar to offshore wells for
has become the standard for ensuring an operators of all sizes. However, the onshore
accurate account of the costs can be operator can be examined to provide a
realized. The full and accurate capture of comparison that might assist in determining
the costs of the venture will also be a model the impact of regulations on the medium
for the prediction of future investments. and smaller offshore operators.
The ability to show a return on investment Corporate plans are developed with a desire
(ROI) acts as a filter to remove products, to return money. The return could be short
methods, models from the economic arena term or long term. Each company uses an
that do not add value. It is a ‘survival of the individual timeframe when considering the
fittest’ style of selection. There are many horizon for a return on investment. In some
factors that are used to accurately predict financial climates the need for return may
the anticipated margin on a company’s be five years. The need to reinvest the
product. Each company has a proprietary money in the company may drive a short
method to perform these calculations. Each window for returns. A different environment
company has a different landscape where may dictate, or allow, a long time span for
they measure the profit from their actions. realizing profits from investments. For
The unique composition of each company example, the decision to change drilling
makes a general statement about viability mud from oil-based to a water-based
and profit a difficult discussion. Where one product would expect to realize immediate,
company cannot produce a positive short term gains that may be easily justified.
financial gain in a new market, there could Simple metrics can be used to compare the
be several others that are capable of cost of switching materials. By contrast, the
weathering the fiscal environment and elect large capital investment in an offshore

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 187


mobile floating rig will need to be justified accurately identified after the
over a period of 10 or 15 years. In this incident/accident. It is relatively easy to
section we will consider a mid-range period determine the cost of blowouts, injuries and
of five years for return on investment. even fatalities. It is difficult to look forward
and place a value on safety to enable
The justification of the values in a CBA can
purchasing of the proper amount of safety. If
always become a point of debate and the
there are no incident and/or accidents, it is
valuation of intangibles can be widely
difficult to identify the amount of funding that
disagreed upon. A properly performed CBA
can be removed from an effort and still
however will enable a company’s managers
retain the zero accident rate. A common
to justify an optimal strategy for the
method of finding the limits of safety is
allocation of valuable manpower and
reducing the funding until there is an
financial resources. It can point a company
incident or accident. This is an overly crude
towards a technology with their ‘best guess’
method that does not accurately reflect the
of the possible outcome. It is the intent of
preferred method of ensuring safety. It
this section that the regulator will use this
merely points to the difficulty of determining
CBA to be aware of financial impact of
and valuing the exact amount of resources
proposed rules and to justify the cost of
needed to provide the minimum margin of
regulations.
safety required.
Benefits are valued and monetized to be
A term used in an attempt to find the level of
able to predict if a decision will produce
justifiable investment is “As Low as
economic gain. Some benefits are difficult
Reasonably Possible (ALARP).” 80 The push
or impossible to valuate. The intangible
by the financial arm of a corporation will be
parts of the oil and gas industry can be
to task the managers to justify, or dispute,
identified and there has been substantial
the current funding level in terms of ALARP.
effort to place value on these pieces of the
The ‘R’ in ALARP leaves a substantial
puzzle. The benefit may not be easily
amount of room for interpretation.
monetized, as seen by an accounting term
called ‘Good Will.’ There are no units for this The benefit to Health, Safety and the
term but there is an estimation of a dollar Environment (HSE) provided by RTMCs has
value that can be difficult to justify. been realized by those companies using
this technology. The enhancement to the
The cost of drill pipe is measured by the
financial bottom line can be shown to be
linear foot. Drilling costs can be quantified
from more than simply increasing efficiency.
and charged as days per 10,000 feet. Unlike
If the use of RTMCs averts just one
these examples in the drilling operation,
accident, then the justification for use will be
however, there are no units of measure for
economically straightforward.
purchasing safety.
There is a rigorous and robust effort by
Safety valuations are rooted in history. The
individual corporations to shield their
consequence and cost of failure can be
economic plans and performance from rival

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 188


businesses. Rival businesses would use accidents and thus reduce threat to health
that data to assess ability to seize market and the environment. This section will
share and work against the target company. attempt to reveal some of the signs
For this reason it is very difficult to find, or available and provide an evaluation of the
be supplied, detailed financial data from the potential for regulatory involvement and
company regarding the cost of producing prospective government resources needed.
their product. If the information is made
The purpose of this report is to provide an
available, it is protected by non-disclosure
analysis of the cost and benefits of
agreements and other legal safeguards. If
technology and systems identified in other
this report contained detailed, protected,
sections of this study. The results will show
financial information on costs and plans, it
the feasibility and/or viability of
would not be available for public viewing.
implementing real time monitoring and
Thus, the information available was
automation in the oil and gas industry.
collected from peer reviewed papers,
interviews, and articles from industry This report is not a justification of using
analysts. individual components that comprise RTMC.
The identification of gains in HSE and
There are, however, telltale signs of value.
financial justification of the RTMC system
For example, the return of a company to a
will provide justification of the individual
region to produce oil and gas would be
items needed to build the system.
considered a positive sign that there is a
profitable product to be found in that specific The use of this study is not intended to be a
region. Likewise, expanding the use of a final financial consideration for investment in
technology for exploration can be these technologies by private companies.
considered an indication of feasibility and This study is intended to act as a signpost
practicality of that technology. However, the to point towards the favorable or
use of a technology by one company may unfavorable financial consideration of
not indicate that the technology is suitable directing the use of and regulating these
for all operators. There are resources technologies. Further detailed and rigorous
available to large corporations that will allow study is required to properly account for all
them to make a profit where smaller the aspects of finance and investment. A
businesses would not survive. For example, detailed and rigorous CBA is beyond the
initial investment requirements and its result scope of this study. Such a CBA would also
on cash flow may severely hamper a be completed using proprietary values
smaller company from investing in the new unique to each individual company.
technology.
These signs can be used by regulators to
promote the widespread use of a
technology that can produce a product in a
manner to reduce incidents and/or

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 189


Scope of Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)

