Improving Team Capability and Efficiency by Moving Traditional Rig-Site Services Onshore
- M. Wahlen (Baker Hughes INTEQ) | S. Sawaryn (BP) | R. Smith (BP) | M. Blaasmo (Baker Hughes INTEQ)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- European Petroleum Conference, 29-31 October, Aberdeen, United Kingdom
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2002. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.12.2 Logging While Drilling, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 1.6.3 Drilling Optimisation, 1.12.3 Mud logging / Surface Measurements, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 6.2.8 Ergonomics, 1.12.1 Measurement While Drilling, 1.4.1 BHA Design, 7.3.3 Project Management, 1.12.6 Drilling Data Management and Standards, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management
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The continuous improvements in high-speed communications and information technology are transforming traditional drilling working practices. For some services such as data and LWD engineering, personnel no longer need to be physically present at the rig site. New technology guarantees their virtual presence. Instead, these positions can be moved onshore, adding to the overall team capability and efficiency. At the same time, this reduces the over all HSE exposure and offers further potential savings in bedspace and transportation costs. To effect this transition, each of people, process and technology challenges have had to be addressed. These concepts have been embodied in the "Baker Expert Advisory Center/Operations Network" (BEACON) system, established in Stavanger, Norway.
The paper describes the challenges faced in establishing the system and their solutions. Human factors are shown to play a crucial role in its successful implementation, demanding greater flexibility in onshore working practices to match those remaining offshore and to establish the virtual team. During the initial trial period, these factors, compounded by reliability and maintenance problems caused the system's operation to be suspended. Following a review, operations were restarted and two wells have now been successfully drilled in this operational mode. Improvement in the team's decision-making capability is evident and has been described as "increasing the team IQ". Improved access to the onshore centre, compared with offshore, is now shown to increase reliability and flexibility. Finally, the paper summarises the future work planned under the Norwegian Demo2000 sponsorship program, which will address the provision of these services in more formal terms.
In the late 1990's, Baker Hughes INTEQ realised that a great deal of effort had been expended, developing new and improved technologies that led to significant improvements in well delivery times. However, non-productive time remains high and further improvements in operational efficiency are still necessary. Less effort has been devoted to developing the organization, identifying better and smarter work methods. Information communications technology was seen to offer the greatest potential to improve work efficiency and to use our most important resource, the human capital, in new and improved ways.
At the same time, many oil companies operating in the North Sea had invested a lot in a fibre optic cable infrastructure on the seabed. To a large extent, the scale of the investment was based on conviction and historical technological progress rather than on a clearly defined plan of how the new capacity would be used. Operationally, bed space offshore was at a premium and innovative solutions were being sought to relieve the pressure on this valuable commodity. The HSE benefits of moving personnel onshore were also recognised.
The idea of enhancing rig site support from the office is not a new one. Advances in electronic communications and personal computer technology prompted the first wave of drilling operations centers in the early 1980's. Included in this first wave were Mobil's Drilling Data Centre1 which evolved from Superior Oil's real time drilling data centre and Amoco's Drilling Command and Control2 system. These centers distinguished themselves by providing real time log and MWD data to the shore based teams. Most other systems developed at that time were less ambitous, and their functionality was focused on the creation of a drilling database and electronic input and transmission of the morning drilling report. Of these two systems, only the Mobil Drilling Data Centre is still in operation. The Amoco Critical Drilling Facility was shut down in 1989. The circumstances that led to its shutdown provide valuable learnings that will be discussed later in this paper.
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