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IADC plans Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap workshop

IADC is planning a two-day industry workshop, currently scheduled for 17-18 January 2018 in Houston, on the Drilling Systems Automation (DSA) Roadmap industry initiative. The workshop will enable feedback on the content of the roadmap prior to its public release in 2018.

The roadmap, led by John de Wardt as Program Manager, was launched in 2013 to describe the anticipated path of drilling systems automation to 2025. It started as an all-volunteer program and now has a steering committee of 16 experts covering a broad range of knowledge, including rig design, human systems integration, modeling, robotics, sensors, data transmission and systems engineering. The IADC Drilling Engineers Committee endorsed the funding of a joint industry project (JIP) to accelerate delivery of the Phase II Stage I draft report. This 247-page document was presented to the 10 JIP funders at a seminar, held in early April in Houston. The funders’ positive feedback opened the door to the next stage of the report, which will become the first issue to the industry.

The need for funding to plan and facilitate the January 2018 workshop is now leading to a JIP 2. It offers new funders the opportunity to immediately access the full current version of the DSA Roadmap for their organization. IADC workshop participants’ access to the DSA Roadmap will be limited to individuals until public release. Information on the roadmap team, process, etc, is available here.

The DSA Roadmap has discovered key aspects that will impact the uptake of drilling systems automation. There are many forks in the road ahead, opening the debate as to which route the drilling industry will take. Will interoperability prevail over proprietary systems, or vice versa? Will downhole-to-surface telemetry data rates rise or continue as a dichotomy between mud pulse and similar systems versus hard wire? Will the industry adopt of an industry reference architecture, enabling interoperability? Finally, will asset replacement occur or will the previous designs prevail as the basis for automation? Further, a section of the roadmap will be devoted to articulating the value proposition.

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