To ensure a safe and optimized drilling operation a number of parameters are continuously monitored through drilling instrumentation systems, MWD and mud logging services. It is up to the driller, the supervisor and the service personnel to analyze these parameters to ensure appropriate actions at the right time throughout the drilling operation.

This task has become more and more demanding due to the increased complexity of the rigs, more difficult drilling conditions and to the increasing number of parameters to be analyzed. Efficient and accurate manual interpretation of the drilling data has become an overwhelming task, and accidents and drilling problems do occur.

The use of a real-time computerized analysis tool for drilling data not only has proven that problems can be detected earlier and hence avoided, but also helps in gaining a better knowledge and understanding of the drilling operation itself, thus improving the overall performance of the operation.

This paper describes an expert system project that has developed into a full commercial service activity (AWD - Analysis While Drilling), now being offered on a worldwide market as a natural extension of today's MWD and mud logging services.

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