So long, wrench: Welcome to the digital drilling revolution

By Mike Killalea, Editor & Publisher

Goodbye, wrench, hello, keyboard! Welcome to the digital drilling revolution. While surrendering one’s wrench might be a byte too far, when and where to use said tool might be increasingly dictated by our digital overlords.

We report on Noble Corp and GE’s work to equip Noble’s Globetrotter I drillship with advanced data analytics to detect anomalies weeks in advance – not days or hours. Noble has dubbed it the Digital Rig and plans to expand the program to three other rigs by mid-May 2018. Noble predicts that the system will cut certain maintenance expenses by 20% before the end of the year.

Nabors Industries, recognizing the need for increased efficiency, discusses key elements needed to support today’s drilling operations, including asset management software applications to track maintenance for any and all equipment. This allows equipment owners to view the entire life cycle of the asset.

IADC digital initiatives

IADC initiatives and work groups have put significant effort into helping industry with the digital drilling revolution. The IADC Drilling Controls Subcommittee has ambitiously committed to enhancing the IADC Daily Drilling Report, both in hard copy and electronic formats – “DDR Plus.”

The venerable IADC “Tour Sheet” has for decades been a doghouse fixture of drilling rigs around the world. Today, however, the drilling data revolution insists on greater precision, accuracy and inclusiveness than allowed by the existing DDR. The DCS Subcommittee, part of the IADC Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee, is led by Chair Nathan Moralez, BP, and Co-Chair Robert van Kuilenburg, Noble Corp.

An ongoing survey seeks out industry input on the good, bad and ugly of the IADC Daily Drilling Report. The goal of the survey is to understand future uses of the DDR to better serve the industry.

The survey should help the DCS Subcommittee further define the DDR Plus program.

With an enhanced electronic DDR format in hand, the DCS Subcommittee will explore creation of guidelines for drilling sensor management, including mapping sensors to drilling states and developing recommendations on input sensor maintenance and specifications.

The digital Pandora’s box

Computers are the quintessential Pandora’s Box. Digital technology is invaluable but has introduced us to system-crippling malware that can paralyze companies and governments.

The IADC ART Committee, chaired by Robin Macmillan, National Oilwell Varco, has led the industry in building awareness of industry cyber threats and developing resources to fight back.

Siv Hilde Houmb, Secure-NOK, has for several years led what was originally the ART Cybersecurity Work Group, then an ART subcommittee, and now – I’m pleased to announce – a full-fledged IADC committee. With Ms Houmb’s steady hand at the helm, the group has published two sets of guidance on cybersecurity for drilling assets, and is hard at work on cyber-help for network segmentation. (This is the practice of splitting a computer network into subnetworks. I had to Google it.)

The IADC Cybersecurity Committee is IADC’s newest, and marks a milestone. It is the first IADC committee that worked its way through the ranks from working group to subcommittee to full committee. This is a testament to industry’s growing awareness of the criticality of cybersecurity in our business.

At press time, the new committee was conducting a 12 April Cybersecurity Workshop in Stavanger, Norway.

It’s a digital world. We just live in it. DC

Email Mike Killalea at mike.killalea@iadc.org

Check out IADC’s two sets of cybersecurity guidelines

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