This paper illustrates the methodology and the challenges faced from the planning to execution phases while implementing digital solutions to overcome the drilling operational challenges. In a candidate well, the package with real-time downhole performance measurement (RT-DPM) software, an automated rheometer, and an automatic data graphic visualization interphase, provided visibility into downhole conditions. This was used to predict potential problems and reduce the likelihood of the common issues related to the drilling operation.

The RT-DPM software was successfully implemented in a well to reduce the likelihood of stuck pipe incidents and hole cleaning issues. The implementation has enabled real-time monitoring of annular pressure, equivalent circulating density (ECD), equivalent static density, pipe eccentricity, swab, and surge pressure, allowing optimization of the operation time. The lateral section has been drilled successfully with high overbalance without any operational issues.

While drilling the production section with several operational challenges, such as losses/gains environment, and high overbalanced formation with a high probability of potential differential stuck, the well was completed successfully, maintaining a good hole cleaning at any point in the annular space of a well. The visibility of the downhole parameters enhanced the rate of penetration (ROP) and optimized the drilling time. A wiper trip was eliminated due to the excellent hole cleaning and the minimal cutting bed generated. Planning started taking into consideration the key point, which was identified as: the close contact points of the pipe to take the extra measurements to avoid such differential sticking in a high overbalanced formation.

The overall results were exceptional from the broomstick, showing the parameters were following the ideal trend with no indications of any tight spots. With a steady pick-up weight, slack-off weight, and break-over torque, the hole was identified to be in very good condition. The oil and gas industry is moving to the automation and machine learning methods, and in this paper we will be presenting the methodology and the challenges faced from the planning to execution phases, while implementing automated digital solutions to overcome the drilling operational challenges.

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