Many industry insiders and analysts believe that the creation of real-time operating centers to achieve drilling optimization is the key to solving numerous challenges encountered by the industry. Even with a significant investment and the development of state-of-the-art facilities by major operators, however, the incorporation of real-time center operations in the field has occurred more slowly than anticipated.

In 2009, the SPE Real-Time Optimization Technical Interest Group (RTO TIG) surveyed the drilling community, including oil companies, operators, and consultants, to assess the progress of the industry toward drilling optimization through the use of real-time operating centers. This survey identifies barriers to real-time center use and adoption, and assesses the use of technical and business tools at each stage of the real-time process, ranging from data collection to decision making and field action.

This paper summarizes the results of the survey and analyzes its findings. The survey covers the entire value chain in oilfield drilling services, from preliminary modeling and planning to actual drilling. With data collected from more than 150 respondents, the survey findings indicate that the industry perceives that few substantial obstacles remain in the adoption of real-time centers and that progress in real-time drilling optimization is being made. Although many respondents predict that the remaining barriers will eventually be overcome, the RTO TIG believes that by identifying and highlighting these barriers, and by exploring the most persistent barriers to adoption, we can illuminate methods by which the industry can achieve faster gains in real-time adoption and performance.

The survey finds that many companies have acquired the technology necessary for real-time operations, yet have failed to achieve real-time performance in the implementation of this technology. This paper assesses implementation roadblocks by examining the real-time process, including modeling and planning, data acquisition, analysis, decision, field action, and process improvement.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.