Recent advances in technology have given the drilling industry an opportunity to improve drilling performance. This new technology includes the application of innovative sensors, integrated computer systems, and advanced data processing software onboard the rig.

A complete system with all these facilities has been installed and operated by a drilling contractor on an offshore rig in the Middle East since mid-1989. The system has been used extensively by contractor and operator working together as a drilling team to increase safety and improve drilling performance.

An enhanced measurement of ROP gave drillers a faster indication of formation changes to avoid damage to PDC bits. With a new capability for interactive control of the monitoring system, contractor personnel had more credible input into the drilling process, which improved teamwork with operator personnel. Bit performance logs and well-to-well correlations were generated on the system's workstation to optimize bit selection.

As a result, drilling performance improved greatly over a series of wells in a field where the learning curve was thought to have been optimized. Resulting cost savings were substantial.

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