BP has developed an internal Recommended Practice for the deployment of a standard data architecture for real-time drilling and completions information. This architecture uses WITSML communications as much as possible although data aggregation on the drilling rig can still employ WITS, OPC or even a proprietary language. Most deployments in BP are built on the latest Version 1.3.1 of WITSML. Early deployments in Indonesia revealed some inter-operability problems which had to be resolved quickly to eliminate operational delays. This experience highlighted the value of pre-deployment testing and subsequent deployments have all been staged in an independent test facility hosted for BP by SAIC in Aberdeen.

The BP WITSML test laboratory has already staged drilling and completions data systems for BP businesses in Gulf of Mexico, UK North Sea and Oman prior to field deployments. In addition, the Business Units have also been keen for the laboratory to provide an operational support function post deployment. Testing has also been conducted in conjunction with main BP equipment suppliers to demonstrate compliance for future installations.

Various problems have been identified during testing which will be described in the paper. The value of identifying these problems in a laboratory environment, rather than potentially exposing drilling operations to delays during equipment commissioning, is very considerable. The testing has been conducted with a very positive commitment from our suppliers which has resulted in significant learnings for all parties.

BP, along with other major energy companies, sees WITSML as an important enabler for remote operations, collaboration environments and the deployment of new technologies to support its future drilling and completions operations. The WITSML laboratory testing has been a critical step in building confidence in the robustness of WITSML and demonstrating its performance capabilities.

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