This paper describes a Virtual Drilling Reality (VDE) System, based on Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, designed and developed by Eni in collaboration with Saipem. The virtual environment is currently featuring last generation deepwater drilling rigs that are entirely virtualized and allows an immersive experience for Rig Crew and Drilling Engineers training, and in general for anybody who is interested in drilling rigs, equipment and operations. The system includes:
a complete virtual tour of rig and equipment;
the replay of drilling and rig operations chosen from drilled wells database;
a virtual HSE induction at rig site
virtual replays of real HSE incidents and rig Safety Drills;
an interaction with Drilling Operations based on well drilling simulations;
the execution of customized "missions", in single- or multi-player mode
The new VDE can also be used as an overall well digital twin throughout the entire well lifecycle including well planning, operations follow-up and post-analysis.
Configured for easy customization, the system allows extensions of virtualized rig fleet, modification and addition of the "active objects" in the repository, the preparation of tasks to be completed under the supervision of the trainers, play-back of operations, simulation of new drilling procedures and finally extra HSE incidents or emergency situations.
State of the art VR devices and techniques, such as headsets, VR gloves and stereo goggles, are used for a highly immersive and interactive experience, while 2D PCs or 3D Screens facilities are also available. An initial version of the VDE has been used since 2018 in innovative training courses held in Eni's Corporate University.
More recently, a well drilling simulator has been included in the system, realizing a full "well digital twin".
Engineering experience was then gained both in well planning, operations follow-up and post analysis, applied to complex wells management.
Main results obtained include:
a safe familiarization with complex operations
the optimization of operations, through realistic simulations
an increased safety awareness
an operation follow-up diagnostics support
In summary, Eni's concept of the virtual drilling environment allows a fully virtualized system, with access to all rig workplaces, for a full immersion and interaction in a dynamic, physical and collaborative environment. The possibility to reproduce simultaneous activities and the enhanced interaction with all drilling operations and real life on board, provides a new and innovative well digital twin experience for improved training and engineering support throughout the entire well life-cycle.