As drilling environments become more challenging and complex, the need to increase safety margins and reduce drilling non-productive time (NPT) costs continues to intensify. It is also likely that our industry's future will face greater pressure from regulators and the public to ensure safer drilling practices. More and more operators are turning to remote surveillance services as a way to provide real-time interactions with wellsite personnel to mitigate drilling hazards.

Through remote monitoring services, dedicated personnel can actively monitor multiple operations and spot potential problems that busy rig hands mightotherwise overlook or lack the specialized training to recognize. In addition to the health, safety, and environmental benefits of fewer personnel on location, remote service engineers/specialists can easily collaborate with a team of experts located in an offsite center of excellence, providing greater wisdom for real-time decisions compared to any one person at the wellsite.

Developing a value-added remote service from scratch requires many elements for success. For example, providing a remote, real-time integrated pressure management service requires careful planning and development of service components. These include facilities and communications infrastructure, software and data-management tools, clearly defined service integration processes and communications protocol, trained and available personnel for job execution, and customer partners willing to field test service solutions.

This paper offers a case study on how a successful remote, real-time integrated pressure management and wellbore stability service has been developed in the US Gulf of Mexico. It discusses the various aspects of the service's development from defining the service objectives, components, and deliverables to the communications protocols and the personnel competencies and training requirements for staffing. It also describes aspects of the physical facilities, communications infrastructure, and real-time software tools that provide automated alarms, which aid personnel in keeping the drilling operation out of trouble. Finally, a customer field trial that helped to improve the service further is examined and a brief summary of future developments is provided in the paper.

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