Well simulator technologies have become an ever more important part of Well Construction design and Drilling Operations follow-up worldwide. Adopted initially by Company to support personnel training through virtual environment applications, they were then used for planning, real time support and post job analysis for drilling operations, being integrated in all engineering processes. This paper presents an overview of its current use and procedures, highlights current and potential benefits and suggestions for future developments.

Selected wells are configured inside the well simulator which is then latched to mud log data streams. Dynamic models calibration is performed by adjusting dedicated coefficients to reach an overlap between simulated and measured drilling parameters. The degree of drift between curves allows to identify well operations-related issues. Outputs are mostly time-based, in mud log and driller-cabin-like layouts fashion. Depth-based plots, such as roadmaps for axial and torsional friction factors are also available and can be used as input for advanced analyses for both planning and post job phases.

Systematic application of the well simulator was started early 2021 with real time monitoring for North Sea and Africa offshore/subsea operations. Deployment along 2022 spread out across several other business units in various operated countries, for onshore, offshore and subsea drilling operations. Experience gained in a number of relevant case histories, dedicated to both real time support and what-if post-analyses, allowed to provide earlier feedbacks on drilling operations good practice but also to predict, avoid and mitigate consequences of wellbore problems and equipment malfunctions, boosting interest for further developments. Nowadays, well simulator technologies constitute a fundamental step towards drilling automation, since their dynamic modelling approach allows the definition of drilling parameter envelopes inside which robotic tools can operate and generate alerts if envelopes are overridden. Anomalous behavior of the drilling parameters can be recognized and governed. Automatic configuration and calibration of real time driven models are key enablers of real time optimization of operational drilling parameters and contactless operations, reducing back-office support to minimum.

Well simulator solutions that have been tested and deployed in our operations allow adaptability to a variety of existing platforms from both the operators and service companies side. The new upgrades, for data input and results visualization, are prone for user-friendly application, reducing the amount of training required for operative personnel to familiarize themselves with the tool and apply it during drilling operations.

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