The significant increase of drilling activities, the demanding environments in which some wells are to be drilled (e.g., deepwater, remote areas, Arctic regions, etc.), the difficulties associated with the economic exploitation of complex reservoirs, and the need to optimize production performances of both new and mature fields, have raised the need to develop innovative technologies, implement more efficient working methods and make an enhanced use of the most skilled personnel, while preparenig new engineers for future challenges.

In order to meet such challenges, eni has put in place a series of dedicated initiatives, among which is the creation of the "Real-Time Well Operations Centres" in the eni's Headquarters.

These Centres take advantage of progresses in digital technologies and real-time data monitoring, to create an advanced work environment, where experts from the various disciplines are organized and collaborate on the most important operational aspects, with the common aim of optimizing the performances in drilling and well productivity worldwide.

The Real-Time Well Operations Centres are both physical and virtual environments, in that real-time data are simultaneously available in the Headquarters facilities, as well as anywhere in the world to the authorized people.

The Centres are currently comprised of:

  • The eni's Real-Time Drilling Centre (RTDC), which represents a platform that enables simultaneous, remote support to multiple drilling operations worldwide. The real-time drilling data acquired at rig sites and transmitted to the RTDC, are analysed by experts and used to feed drilling engineering applications. Any changes/ deviations from plans are detected on the spot and trigger corrective actions, all while drilling operations are taking place.

  • Two Centres of Excellence (CoE's) dedicated to Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP's) and Hydraulic Fracturing, which enable real-time surveillance of the relevant operations. In particular, the CoE for ESP's provide operational parameters of each well, for troubleshooting purposes, and allow calculating advanced Key Performance Indicators (KPI's). The possibility to navigate through the KPI's, facilitates the prompt identification of operational issues and optimizes the decision-making process for their resolution.

This paper provides a comprehensive description of the approach used by eni to develop the Real-Time Well Operations Centres, together with representative case histories and the benefits achieved so far.


Innovative drilling optimization technologies are being demanded by the Oil & Gas Industry, mainly to face the increasingly challenging drilling environments and the more and more complex wells architectures, while minimizing operational risks and costs. Furthermore, production optimization activities require new technologies and ways of working, in order to manage reservoirs, wells and surface facilities more effectively, to continually improve field-wide operations and attain the cost and production advantages necessary to comply with the current and future challenges.

In this highly demanding and really challenging scenario, many innovative technologies have been developed and others are still under development within the Oil & Gas Industry. Among other solutions, eni has deemed advisable to adopt a new drilling and production optimization approach, based on real-time data and enhanced collaboration among disciplines and between well sites and offices.

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