In today's market, service and oil companies must invest heavily in research and development of new technologies to succeed in the increasingly demanding drilling environment. They must also implement the most appropriate drilling techniques and best practices to overcome the drilling and geological challenges to reach their targets more efficiently.

In an offshore drilling operation, understanding the main drilling challenges for each individual well is not always an easy task. Consequently, identifying opportunities for improvement is not always straightforward, and requires thorough drilling data gathering and analysis to provide more applicable solutions.

The use of knowledge management technology and processes to gather and analyze data to gain a better understanding of the main challenges in a particular application, combined with the design of solutions based on the findings, is commonly referred to as business intelligence.

This paper will present how a service company uses business intelligence methods to acquire relevant drilling data and import it into knowledge management systems prior to performing data analysis to benchmark performance and identify drilling hazards and opportunities for improvement.

Key drilling data obtained from select Gulf of Mexico wells from 2007 to 2009 were studied to determine, by statistical analysis, the most common sources of nonproductive time, which is the main reason for pulling out of the hole and the most common reason for out-of-specification runs. Understanding those factors is crucial for implementing appropriate corrective actions and developing new technology, along with planning and executing best drilling practices.

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