This paper describes a drilling data acquisition and telemetry system that is currently in use in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The system provides for the real time monitoring of up to 20 drilling rigs. Drilling data are acquired at the rig site and transmitted into a central office onshore over microwave or satellite telemetry links. The data acquisition units are advanced computer mud logging units that are capable of recording over 200 surface parameters relating to the drilling system. The data parameters are displayed in the central data facility in real time on graphic displays. The data parameters are subsequently analyzed in the office and used for providing safer rig operations through backup surveillance, improving rig management practices and for performing interpretive data processing using drilling engineering models. Drilling costs have been reduced by using this system. For example, the monitoring of connection times has led to a time savings of up to 1-1/2 days/month/rig. The paper will describe the processing and handling of the data in the central office facility. The cost savings thus far quantified will be explained.

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