This paper describes the continued and increasing impact of the Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language (WITSML) on Drilling & Workover real time operations. Saudi Aramco— the biggest user and primary supporter of this industry standard — wants to share a new successful application of WITSML to their drilling activities.

Saudi Aramco Drilling & Exploration teams have commenced a project for the picking of Shallow Casing Points remotely from the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center (EXPEC). It has been observed from past experience that the sending of geologists to rig sites just to pick these Casing Points had always required significant manpower resources that could be better utilized for other frontline exploration jobs. In addition there is a sharply increased risk associated with the sending of these geologists to the remote field locations, since almost all of them are reached by travelling long distances by road.

The Rate of Penetration (ROP) is generally the only measured parameter that is available to assist with the picking of shallow Casing Points. By comparing this with the measured ROP, which is available from offset wells, known formation markers are identified and this allows the Casing Point depth to be chosen. In the project that is described by this Paper, exploration geologists were able to successfully identify the formation tops for most of the common surface formations in Saudi Arabia and thereby enable the picking of the Casing point in several pilot wells. This is an important milestone in the ongoing efforts of providing more cost-‐effective solutions for shallow sections, by using continuous real time data that is now being recorded from the spud of a well to the completion. This is being achieved remotely by using a real-‐time solution, called the Real Time Data Transmission and Viewer Service (RTDTVS), recently implemented at Saudi Aramco to collect the data from all of the drilling service contractors in a standardized format. This solution is referred to in this Paper subsequently as the "Aramcolink."

This Paper will address the important operational aspects that were implemented and demonstrate how this innovative technique has led to improved employee safety and operational cost savings.

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