Pushing the boundary of offshore drilling operations further has resulted in more complex and riskier frontiers. The paramount level of systemic complexity and risks have turned the focus of industry on the situational awareness and process safety. In case of failure at any of these accounts, the operations suffer several setbacks in terms of additional financial burden nonetheless the time. Workers have been reporting in several instances of the physiological and psychological issue which most of the time triggers an unfortunate or undesirable incidents.

Situation awareness (SA) has been conceived as directly associated with meta-cognitive faculties of human, however quantifying the cognitive abilities of a human while interacting with the systemic environment objectively is a far-fetched idea. Eye-tracking has been seen as a gateway to such ideas. Eye-tracking technology is not a recently discovered avenue. However, implementation of such technology in several highly sophisticated fields such as aviation, meteorology, and health sectors have witnessed radical changes in the past few years in SA explorations. This paper presents a comprehensive review of eye-tracking technology in the context of different high reliability organization and explores its relevance into offshore drilling operations. What will be a better way of exploration than to implement it through a case study? Keeping this in mind, a case study is also presented in this paper with the hypothesis of distinct anticipated behavior from less and more alert and aware participant. The experiments were conducted in a Virtual Reality Drilling Simulator (VRDS) equipped with eye tracking technology at OU Drilling simulator facility. The ocular activity of the participants was registered and further analyzed to assess their behavior. The cameras in such devices capture the characteristics of participants’ behavior, and through image processing algorithms oculomotor data such as eye fixation count and pupil sizes were obtained. These data were further analyzed through sophisticated statistical analysis and mathematical algorithms to generate cues to explore the relevance of the hypothesis.

Overall this paper digs into the role of eye-tracking technology to enhance the process safety and situational awareness. Results from the pilot study clearly indicate the significant deviation in case of less aware/alert participant from the ideal behavior or more aware participants. This paper will provide an initial framework for implementation of eye-tracking technology in complex real-time operations to further extend the safeguards from the human errors.

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