Knowledge by the regulator of the methods indicators cannot be quantified when


to conduct a proper CBA provides looking at individual operations but they can
awareness of the financial implications of be measured, or identified, when making a
future mandates. The ability to defend and historical review of the process. The survey
justify proposed regulations can streamline of companies using RTMCs indicates that
the review process accompanying a Notice the benefits outlined below are macro
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). indicators of return on investment (ROI) that
can be difficult to quantify and require a long
In economics, cost/benefit analysis is a
time span to realize. These benefits will not
procedure for making long term decisions,
be quantified in this CBA.
by which implications of present actions can
be evaluated far into the future. The most The list of macro benefits include:
basic way to make a decision is to compare
 Better communication – There is no
the present value of the costs with the
direct measure of better
present value of the benefits. The action
communications.
under review will be undertaken only if the
 Customer satisfaction – This can be
present value of the benefits exceeds the
seen in sales and marketing data as
present value of the costs. 81
a positive increase in demand and/or
There is a cost associated with conducting a return business based upon
full scale, financially pertinent CBA to be satisfaction with current methods. It
used by a company to make a decision on can be very difficult to attach
investment. A complete CBA usually customer satisfaction to a specific
requires dedicated analysis from many investment.
different disciplines in the corporation.  Employee morale – The retention of
Smaller businesses may find it hard to key personnel can be measured on
allocate scarce resources to perform a a long-term basis. The identification
detailed CBA. Experience indicates that the of a single reason for choosing a
cost of the analysis may be less than ten career at a company is not realistic.
percent of the savings generated by  Environmental impacts – The health
avoiding ineffective and costly improvement of the total environment defies
measures. 82 Subsidizing or sharing costs of measurement due to the large scale
a CBA may be a method to enable smaller of the measurement and the
companies to realize gains from safety and complex interaction with other
efficiency that may have previously gone variables. Localized, short term
unrealized due to the cost of conducting a impacts of oil spills can be studied
proper CBA. and documented but the long term
impact is difficult to quantify.
Some benefits may be derived from long
time-span macro indicators. The macro

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 190
Scope this report will not allow inclusion of
individual financial positions.
To properly conduct the CBA, the scope
must be determined to ensure the final This section is intended to provide guidance
product is suitable for the desired level of for regulatory justification and on the path
fidelity. A level of detail too fine will create a for future detailed CBAs. Technologies have
large effort and is difficult to justify the cost been identified that are advantageous to the
of performing the analysis. A detailed continued safe and efficient production of
analysis of a large portion of the industry petroleum products. The systems and/or
could take years or months to conduct and technology most likely to be beneficial are
be very costly. studied in a broad sense of cost and
benefits. This study could also be used to
Limited CBA Candidate Scope identify methods of justifying the mandate
The direction of this task will be to conduct for implementing future technology as well
an analysis of large systems identified to be as continued use of a proven product.
likely candidates for integration and to
Financial Calculations
provide an assessment of value and cost.
This section will not conduct an industry- The use of accepted best accounting
wide cost/benefit evaluation of available practices is paramount in the corporate
technology. The technologies evaluated are world for providing an accurate picture of
made up of many separate disciplines and the detailed value and potential future
capabilities. For example, RTM requires a returns by an investment in a technology.
method to transmit the data in real time to A list of financial parameters used to
an onshore facility. The financial justification calculate financially pertinent numbers
of the data transmission technology is include:
considered to be part of the financial
justification of using an RTMC. The financial  Inflation
justification of the complete system is  Indication of recurring and non­
suggested to be a financial justification for recurring costs
the use of the enabling disciplines and  System life cost
capabilities.  Net present value
 Residual value estimate
Proprietary information  Opportunity costs
 Tax implications
The monetary values presented in this study
 Health and/or prediction of the
are from open sources and should not be
financial market or commodities
used to make a financial decision on the
market
individual practicality of a course of action.
The values are meant to act as indicators These parameters are valued differently by
for possible future detailed study made with each individual company. As an example,
proprietary information. The public nature of the Opportunity costs and Tax implications

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 191


would vary by a substantial margin between
companies. They are important to a CBA
used for a decision by a corporate board on
whether to proceed or discontinue with a
product or procedure with regard to the fine
line of profitability. However, they are not
critical for indicating to a regulatory body the
financial impact of a proposed regulation.

Business Practices
The method of implementing new Figure 33: Rig age -vs- cost
83

technologies is as important as justifying the


value. If the CBA indicates a decision to stacked percentage.Error! Bookmark not
move the corporation in a new direction has defined. If rigs with lower utilization rates
been validated, the implementation phase is are considered, the ability to provide a cost
engaged. The method of implementing or benefit analysis to justify any modification
integrating the technology will have an would be more difficult since the rig would
impact on the future return. If the effort is not be utilized enough to justify the cost of
not properly controlled, the predictions used the upgrade.
to justify the investment will not be accurate.
This CBA will not analyze corporate
procedures nor provide an assessment of
the best way to implement a decision.

Rigs newer than 5 years old.


Drilling rigs newer than five years old
provide a better prospect of being capable
of integrating the necessary equipment to
enable RTMC capability and to be able to
retrofit for automation. The graph shown in Figure 34: Rig utilizationError! Bookmark not
Figure 33: Rig age -vs- cost, shows that defined.
newer rigs can charge more for their A special category of rigs has proven to be
services. Newer rigs are used in this more profitable. The ultra-deepwater and
analysis because they are more widely harsh environment floaters are particularly
utilized and will be able to justify, or refute, profitable due to high utilization and a large
the cost of implementing a rule. The graph difference between day rates and operating
in Figure 34: Rig utilization shows that the expense.Error! Bookmark not defined. It
newer rigs are utilized more often and will makes no fiscal sense to spend money
have a lower upgrading a little used rig with the intention

