Since the latest downturn of the Oil and Gas (O&G) sector, productivity growth has become the priority, which led to the adoption of new key technologies for better performance and lower cost. As part of the 4th Industrial Revolution, these technologies are taking the O&G by storm, forcing hardware manufactures to innovate quickly and create devices with more capabilities. What was impossible a few short years ago is reality today.

Managed pressure drilling (MPD) systems are taking advantage of this development by implementing advanced data analytics and hydraulic modeling in programable automation controllers. This approach has several benefits, reliability and full real-time deterministic operation being the major ones. Previously, controlling bottomhole pressure (BHP), the required modeling and analysis were executed in a networked computer at a different physical location. Now it is executed locally in a fully deterministic control system. This includes data acquisition (DAQ), signal conditioning, well bore modeling, analytics and data visualization.

This approach mitigates the risk of connectivity issues and makes the system more robust in case of network failure. Furthermore, it simplifies the deployment of the system, as all critical functions are at a single physical location. Another major benefit is an increased resolution of the model in areas of specific interest. For example, a zoom in on the openhole section and a lower resolution in the cased hole section. The flexibility of this approach manifests itself on the deployment side. This system can be installed in several different scenarios, for example as a full system with controls and manifolds, or as a control system only, and integrated into existing rig MPD manifolds and drilling controls. This level of integration creates robust and flexible systems while reducing downtime during operations.

This new approach includes the integration of cyber secure communications, an upcoming standard in the O&G industry. The system communicates via the open platform communications unified architecture (OPC UA) protocol – recommended by the Cyber Security community.

This new platform integrates advanced data analytics and hydraulic modeling in real-time, coupled with cyber security features via OPC UA protocol directed to automation controllers for managed pressure drilling applications.

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