Permian Basin 2017

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PERMIAN BASIN: TECHNOLOGY 52 | November 2017 | "An early glimpse of the automated drilling rig approach is available today with the new abbl drill- ing operations advisor service, which works as a navi- gation system for drilling," Hildebrand said. "Its goal is to industrialize the motor steering process." Using real-time downhole and surface data, the abbl directional advisor learns the tendencies of the motor assembly then recommends a set of steering instructions that guide the bit along the well plan. "It gives the entire rig site and offi ce team an understanding of the current operational state and the go-forward plan," she said. "The fi rst well drilled with an early version of abbl directional advisor was in the Delaware Basin three years ago. Since then we have continued to mature the software and have drilled over 3.7 million feet across North America land to date." When Hildebrand began working on the abbl service, she knew the biggest hurdle would involve more than computer science. Human nature would enter the picture. "Everyone is an optimist when they start to drill a well," she said. "We think things are going to go perfectly. Many times, they don't. So how do we make sure we drill the right well, in the most effi - cient way as possible, every single time, so there are no surprises?" The Schlumberger team focused fi rst on the motor steering process. "The abbl directional advisor takes downhole and surface measurements," Hildebrand said. "It estimates the current hole bottom position. It looks at the plan in the system and fi gures out the steering sequence to go from the current hole bottom position to the next steering target." This is where the human interface is critical. "The abbl directional advisor then gives in- structions to the driller in a very easy way so he can execute them. It gives everyone involved in the drilling process visibility into these instructions, how well they are being followed and the effect of the instructions. Is the goal being achieved or not? We've been able to get a level of under- standing and insights into these drilling oper- ations that we haven't had in the past. Among the prizes rolling out of the abbl directional advisor is shared knowledge. The drilling operation is no longer limited to the talent and expertise that can be mobilized to that particular rig. "We can tap into remote expertise," Hildebrand said. "If there is an issue or just another set of eyes is needed, we can have someone, no matter where they are on the planet, as long as they have an inter- net connection, be able to immediately assess the situation. Far more detailed knowledge as to what is going on can be gained, which provides wisdom and guidance for the next step. The abbl directional advisor provides the rig driller with step-by-step steering instructions and feedback on how well those instructions are executed. (Photo courtesy of Schlumberger)

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