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 192


that it will realize a higher utilization rate not planned or anticipated. For example, if
after being modified. These factors could be the planning of the well calls for a 7” casing
used as a guide to shift funds to rigs with with a 4 ½” liner, but onsite conditions were
high utilization to justify spending money on different than planned, and a single section
upgrades. These factors could also guide of 5 ½”casing is needed, the retooling effort
the regulator to limit or expand planned to accommodate automation could be
regulations and mandates. substantial and reduce the automation gains
from using a single size casing.
Prioritizing considerations
The ability to operate in extreme
When considering the technology to include environmental conditions is a hallmark of
in this CBA, priorities needed to be automation. The ability of the machinery to
identified to provide the proper allocation of continue working in an environment
study to areas that would provide the largest unsuitable for humans has economic
impact. benefits. Using historical figures, the ability
Tasks with extensive human interaction to reduce the possibility of injury can be
were considered when analyzing the quantified and factored into the benefits.
potential for rig automation to remove the The ability to continue working when
human from the hazardous environment conditions dictate removing the human
and to reduce the possibility of human error. workers will reduce the non-productive time
The cost of human fatalities is quantified (NPT). The desire to keep in production a
later in this section and is a significant rig that costs over $300MM can be a factor
consideration when deciding the most in deciding the economic benefits of
affordable course of action. When automation.
considering the value assigned by the legal There are also benefits from removing the
system to a fatality there is little agreement human from the rig and/or platform by the
from those affected that it is sufficient to reduction in helicopter trips to offshore
cover the loss. locations. The reduction in risk from
High risk operations were considered in exposure to helicopter accidents is tangible
assessing costs/benefits of rig automation due to the large number of
due to the ability of automation to perform accidents/incidents.
within a narrower band of performance The future of automation is tied directly to
criteria. The exploration of high pressure the implementation of RTM. The use of
high temperature (HPHT) offshore wells automation requires a robust RTM network.
requires very tight control of the parameters The removal of the human from the
to ensure all values remain within the environment will only be capable with full
tolerances defined in the planning process. implementation of RTM. 84 It can be said that
One of the costs of automation that proves the future of high risk wells is enabled by
difficult to quantify is the inflexibility of the automation and automation is enabled by
automation to react to a condition that was RTM.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 193


© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation


194
Real Time Operations Center (RTOC)/
Real Time Monitoring Center (RTMC)
The term ‘Real Time Operations Center’ integrating RTD is not studied in detail due
implies that all the activities in the RTOC to the wide array of sensors and
take place during well execution and communication methods available. General
production. The functions of the RTOC are cost figures of RTMC are included.
better described by the term ‘Well planning
The primary focus on this CBA is the cost
and real time monitoring center.’ RTOC
associated with implementing the RTMC;
services include the safe and effective
however, additional benefits of
delivery of a well from start to finish and
implementing the entire RTOC concept are
include the Real Time Monitoring Center
also analyzed. It is important to note that the
(RTMC). Core services provided by the
RTOC definition in this report includes the
RTOC fall into three broad categories:
functions of the RTMC.
Collaborative Well Planning, Predictive
Modeling, and 24/7 monitoring. Each of Assumptions
these categories adds value to the RTOC
The evaluation of the viability of the RTMC
and is factored into the cost/benefit
is performed in a narrow band of
analysis.
assumptions on the composition and
As noted in Chapter 1 (Task 1), the term location of the wells being monitored. The
RTOC includes those aspects of well list of the wells currently suitable for and
planning, drilling execution and completion utilizing an RTMC is small. They are
that are conducted using real-time data commonly known as high risk wells and are
feeds into a remotely located facility utilizing characterized by reaching total depths
real-time monitoring capabilities. RTMCs where the environment is determined to be
are that portion of the RTOC responsible for high temperature and high pressure. The
monitoring real-time data streams from rig analysis of the costs of the RTMC may
operations on a continuous basis, e.g. 24/7 justify using this technology for smaller
as an integral rig team member although operations.
located onshore. The RTMC is a
The capability of current technology
cornerstone service provided within the
indicates that the optimum configuration is
RTOC.
for an RTMC to support 6-9 production or
The cost benefit analysis of the drilling wells. The cost of the RTMC will be
RTOC/RTMC is based upon the use of real- spread over the number of wells being
time data (RTD). The two components monitored. The use of RTMCs for
share the associated costs of the monitoring and/or managing production
infrastructure for bringing RTD to the units is an important choice. However, there
onshore location. The cost of installing and is very little open source information on the

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 195


use of RTMCs for production operations. at one time. Industry research and
The focus of RTMCs has been on the highly discussions with industry professionals
dynamic and dangerous exploration phase. noted that even though these facilities had
The parameters used to monitor a the ability to monitor more than 9 wells, the
production well and a drilling well are unique surplus stations are used to monitor other
to each operation and will change the operations such as spudding and temporary
number of wells capable of being monitored abandonment.2
by the RTMC.
The current industry practice is for the
The number of wells monitored in the RTMC operator to implement the RTMC. Per the
was assumed to be in the range of six on Chapter 1 (Task 1) discussion, several
the lower scale to nine at the upper end. service providers (Baker Hughes, National
The limitation of the RTMC to nine wells is Oilwell Varco, Halliburton) have developed
considered a limit of communication and an RTMC function with limited ability to
coordination in a ‘cell’ or ‘unit.’ The lower support several customers with limited rig
limit of 6 wells was chosen as a limit for the activity. The facilities are not as
ability to financially justify the RTMC. This comprehensive as those of the large oil
study uses the lower limit of six wells to companies. The RTMCs for these
allow a more conservative valuation of the companies also integrate with the planning
financial benefit of using this technology. process and perform as a repository for
When fewer wells are being monitored lessons learned.
and/or managed, the financial burden will be
Highly critical, high-spend wells were
spread over fewer assets and it will be more
considered for this study. The gains are
difficult to show a positive return on
easier to identify and there is more
investment. If it is shown that the RTMC is
documentation on the costs. The valuation
financially feasible using the minimum of six
of the benefits for the smaller operators can
wells then the use of the RTMC will be
be realized through collaborative efforts with
financially viable for a higher utilization rate
a service company to provide RTMC
of nine wells.
capability.
The use of an RTMC by operators with less
than six wells in operation could potentially Planning and Execution
be provided by a service that provides RTM To appropriately analyze the cost and
on a contract basis when needed. A service benefits, the RTOC/RTMC should be
provider could use a facility to manage divided into activities during the well
and/or monitor wells from several medium planning phase and activities in the well
or small operators and the financial burden execution phase.
of investing in an RTMC could be spread
over several companies. Well planning
Larger companies have installed RTMCs Planning a well could require months or
with the capability to monitor 12 or 15 wells even years before the design is mature.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 196


