Thorough planning of drilling operations includes capturing best practices and expert knowledge as operational procedures to provide guidance during execution. However, due to the high level of uncertainty in drilling, and because conventional field procedures are generic and not context sensitive, they are open to interpretation. The resulting performance depends on the user's experience. In challenging situations, when crews are under time pressure and stress, any assistance with monitoring drilling conditions, identifying causes, and carrying out mitigation activities, is of value.

This paper describes an advisory system to capture operational knowledge in the form of context sensitive procedures and rules. The system uses real-time measurements and connections to other systems to gather information and data on current operational conditions. Automatic execution of the procedures and rules is possible within the current level of process automation, but the manual use of the system can guide field users through complex tasks. This is particularly useful in handling manually complex operations within an automation scenario, and helps with maintaining situational awareness for operators. As an essential piece of the drilling automation package, the system monitors events created by various specialized processing and alarm-generating components, and triggers execution of required workflows.

The deployment of the advisory system in the North Sea has focused on several aspects: drilling with RSS systems, automated trajectory drilling, borehole cleaning, vibration management, MWD/LWD tools troubleshooting, and drilling through stringers. For example, hard formation stringers recognized by the stringer-detection application, trigger execution of mitigation procedures, giving precise instructions depending on the wellbore inclination. The system easily integrates with, and controls, these application libraries allowing consistent execution promoting the reduction of NPT. Further, the advisory system allows autonomous monitoring of drilling events, and execution of best operating practices facilitates multi-well remote operations.

Situational awareness is critical in situations where human operators and automated systems play inter-related roles. In such cases, it is important for users to know the state of each task and understand how activities they perform affect other users. The use of context sensitive procedures and rules, executed with connectivity to instrumentation, measurements and real-time applications, allows the user to maintain situational awareness while automating the drilling process.

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