Posted 07.11.2017 02:00 by Magnus Tvedt
We made it to TD (bottom of the well) within budget.
A work process which let your organization accumulate experience and let your data populate decision is what we should all aim for with digital well planning. That way you will control and apply all your experience to every step of the operation.
Imagine minute to minute plans from spud to handover, detailed down to every movement on the rig. You spend time overseeing fleet wide improvement suggestions, consider technology investments which greatly impact your company bottom line.
Moving to digital well planning is like adding more nails to the wall where you can hang your experiences for quick lookup. You and I, we have a limited capacity for remembering technical details and analyzing them, but computers don't. For us it might be enough with one or two complex experience reports to relate to, a computer can take on hundreds or thousands.
You might be used to breaking down tasks to chunks you can handle, but computers differ from humans in that way. Computers are made to compute and calculate, and the more details you feed them, the better they perform. So the real challenge is defining the experiences in a way that computers can handle them. Words like often, sometimes, perhaps and likely are used in experience reports for well planners, but computers need things in ones and zeros. Yes or No, True or False.
When the well planner is digital, it packs computing powers where only the cloud is the limit.
Humans are good at creativity and collaboration and we can focus on large tasks over a longer period of time, and utilizing these differences is what really creates opportunities in well planning. By having a work process which combines human creativity and machine processing capacity, we can analyze and improve operations to great precision.
We can optimize drilling parameters, operational sequences and technology selection. From first identification of a three way closure (a geologic roof where oil can be trapped) to live operations, you can make well plans based on all your experience. The more details you pack into your digital well planner, the better plans you get.
With more experiences built into the well planning, we can set more ambitious goals for the operations.
Getting there isn't really that difficult from a technical perspective, the uphill battle is to impact the established work processes in drilling and well organizations, which are well cemented after years and years of operations. But if you are like us, you want to get started to stand out in our industry and show your peers how good it can get. By adding more metrics in the plans and more details to the reporting, we are quickly on the path to better operations.
Before we dive into how we can improve, we must give the status quo a glance. Today we average time estimates from previous wells to estimate the next. We compare a planned well with previous wells, and use the previous to predict the time, cost and risk for the next. Since the reports from previous wells and the (plan for the next well) often is written in a text editor, we are limited in how many variables we can compare and analyze. Reports with too many pages with technical details just aren't read, so why go through the pain of writing them.
By reducing complexity for improving readability, we are fitting our reports to the process rather than having a process which optimizes on the task. To be able to set more ambitious goals, we need to implement a work process which makes every effort to calculate and evaluate the best operation.
In digital well planning, we simulate all the operations on drill floor and combine them with the effect they have on geology, steel, fluids and equipment. The operations are laid out in time based on depth data input and rig parameters, so the technical and operational plan goes hand in hand. Since computers have no problem with large data sets and detail richness, we can optimize well plans on technical and practical parameters. As an example, if you consider alternate fluid systems for the reservoir, you just flip between the systems, and see how loss estimates, volume considerations, drilling performance, and risk update immediately, together with time and cost estimates. This workflow let you take educated decisions based on deep analysis.
The results from the digital well planning is more detailed well plans which are updated on every change. When every move on the rig is planned and simulated, we can use engineering efforts on optimizing and refining the operations down to minutes and seconds without worrying about the bigger picture.
With digital well planning we can significantly raise the bar. Here are the key goals for digital well planning:
You can read more about these topics in our blog posts here on prowellplan.com, and please contact Cathrine to learn more about digital well planning.
With traditional well planning we can nail anything, but a limited number of nails force us to pull them out and reuse them. With digital well planning we can nail everything, and then add more nails