As a part of the company's digitalization project, the Well Delivery Process (WDP) software solution was successfully developed and launched in early 2021. By using this solution, engineers benefit from the project objectives like process standardization, well design quality, and well planning cycle time reduction. The WDP software consists of a series of integrated well delivery workflows including well design, drilling execution monitoring, and closeout reports within a single cloud-based platform. The system also provides users with many automation features such as well design rules validation, offset well analysis, risk analysis, automated calculations, and digital reports (drilling programs). Through this paper, we share our experiences and observations on the system development and implementation, and also challenges and limitations that we faced to roll it out successfully.
In our conventional practices before the digital transformation, drilling engineers had their individual practices/formats to perform the well delivery process using various applications and techniques. Computer applications were used to generate and compile a drilling program, but there was no standard way of performing this process. In situations where the design parameters and/or subsurface information change, engineers should have repeated the entire process to revise the design and/or the drilling program manually.
To standardize the process, minimize repetitive tasks, and provide engineers with all required digital tools, the first solution (a prototype computer program) was developed in-house to prove the concept. After multiple peer reviews and trials, we used the prototype program to specify user requirements for generating the WDP software solution. An agile methodology was utilized to engage all drilling engineers in each sprint of the WDP development phase to ensure that their requirements are fulfilled. Upon completion of the development phase, a comprehensive User Acceptance Test (UAT) was conducted followed by training sessions before the cut-off date for switching from the manual process to the WDP digital workflow. Switching from existing practice to a new way of work is always challenging especially when it comes to introducing new software. There was some resistance at the start-up period due to users' unfamiliarity with the software and also software bugs that were not found during testing periods and UAT. A support team was set up to ensure immediate action on users' requirements and any technical issues with the software. During the challenging transition period, all users were fully supported until make sure they are enough familiar with the system to complete the task effectively. The support team deployed hotfixes (bug fixing) as quickly as possible with no major impact on the drilling programs' timeline, monitored the system performance on daily basis, and gathered feedback for further improvements.
At present, the WDP is the primary system used by all drilling engineers in the company's domestic assets as an integrated end-to-end well delivery workflow that provides an improved design quality in a shorter planning time. More than 200 well design workflows have been initiated and approved through the system since it is being used. Based on the recent users' satisfaction survey and feedback, an overall rating of 4.2 from 5 shows the WDP solution's effectiveness with many popular and useful features especially offset well analyzer and well design dashboards. As one of the first end-to-end workflow generations in the drilling engineering process, the WDP could save the working time up to 35-40% (voted by users) through a centralized dataset platform and its holistic approach to process standardization/automation. Besides design quality and cycle time improvement, the system also enables advanced data analytics for further automation and enhancements.