Reducing the time and effort to plan the well Well execution
has direct benefits to reducing the cycle
Drilling the critical, high-risk well is
time required to complete a well and
becoming more difficult. The challenge is
therefore the cost of the well.
presented by tightly controlled parameters
Some benefits of using an RTOC for and being able to quickly react to changes
planning are: in drilling conditions while maintaining Rate
of Penetration (ROP). Using RTM to provide
 Providing a collaborative work
accurate data with very little latency can
environment for multi-disciplinary
mean the difference between completing a
well planning interaction from the
well and not even attempting to do so.
time that subsurface realizations
Below are some of the benefits of using
have matured to the point where
RTM for well drilling in a full RTOC concept:
more detailed well planning may
proceed.  The ability to engage an
 Facilitating three dimensional experienced staff to look at trends
subsurface well visualization for and critical parameters from surface
optimum well placement, well and downhole telemetry sensors
trajectory selection, and asset with the workspace to run real time
development using modern analysis between actual data and
visualization tools. modeled/predicted parameter
 Providing offset well analysis using values.
integrated subsurface and drilling  Delivery of high quality data to the
information. decision makers and other relevant
 Performing detailed well engineering stakeholders that has been checked
modeling for torque and drag, and verified.
hydraulic assessments, swab and  Capture and disseminate relevant
surge modeling. lessons learned and best practices.
 Disseminating best practices and  Assist with data facilitation, after
previous lessons learned in key well action reviews, performance
preparation meetings. benchmark exercises and root cause
 Facilitating the participation of the failure analysis for improving future
necessary local, regional, and global operations.
subject matter experts in
collaborative well planning sessions General Benefits
through various communication To be able to compare the cost of
tools. RTOC/RTMC against the benefits, we also
 Reducing the cycle time it takes from need to consider benefits that are a product
identifying a drilling prospect to of good data being provided in a prompt
generation of the drilling plan. manner.

© 838 Inc 2014


The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official
Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 197
A list of general benefits includes: Use of automated drilling rigs
 Reducing operational costs by RTMCs have shown ability to monitor
reduction of trouble events and systems that have modern sensors and to
associated Non-productive time transmit data to remote locations.
(NPT) Automated systems rely heavily upon the
 Improving safety margins use of sensors and remotely monitoring
 Improving operational efficiency by their performance. Automated drilling rigs
reducing Invisible Lost Time show great potential to greatly reduce the
 Enabling management of complex time required to drill the well. The use of
wells for both exploration and Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) and
production Continuous Motion Rigs (CMR) could
 Becoming more pro-active and less virtually eliminate the loss of well control,
reactive loss of Bottom Hole Assemblies (BHA), the
 Providing effective communication need for sidetracking after differential
between reservoir engineering, sticking and the exposure to dangerous
geology/geophysics, petrophysics conditions on tightly controlled wells. The
and well engineering. benefits of automation are well documented.
 Capitalizing on recent technological There is a growing body of research
advances such as improved IT supporting implementing automation.
communications system, three
dimensional visualization Directing the use of RTOC to monitor high
technology, modeling capability, risk drilling rigs is an opportunity the
etc.2 regulator could consider to tilt the industry
towards a position to adopt automation and
 Enabling condition monitoring to
evidence-based methods of operation
recognize impending failures and to
during critical well operations.
support reduced downtime with
faster response to equipment Current use of RTMC
failures.
The introduction of the current generations
Feedback into the planning process of RTMCs was initiated around a decade
ago. The economics of the RTOC have
Well planning can be considered overhead
been shown to be practical in the operation
since it is not directly involved in the rate of
of large drilling rigs in the exploration of high
penetration. During drilling operations,
risk wells.
experienced engineers look at real-time
data overlaid on predictive models. If there The operators/owners of the rigs are not
are discrepancies, they are researched and necessarily including RTOC in their system.
explained. This feedback increases the They are using RTM to monitor the
knowledge base used for planning and will condition of the rig and for
be used to reduce the planning time for the detecting/predicting failure of the
next well under consideration.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 198


equipment; however, the data is usually with the ability to make decisions. The team
limited to onboard monitoring. members actively communicate with the
members on the rig or platform. They
The large scale use of RTMCs is normally
cooperate and manage the risk with those
the responsibility of the owner of the well.
operating the equipment on site.
The owner of the well is teaming with data
providers to deliver the RTD parameters of The Executive Summary of Findings states
the well to the RTOC. The costs of RTOC “Better management of personnel, risk, and
have been shouldered by the well owner communications by BP and its contractors
with the data delivery company acting in the would almost certainly have prevented the
capacity of a service business. blowout”, Page x. The very nature of the
RTMC could have provided for an entity that
The growth of the RTOC by large oil
was charged with managing personnel and
corporations has not been universal. There
risk through active communications.
are large companies that do not use RTOC
and may use limited RTM. There are very The Chief Counsel’s Report concluded the
few users of RTMCs outside of the large cement job at Macondo was a major
corporations. The main reason cited for the contributor to the loss of well control. Page
lack of RTMCs was financial justification. 35 of the report states “The Macondo well
blew out because the cement that BP and
Macondo Halliburton pumped down to the bottom of
According to the Chief Counsel’s Report, the production casing on April 19 failed to
“Redundant shoreside monitoring would seal off, or ‘isolate.’ On page 81-86 the
clearly have helped in several instances at report states the miscommunication and
Macondo—for instance, during the negative decision to use fewer centralizers was
pressure test”.43 The Macondo Well driven by a decision to not wait for the stop
employed a new, up to date, drilling rig with collars that were arriving by boat and
a robust RTD sensor package provided by causing a 10 hour delay. The use of six
Sperry-Sun and Hitec. In the following centralizers instead of the 15 delivered by
paragraphs, the Chief Counsel’s Report is helicopter was decided even though a
cited for many instances where the use of model developed on April 18 using six
an RTMC may have added an additional centralizers “…predicted that channeling
layer of oversight and protection allowing would occur.” The decision to use fewer
BP to avoid this tragedy. centralizers may likely have been reviewed
by a team at an RTMC and the model could
The RTMC is not intended to be a silent have been evaluated by personnel in a
observer simply storing the data received more controlled environment. Additionally,
from the well. It is staffed and indeed the coordination for ordering and delivering
intended to be an active participant in the the proper centralizers with stop collars may
drilling and/or production process. The team have been monitored and corrected.
that operates the RTMC is purposely
selected for their experience and charged

