The transition towards drilling automation in the oil and gas industry has increased the need for digital infrastructures for development and testing of new technology. This includes infrastructures to facilitate changes in work processes and technical competences. This paper describes the design and use of OpenLab Drilling, a digital infrastructure with applications in education, technology development and testing.
OpenLab Drilling offers access to a high fidelity drilling process simulator capable of simulating transient hydraulics, temperature, torque and drag, and cuttings transport. Since 2018, the infrastructure has been publicly available for students, researchers and engineers who need realistic drilling data for technology development, demonstration and education. The simulated drilling data can be accessed by several means. First, through a user-friendly web application used as a tool for teaching the physics involved in drilling operations. Secondly, drilling data can be accessed programmatically through a web API or via programming language APIs written in MATLAB, Python and .NET. Thirdly, OpenLab offers a fast communication interface that can be used for applications that are closer to hardware, and which require a realistic Hardware in The Loop (HIL) infrastructure.
This paper describes the objectives of OpenLab as a project, its system architecture, its simulation capabilities, the design of its web application, and its various communication interfaces. The paper also presents projects that uses OpenLab in education, research on machine learning, semantical representation of drilling data, and other industrial relevant activities. The paper is naturally divided in two parts: The design of the infrastructure, and its applications.