Data - Like the Pusher Loves his (Drill) Pipe

Posted 16.10.2017 13:00 by Magnus Tvedt

Psychology, performance reviews and my wife all agree: humans are not good at remembering details.

Psychology, performance reviews and my wife all agree: humans are not good at remembering details.

This is the second blog in a series of six posts on how we can cut the cost and improve the precision in Drilling and Well operations to still be attractive at the current oil price.

Data and us

Data is everywhere. It's in the well plan, it's in the mud, it's in our minds, and too often they are stored in documents.

We tend to store our data in biologic storage devices, rather than digital ones. With our preference for biologic storage, it would be great if there was a device you could water, talk to and keep in a box with a few wires, a pot-brain. But if there is a pot-brain, it's not useful for our applications. We need to move to digital storage, and love our data.

In the drilling and well industry we are facing complexity everywhere. When we stay two points above the pore pressure, we relate to mud properties, pump rates, hole parameters and performance requirements. When we make up equipment for completions, we handle interfaces for mechanical high tension couplings, high pressure hydraulic tubing, and electronic wires. And when we move into logistics, we allow us to pay for extreme flexibility at the cost of complex routes and non-standardized documentation.

So what can we do with our data if we switch to digital? Well, experience transfer from person to person is not hard to outperform. If you tell me what you just learned about reuasable 1st stage boosters for rockets, and you show me what part of the brain a mouse use to orient in a room, I will probably remember that we had a talk on something about space. The rest is for you to keep until next time we meet. If you don't forget it, that is.

Now roll over to the digital memory. If you tell a computer the link between two datasets, such as mud parameters and hole cleaning, it will remember that, and use that link every time. Correct. Every time. Or until the machine crashes.

In offshore drilling we rely on an organization reading Word documents to make any decision that can surface during a well operation. In addition to ensure safety, good reporting and stable logistics, a couple of defects in the machinery, alarms going off and personal disputes, a few people handle all the data the well produce and make sound and efficient decisions. I have been in several discussions on what data we want to present in real time, and too often I hear that we must limit the amount of data, as it's too much. That is a clear sign to me that we must change how we use the data.

I would rather put these eminent people in an office, and have them write algorithms that we can apply to the data. Then I would support them with necessary experts in the planning, discuss with your colleagues or vendors, and make sure there are no disturbing factors that could potentially harm your decision making.

Myself, I have coded a software that does well planning automatically, and I know how much detail we leave out and how we miss out on important details, because we do not have the capacity to take inn all the available data.

So back to where we started. Although better than most species, we humans are not good at making statistically sound decisions, nor do we remember very well. So I would say that the biggest operational risk we see (or ignore) is that we place too much trust in the hands of the human operators.

Embrace the data, and love your algorithms

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The Team

Pro Well Plan AS is based in Bergen, Oslo and
Magnus Tvedt
CEO Magnus Tvedt
Nicholas Mowatt Larssen
CTO Nicholas Mowatt Larssen
Cathrine Tangerås Eide
Project Manager Cathrine Tangerås Eide
Khushal Adlakha
Data Scientist Khushal Adlakha
Torgeir Lassen
CFO Torgeir Lassen
Eirik Lyngvi
Software Developer Eirik Lyngvi

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