A drilling contractor has installed and operated on several offshore rigs, a comprehensive data acquisition and computer processing system for realtime monitoring of drilling operations and post event analysis. The system, which includes "smart alarms" for early warning of problems such as kicks, stuck pipe and drillstring washouts, has been extended to cover recent recommendations of the UK Department of Energy for High Pressure/High Temperature (HP/HT) wells.
In this paper we describe the extensions to the system, developed with a major operator, which continuously monitor the return line valve status, mud pumps, choke manifold and BOP stack to ensure that all components are operating within their design limits.
Although the smart alarms for early kick detection reduce the size of an influx, the problem of circulating out a kick remains a hazardous procedure requiring close monitoring. The system's existing realtime displays of log and digital data include a dedicated screen for well control to provide the necessary monitoring.
Additional HP/HT monitors, which continuously display choke position, BOP terrperatures and separator pressures as required for the North Sea, have been added. Hard copies for detailed analysis are produced from a workstation linked to the network.
The development and operation of this system are discussed, and the benefits in terms of improved safety and environmental protection are demonstrated.