Drilling automation

Rig Automation Empowers Well Construction in Ecuador

The authors of this paper present the results of implementing a rig-automation solution applied to 20 wells in Ecuador in 2022.

Results summary for the deployment of the drilling software during 2022.
Fig. 1—Results summary for the deployment of the drilling software during 2022.
Source: SPE 216249

Artificial intelligence (AI)-based digital drilling technology was implemented in two mature fields in Ecuador that represent 33% of the country’s oil production. The drilling campaign’s main strategy included the deployment of a novel automation solution on two rigs, resulting in the optimization of the well-construction process. In the complete paper, the authors present the results of implementation of a rig-automation solution applied to 20 wells in 2022.

Scope of the Digital Solution

The authors detail the validation, optimization, and implementation of a drilling software to automate work flows and the installation and commissioning of associated hardware components. The following key indicators and objectives were established:

  • Validation of drilling-software work flows
  • Achievement of a 75% average in automation control
  • Improvement of rate of penetration (ROP) by 5%
  • Reduction of pre- and post-connection times by at least 30%
  • Real-time tuning of parameters
  • Training of all personnel involved in the use of the drilling-software package
  • Installation and commission of hardware components

Drilling-Software Implementation

The digital solution is an advanced software system that brings automation capabilities to drilling rigs, analogous to the different levels of automation found in automobiles.

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