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 199


The use of nitrogen foamed cement offered Monitoring for these ‘clear anomalies’ is the
advantages, but also introduced risks. The heart of the RTMC function. Protocols for
instability of the cement must be properly intervention by the crew manning the RTMC
managed to prevent failure. Page 111 to provide direction to the rig crew is
states “The Chief Counsel‘s team finds that standard procedure for an RTMC. “If rig
Halliburton failed to review properly the personnel had identified the kick earlier,
results of its own pre-job tests, and that a they could have prevented the Macondo
proper review would have led Halliburton to blowout.” If the crew of an RTMC had
redesign the cement slurry system.” The identified the kick the Chief Counsel report
role of the RTMC encompasses the review indicates the loss of well control would not
of the results of cement tests. The review have occurred.
would have been monitored and the team
After the hydrocarbons had reached the
manning the RTMC would have most likely
surface the crew on the rig did not divert the
noticed that the cement failed the tests.
influx overboard. As stated on page 196, the
Alternate plans could have been made to
valves were set to divert the returns from
reduce the risk of a failed cement job.
the well to the mud gas separator. During
On page 36, the negative pressure test the initial return of fluid the flow was
conducted on April 20 “…. clearly showed overwhelming the mud gas separator and
that the cement job had failed to isolate was detectable by many visual and acoustic
hydrocarbons.” The crew on the rig had sensors installed for that purpose.
collectively misinterpreted the clear results Reviewing the video feed of the mud gas
of the test. On page 143, “The Chief separator in real time, ashore could have
Counsel’s team finds that the failure to shown the members of the RTMC that the
properly conduct and interpret the negative flow should be diverted overboard. The
pressure test was a major contributing rapid decay of conditions and the chaos of
factor to the blowout.” The role of the RTMC the moment; however could have created
would have been to analyze the results of challenges to the ability to remotely
the negative pressure test and could have communicate to the rig crew to divert the
properly interpreted and recommended influx overboard. However, if the rig crew
appropriate action. would have been directed by a relatively
calm RTMC crew to divert the fluid
The kick that resulted from hydrocarbons
overboard there would have been little
entering the riser from a poor cement job
chance of an explosion. The reluctance of
was detectable. On page 165, “The Chief
the crew to divert the flow overboard due to
Counsel‘s team finds that rig personnel
regulatory requirements to minimize
missed signs of a kick during displacement
hydrocarbons and pollutants entering the
of the riser with seawater.” Management on
GOM is noted. However, the magnitude of
the rig also allowed numerous activities to
this flow would have indicated to the RTMC
proceed that could hinder well monitoring.
the need for diversion to avert a larger
“Despite the masking effect, the data that
problem.
came through still showed clear anomalies.”

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 200


National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and Sperry many error points leading up to the disaster
Drilling were contracted to provide a by an onshore team of a highly experience,
comprehensive set of sensors to measure qualified crew working in the relative calm of
various drilling parameters and surface an RTMC would have had a high probability
conditions. The Sperry data was available in of preventing this disaster.
real time onshore. The NOV data and the
video feeds were not sent ashore. “None of Land Operations
the entities receiving the Sperry-Sun data The use of RTMCs by land-based operators
onshore appears to have monitored the is useful for gauging the ability/desire of the
data for well control purposes.” This was the smaller offshore operators to implement an
case even though BP had recognized the RTMC. The financial motivation of the land-
importance of using the data for well control. based operator can be used to predict the
As stated on page 188, “But despite path an offshore operator will support.
recognizing the risks associated with poor
well monitoring and the usefulness of Land-based rig operators have shown a
onshore assistance, BP did not monitor this dramatic rise in operations in the past three
data for well control purposes. Even though years. As shown in Figure 35: Worldwide
each of its working rigs had an operations Rig Counts, the expansion of the land-
room with dedicated Sperry-Sun data based rigs in 2010 showed a dramatic
displays, BP typically used these rooms increase in the USA and Canada. The
only for meetings and the data were ‘not growth in land-based rigs far outpaced the
ever monitored.’” The data was available, a growth in offshore rigs.
center was dedicated, but the functions of
an RTMC were not established.
On December 23, 2009, Transocean barely
averted a blowout during completion
activities on a rig in the North Sea. Pages
189-190 of the report noted that there were
critical similarities between the North Sea
incident and the Macondo disaster. The
report stated “Transocean nevertheless
failed to effectively share and enforce the
lessons learned from that event with all
relevant personnel.” One of the guiding Figure 35: Worldwide Rig Counts
85

principles of RTMC is knowledge sharing


Looking closer at the increase, one region
and collaboration.
can be identified as a major contributor to
This illustration depicts that an RTMC ‘may’ the land-based rig increase. The North
or ‘could’ have intervened and prevented Dakota region has shown a boom style
the accident. It is clearly supposition. But increase in rig counts. The recent
just as clear is intervention at any of the discoveries of shale oil and gas reserves in

