Rig efficiency is essential to success in oil and gas operations. Innovative solutions such as automation help to reduce operating costs and minimize safety hazards, which improve efficiency. Traditional tubular-running operations require extensive manual intervention with increased red-zone exposure, especially during equipment rig up and rig down. Equipment interfaces between different manufacturers are often not existing or poorly designed, which can reduce productivity. Automated processes with open interfaces in tubular-running operations would significantly improve rig efficiencies and safety.
Drilling and casing plans include multiple strings, various connection types with different torque requirements, and a variety of hydraulic power tongs. Newly developed, intelligent positioning devices with hands-free, automatic multi-couplers for power and data transfer enable fast, simple, and safe rig up and rig down of tong modules with the push of a button. With a state-of-the-art control system, equipped with an open interface to connect tong modules, it is now possible to eliminate manual intervention. Automatic module identification eliminates manual data entry, removes the human factor, and saves set-up time and therefore valuable rig time.
Automated tubular-running processes provide a wide range of benefits from an operational, safety, and financial standpoint for both drilling contractors and operators. Full rig-control-system integration, along with intelligent positioning devices, maximize advantages by reducing the personnel required to operate equipment during the construction of the well. Automation eliminates time-consuming and dangerous equipment handling on the rig floor and helps to implement a new set of operational and safety standards. Rig up and rig down time is significantly reduced by up to 90%-time compared to conventional tool-handling operations. Fully automated sequences using new generation positioning devices considerably improve well construction running times and minimize potential safety incidents.
Implementing cutting-edge technology with improved rig-control systems integration to automate tubular-running processes increases the potential to bring rig efficiencies to a higher operational level.
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