Applying innovative technology and work processes to land support for offshore drilling and well operations enhances value creation chiefly through better well placement in the reservoir and more efficient operations. Over the last 5 years, new technological developments have driven an evolution in work practices towards greater integration between disciplines and over the large distances between offshore drilling operations and asset teams on land.

The Onshore Support Center (OSC) opened in December 2003 at Statoil's Mid-Norway operations office is a workplace where data and competency can meet, creating a perfect infrastructure for integrating operations. Integrated operations are a common industry goal, with widely recognized value. The center provides seamless data transfer & video-conferencing with rigs, platforms and vessels operating on Statoil's Halten/Nordland fields (via a fiber-optic cable/broadband radio), where onshore and offshore staff can share and co-visualize data and interpretations from drilling, completion and work-over operations.

The technical design of the center and the work practises used there, however, are based on a number of years of experience with increasing integration between offshore drilling operations and land-based support. To enable this evolution, a number of new technologies had to be developed, some of which have been commercialized or have led to new industry standards.

Multi-disciplinary collaboration is more natural and effective when both teams have the same data viewed at the same time in the same applications – this allows real-time data to be fully exploited. Making the drilled well data immediately available together with all offset well log and drilling data, seismic data, geological and petrophysical models opens opportunities for better drilling optimization, better controlled well correlation, near real-time formation evaluation, and therefore more optimal well placement for production. The ability of the land support team to quickly analyze the data for decision support is enhanced and reaction time to unexpected situations can be reduced.

This contribution details some of the technological developments which led to development of the Halten/Nordland OSC, showing how they have changed the way we work and affected the outcome of drilling operations.

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