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 201


the Bakken formation have been shown to 30,000’ or more. However, the challenges of
contain vast amounts of oil and gas. The horizontal drilling and the current political
use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic football over fracturing have placed
fracturing has enhanced access to these emphasis on the need for oversight and
reserves. The rig count for North Dakota, as control of the well parameters. There have
seen in Figure 36: North Dakota Rig Count been several accidents and incidents that
2012, has shown a ten-fold increase. This are the leading edge of future incidents.
trend is expected to continue but is being
The use of RTMCs is more difficult to justify
hampered by the lack of infrastructure to
for the smaller operator. The optimization of
support the sudden influx of workers and
the drilling process to improve drill rates is
equipment. In 2007 the US Geological
not disputed by the smaller operators. The
Survey (USGS) estimated the reserves in
ability to use a field supervisor across
the Bakken formation to hold 3.0 to 4.3
several platforms also provides recognized
billion barrels. Veterans in the industry
benefits.84 The potential of return from
expect the USGS estimates to be too low. 86
improved safety goes well beyond the value
The current production of oil has outstripped
aspect. However, the initial capital
the capacity to ship the oil from the region.
expenditure needed to build out the facility
and install equipment is a primary reason
North Dakota Wells small operators do not implement RTMCs. It
is a common belief by the medium and
200
180 small operators interviewed that it requires a
160 substantial number of wells to be monitored
140 concurrently to provide financial incentives
120
Rig Count

for investing in RTMCs. There is little


100 evidence that these operators conducted a
80 CBA. The use of RTMCs could be much
60 more common for smaller operators with the
40 proper incentives.
20
0 Government involvement
Potential involvement by the government is
not limited to financial stimuli. There are
87
Figure 36: North Dakota Rig Count 2012 important safety and performance standards
The application of RTMC has lagged behind that can be introduced. The purpose of this
in the North Dakota oil boom and other land section is to analyze the benefits and the
based exploration. costs of those benefits. The list of possible
government regulations suitable for
The physical parameters that comprise the
advancing the use of RTMC or drilling
variables of the land rig in the Bakken
automation is beyond the scope of this
formation at depths of 10,000’ are not as
complicated as an offshore rig drilling to

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 202


CBA. This study will be limited to indicating started with assistance in funding the
gains from regulatory involvement and the services. Government subsidies; however,
financial justification of those mandates. would need to be authorized by Congress
and supported by a political climate that
Large Operators supports assisting private industry.
For the purposes of this study, large The profit/loss resulting from the purchase
operators in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) are of RTMC services could be monitored for
classified using 2013 production values for performance of the investment. If the RTOC
oil and gas. The top five companies are the is a profitable venture for the well owner, the
highest producers of oil and gas and the list subsidies could be discontinued and the
includes Shell, Chevron, Anadarko, Apache RTOC could continue on the positive margin
and BP by rank. 88 it produces. Profitability would add credibility
to regulatory mandates and could pave the
The use of RTMCs by large operators has
way for future rules requiring RTM. The
been shown to be financially viable and
expected return on investment is addressed
does not need to be stimulated with
later in this report.
financial incentives. New rules based on
current industry practices for RTMCs,
Land Operators
should not affect these companies
negatively. Moreover, the regulator would Land operators are seeing a rapid increase
benefit from a uniform application of RTM, in new well prospects. The new prospects
which would greatly aid the regulator’s are creating a boom type atmosphere. The
ability to audit operators in a consistent risk of boom conditions is that growth is too
manner. fast to be supported by proper monitoring
and oversight.
Medium and Small Operators
The use of RTMC by small land-based
The smaller operators of offshore oil operators can be achieved with less cost
exploration can benefit from the use of than by the offshore operators. Even with
RTMC but may not have the resources to the lower cost of RTMC, however, the land
field a complete solution. Medium-sized operators have shown little interest in its
companies have a substantial amount of use. This is mirrored by the medium/small
resources available but choose not to use offshore operators.
RTMCs. An interview with an employee of a
Land-based operators have some options
medium-sized oil company indicated that
available to them that have shown to be a
the company has no RTOC facilities and
challenge for offshore operators. The
very little use of RTM. 89
biggest benefit from an onshore operation is
The RTMC function could be satisfied by the availability of affordable bandwidth when
the well owner or by a contractor providing transmitting data. Fiber optic data lines and
RTD to a service company. The use of
internally developed RTMCs could be kick-

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 203


other similar technology provide data at a practices can be identified by an
rate that is expected to easily support the independent organization such as the
needs of an RTOC. Offshore Energy Safety Institute.
The fiber optic network currently in the Gulf The government auditor also will need
of Mexico was expensive and complicated training to properly assess the performance
to install. An industry executive noted that of the RTMC. The auditor should have a
the network cost over $100 million. Access solid background in well planning,
to the network is very expensive and cost exploration and production. The vast array
prohibitive for medium/small operators. of well conditions and technology available
make a comprehensive training program a
There are operators that have been
challenge. Chapter 2 (Task 3) of this study
implementing newer sensor technologies.
has addressed the details of training
They have been capturing critical
requirements.
parameters of the drilling and production
process. The challenge is to process them
from a centralized location to enable a
safety cell to monitor well parameters.
History has shown that the initial wave of
well candidates will be the easiest to
produce. As the field matures, it will be
harder to locate reserves and more high risk
wells will be drilled. The implementation of
RTMC early in the process of drilling high
risk wells has a high degree of probability
for preventing an accident and/or incident.
Any uncontrolled events occurring to the
well would bring further scrutiny to an
industry that is under a microscope for the
major accident in the GOM and more
recently, fracking activities.

Training Necessary Personnel


The training necessary to operate an RTOC
is made available by the specific company
operating the facility. The training is
company specific and proprietary. However,
the de-identified best practices for RTMC
operations are within the grasp of any
operator willing to provide the financial
backing to begin the process. The best

