Well construction process can be presented as a set of the routine and repetitive actions which should be repeated at the planning, execution and evaluation stages. The manuscript describes how in the effort with major operating company the well planning stage was converted to a complete digital path; and how the digitalization of the planning was further transferred to the automated execution.
Planning a well normally done with different computer software, where the data gathered from different engineering software should be input, as well as required drilling fluid, cementing and directional job plans and limits etc., followed by the written operational sequence. In the reviewed case all the planning was shifted to the cloud environment, including all simulations and reviews, where no "merge" of the data was required. All the required simulations are performed automatically, flagging those with the results out of the limit. The operational steps were detailed, and further connected to the rig Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) system, where multiple operations started to be performed in automatic mode, without any intervention from the rig crew (like survey, drilling parameters automatically adjusted to the sock and vibration, stick and slip, seeking for the best rate of penetration, driller's tasks while drilling, backreaming of stand etc.).
The implementation of the digital planning allowed to align all stockholders involved during design stage, minimize human mistakes, and significantly decrease the planning time. The noticeable side effect is absence of any physical paper and as well as higher transparency during preparation. At the execution stage at the begging of the implementation the main benefit came from the standardization of the practices at the rig, what lead to absence of discrepancies. It further resulted in delivery of the all the wells under the same time with very minimum difference. And the final positive result came from the absence of any major service quality event (like stuck pipe) during automated operations. As of now the different levels of digitalization are implemented in 16 rigs, with further current expansion.
The manuscript provides the novel information on the digitalization and automation of the well construction process. The explained methodology can be implemented at any project worldwide.