Digital oilfield

White Paper: Digitalization in Oil and Gas Operations—A Pragmatic Approach

In oil and gas offices around the globe, the term digitalization prompts a range of responses. This white paper outlines a pragmatic approach to digitalization for oil and gas operators, with a focus on drilling and completion.

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Stylized view of offshore equipment looking down toward the water

In oil and gas, as in most industries, digitalization has become essential for thriving amid a rapidly changing market, operational, technological and recruiting environment. The prospect of digitalizing oilfield operations can, however, be daunting for operators of any size.

In this paper, Norway-based oil and gas software and services company Exebenus outlines a pragmatic approach to digitalization that focuses on improving operational efficiency and reducing nonproductive time (NPT) in drilling and completions operations.

Tracking instances of NPT, operators frequently point to the tenuous bridge between well planning and execution, where information is exchanged between office and rig. This is the two-way juncture where information and instructions are all too often incomplete, inconsistent, delayed, misinterpreted or ignored.

This paper suggests digitalizing the planning and execution phases to create a dynamic handover between office and rig. By providing the ability to automatically generate validated, detailed digital operating procedures, this digitalization approach compresses the time and distance between well planning and execution, and strengthens the two-way exchange of mission critical information. The digitalized procedures can use a real-time WITSML data feed to recognize actual versus planned activities as operations unfold. This enables predictive decisions and actions, flagging deviations from plan and maintaining safe windows of operation. The validated, digital detailed operating procedures become machine-readable, thus initiating autonomous operations, an important step toward automation of drilling and completions.


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