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 204


Drilling Automation

Automation of the drilling process greatly The following is an example of the


increases safety and efficiency. The ability incremental approach to automation:
to automate drilling will be built upon the
Incremental move #1. The first step toward
use of RTMCs. The removal of humans
an automated drilling rig was to introduce
from the drill rig will require a remote
the automated Tongs. The automated
assessment of performance only provided
Tongs provided a more reliable and
by RTM.
repeatable method to perform the
The automation of the drilling process has makeup/breakout of the pipe when tripping.
been trying to follow a path to design and The Tongs incorporated sophisticated
install machines to mimic human manual sensors and powerful hydraulic motors to
labor.70 This leads to an incremental twist the pipe connections. Most were
introduction of automation into the placed into position and removed by a
exploration industry. However, there have human.
been recent developments to break the
Incremental move #2. The next level of
cycle of incremental application of
automation was to automate placement of
automation by fully automating a drilling rig.
the Tongs by a system that sensed pipe
For an end user to justify the financial location and guided itself to the pipe joint.
investment in new technology, it is The system was usually activated by a
necessary to show that it is expected to human in the loop who signaled the system
enhance safety, provide a greater revenue to approach the pipe and perform the
stream, or decrease spending. A large desired operation. The human sequencing
number of machines used today on drilling the automated Tong operation would also
structures have increased safety and interact with the other workers on the rig to
decreased hard manual labor by mimicking provide information on the sequencing of
the way a human would perform a specific subsequent operations.
task. Replacing human tasks in a ‘one at a
Incremental move #3. The next step on the
time’ manner introduces the automation
rig floor was to introduce a robot to perform
incrementally. Trying to introduce
as an ‘Iron Roughneck.’ The Iron
automation by increments as opposed to
Roughneck is limited by the configuration
initially designing the system for automation
and dimensions of the rig floor. The tools
has not done much for efficiency and
used by the robot were limited by the
savings. It has also been stated that
dimensions of the tool adapter. These are
advancing automation by introducing
examples of limitations on the ability to
robotized machines can further enhance the
adapt automation to a rig not originally
safety aspect and decrease the cost per
designed for it.
well.70

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 205


The introduction of automation in these The gray area of the elevator is the insert. It
three increments was not as efficient as a is closely matched to the dimensions of the
complete redesign of the space and tubular product. The red area is the elevator
replacement by automation. This is due to that attaches to the hoist mechanism. Any
constraints on the space where the change in the size of the drill pipe or casing
automation was implemented, which was will require a new insert to be used. The
not suitable for the fully automated elevator can only accommodate a small
machinery. variation of insert sizes before a different
elevator will need to be installed.
Introducing robotic aid can also have
negative influences on the number of tools Different elevators and/or inserts could be
available to complete a task. The ordered for many different sizes and tool
conventional use of elevators and inserts specifications. The humans performing the
can be used to illustrate this limitation. tasks can easily adapt to a wide array of
different sizes using the many sizes of
The device shown in Figure 37: Elevator
elevators/inserts. The use of robotic aids will
and Insert shows a tubular product (drill
limit the range of sizes available since the
stem or casing) being held by the tool called
tool holders on the robot will be set to a rigid
an elevator. The purpose of the elevator is
range of sizes and will be optimized for the
to grab the tube and hoist it, or lower it, to
size and speed of the automated system.
facilitate tripping in or out of the hole. Every
Once in place, the automated system will
stand of pipe will require application of the
require a large change effort to be able to
elevator while the previous stand is
accommodate a size that was not
connected or disconnected. The motion of
considered in the design. The engineer will
applying and releasing the elevator is a
be limited on the choices without changing
highly repetitive task well-suited for
the automated elevators or the inserts and
automation
incurring a large delay and cost. Even when
limiting the choices for tools or aids, the
automation of tasks can provide economic
and safety enhancements with proper
planning.
The introduction of automation has
monetary and safety benefits that have
been illuminated by the recent accident on
the Deepwater Horizon rig where lives were
lost and a large financial loss incurred. It
was projected that automation may cut the
number of workers needed on an offshore
Figure 37: Elevator and Insert rig in half and help complete jobs 25 percent
. faster. 90

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 206


Automated Drilling Rig lowering a rope with two hands, hand over
hand (CMR) compared to lowering the rope
The cost of a drilling rig can cost from $50
with one hand, stopping during hand
million69 to $350 million for a complex rig
repositioning (conventional).
such as the Deepwater Horizon fifth
generation, dynamically positioned, column CMR drilling offers many different benefits
stabilized, semi-submersible, mobile rig.2 that can be identified and quantified. The list
With these high prices comes pressure to of benefits does not always contain easily
operate in an efficient manner to maximize identified savings. The use of RTMC on a
the return on investment. It could be rig practicing continuous motion can provide
insinuated that the push to maximize a great tool to quantify and justify the use of
efficiency was a contributing factor to the CMR. This can be done by monitoring
Deepwater Horizon/Macondo accident in swab/surge and documenting the reduction
2010 by cutting corners and not in stuck pipe events.
acknowledging the associated risk.28
Tripping Speed
One result of employing high cost drilling
rigs is that the operation of these large The improvement in tripping speed can be
systems is more tightly scrutinized by directly correlated to reduced tripping time.
managers and investors to squeeze out any This is achieved through continuous motion
efficiency that can reduce overall cost and of the tubular in the wellbore. The feasible
increase profit. The large rig is a breeding maximum speed is in the range of 5900­
ground for improvements that will save 11,800ft/hr. This equals approximately 64­
money; however, the automation of the 128 stands per hour. This speed is roughly
current rigs today has not kept pace with the double the speed of the conventional trip
automation of other industries. speed. An example of CMR is shown in the
figure below:
Widespread implementation of RTMCs is
required before full scale automation can be
properly monitored and/or managed.
Enabling automation is an obvious benefit
that is difficult to fully quantify.

Continuous Motion Rig (CMR)


The mechanics of the CMR are detailed in
Task 7 of this report. The basic concept
involves not stopping the movement of the
drill pipe or casing while it is being tripped in
or out. This is achieved by two systems that Figure 38: CMR Concept
69

take turns moving the drill stem or casing.


The concept is similar to continuously

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 207


Personnel safety The metrics for valuation of CMR will be
found in a long term reduction of wellbore
The goal of the automated rig is to remove
pressure issues.32
the human from the dangerous work
environment. The monitoring and control of Differential Sticking
the rig are performed away from the
Differential sticking occurs when the well
operations area. A rig accident will damage
bore pressure exceeds the reservoir
equipment but will not risk human life. The
pressure as shown in Figure 39: Differential
benefits of the saving of human life are
Sticking.
explored and monetized in the “Other
benefits with economic value” section
below.

