This paper will provide a description of the benefits of the remote operations alternatives developed over a decade in the North Sea. Substantial support from Hydro/Statoil, starting in 1999, with remote data monitoring, re-manning the rig site with remote support, and the transfer of rig-based work tasks to a remote operations centre has changed the way we operate today and will also influence how automation will be integrated in the future.

Reduction in personnel-on-board (POB) and alternative remote operational models implemented resulted in measurable reductions in cost and HS&E exposure. The paper will give a thorough description of how continuous high operational performance and efficiency gains to operations at different levels has been achieved and documented in the North Sea and translated to the Brazil environment.

Other key areas for discussion are: improved performance and reliability, decreased NPT, standardized work processes, 24/7 technical support, real-time drilling optimization, cross-training of personnel, real-time data processing, immediate access to experts.

Current remote operations models will continue to evolve by further integrating several classic service deliveries, like directional drilling, measurement and logging-while-drilling (MWD/LWD), mud logging, drilling fluids, wireline logging and other services and job functions. This integration will occur because automated advisory systems will be available, delivering advice based on a wider range of surface and downhole data as well as historical databases and best practices, replacing individual judgment and assumptions. This will significantly contribute to improved HS&E performance as well as risk mitigation.

Automated systems in close combination with new cross-trained functions in the operations centers and re-manning of rig sites with reduced POB therefore will become the next step in automation of the overall drilling process.

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