Wellbore stability
The wellbore stability is improved by
reducing or eliminating the swab and surge
effects of running the pipe/casing in and out
of the hole. Swab and surge is defined as
the total pressure acting on the wellbore
affected by pipe movement upwards or
downwards (tripping pipe). Statistics
indicate that most kicks occur during trips.32
The reduction in swab/surge will improve
92
hole quality by providing a narrow band of Figure 39: Differential Sticking
pressure in the wellbore. The improvement The drill pipe is pressed against the
will be more pronounced on a deeper well wellbore wall so that part of its
due to the large column of fluid that will be circumference will see only reservoir
affected at greater depths. The reduction in pressure, while the rest will continue to be
swab and surge from starting and stopping pushed by wellbore pressure. As a result
pipe travel will allow faster tripping speeds the pipe becomes stuck to the wall, and can
since the pressures in the well will remain require millions of pounds of force to
stable by the continuous motion of the drill remove, which may prove impossible. 91
pipe or casing.
Stuck pipe incidents have been one of the
The value of the improved wellbore stability major technical challenges of the drilling
will be difficult to quantify due to the difficult industry and events typically result in a
nature of measuring the detrimental effects significant amount of downtime and
of swab and surge. There are ample peer remedial costs. The recent increase in
reviewed studies that note the detrimental drilling activity, shortage of experienced
nature of pressure surges in the wellbore.

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 208


personnel and equipment, and drilling in sticking of the BHA causing the drill pipe to
higher-risks areas have increased the risk of stop turning. A drill pipe that does not spin is
stuck pipe events in all drilling operations. 92 a likely candidate for differential sticking.
Reducing incidents of stuck pipe will also
The cost of stuck-pipe in the drilling industry
reduce the amount of time spent drilling the
today is significant by any standard. Sedco
well by removing the need to drill a diverted
Forex conducted a survey of all drilling
wellbore around the stuck pipe. More drilling
problems reported worldwide over a period
time means more chance for an incident.
of 15 months which showed that 36% of the
total was due to stuck-pipe. In the North The extrapolated 2009 cost of dealing with
Sea, the corresponding figure over 11 rigs kicks, shallow water flows, loss of
was 52%. No estimate was made of the circulation, sloughing shale, stuck pipe and
cost of these incidents; however, a recent twist-offs on wells averaging 20,000ft in
study estimated costs for one oil company depth were equated to $2,500,000 on non­
at around $20 million per year with an subsalt wells and $7,600,000 on subsalt
estimated industry cost in excess of $250 wells. It is important to look beyond these
million. The study reports 50% of stuck-pipe pressure related events and realize that
incidents occurring during tripping and an each problem has the potential to manifest,
estimated 36% of incidents related to crew or contribute to, a potential well control
change over. 93 incident.32
The continuous axial motion of the drill A closed loop continuous circulating system
string will reduce the chance of differential is 470 times less likely to result in a Loss of
sticking by not allowing the drill string to Well Control (LWC) than drilling the same
remain in contact with the well bore. well with a conventional circulating fluids
Reducing incidents of stuck pipe will also system. An LWC event is defined as the
reduce the amount of time spent drilling the uncontrolled flow of formation or other
well by removing the need to drill a diverted fluids, flow through a diverter, or
wellbore around the stuck pipe. More drilling uncontrolled flow from a failure of surface
time means more chance for an incident. equipment or procedures. The loss of well
control for an open mud returns system
Continuous circulation and drilling or MPD while drilling a HPHT well is one in 1,600. 94
These reliability values are important for the
Also known as Managed Pressure Drilling
evaluation of the cost compared to the
(MPD), continuous circulation will facilitate
benefits of this technology. The use of these
the ability to better control pressure during
values for calculations is limited to a macro,
drilling in formations that exhibit small
long term examination of the returns.
differences between pore pressure and
fracture pressure. MPD will also prevent the An example of a jack-up rig with a surface
formation of cutting beds in high angle wells Blow Out Preventer (BOP) was used to
that usually form when circulation ceases. gauge the cost savings of using continuous
This leads to high torque and possible circulation. The savings are shown below:

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 209


 Controlled gas influx and allowed for The rig operational costs were estimated to
a controlled mud weighting using be $1,000,000/day, which is equal to
Equivalent Circulation Density from $40,000/hour. With rig operation being
17.5ppg to 18.6ppg. Continued reduced by 6 hours, the total savings could
drilling 48 hours after influx. Saved 5 be $240,000 per day per well.70
days.
 Performed open hole Dynamic Automation Challenges
Formation Integrity Test (FIT) to As with all complicated and expensive
19.1ppg. Saved ½ day by avoiding systems there are challenges to
tripping out time. implementing automation.
 Navigated a 0.4ppg pore/fracture
window in 8-1/2’ section avoiding Incremental application
kick loss through the use of one size
As discussed earlier, automation suffers
of casing. Saved 10 days
from incremental implementation. The
 Held the ECD pressure during
addition of automated machinery to the
connections eliminating time needed
drilling rig is not efficient and does not
to circulate out gas from wellbore
capitalize on the synergies of a fully
breathing during connections. Saved
complementary system.
3 days.
 Total estimated time saved was 18.5 The reasons for introducing automation
days incrementally, however, are based on
 At $750,000/day to operate the cost incomplete financial analysis. It is much
savings are $13.9MM.94 95 easier to justify a single robot to replace a
roughneck than it is to justify a fully
Automated Insert/Elevator automated drilling rig. The true efficiency of
the equipment is realized when the entire
The use of an automated insert/elevator
system is purpose built for the task.
was studied with a simple time/motion
analysis. Three different sizes of pipe and
Speed
BHA per section were modeled to represent
the drill string. The first two sizes required 6 Automation may not be able to produce
insert changes each and the third size results faster than a human rig crew. When
required 12 changes. The amount of time operating at top synergy and cohesiveness,
required to change the insert/elevator was a rig crew can trip faster than an automated
estimated to be 15 minutes faster for the system. The danger with the crew operating
automated machine than for a manual at this level is the increased possibility of an
method. The total time savings could be injury and/or accident.
calculated by: The drill rig crew was matched against a
(6+6+12) x 15 = 360 minutes or six hours. robot to measure the number of tasks
performed. Initially, the human rig crew

© 838 Inc 2014

The view, opinions, and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author(s) and should not be construed as an official

Government position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other documentation 210


outpaced the robot as shown in Figure 40: sticking and could save $2MM-$4MM (or an
Tasks per Hour #1. The light gray line average of $3MM) per well in cost of
showing robot ta