This presentation documents some of the key findings on the data required and methods used to detect and correct issues with drilling control systems such as auto drillers, top drive active torsional damping systems, and heave compensation systems.
It has been found that the rig control systems and how they are tuned can have an impact on drilling dynamics. Issues related to drilling dynamics have varied widely among rigs, even among those that are in the same field and that have the same equipment and specifications. While there are differences in the drilling environment and between crews, recognition of the effects of the control systems employed can explain many of these differences and expand the tools and techniques available to improve drilling performance and reduce dysfunctions.
Opportunities abound for improvement in oilfield drilling control systems, their basic design, and documentation on how they should be tuned and best used. There are also opportunities in crew training catered to different audiences: Drilling Engineers, Rig Supervisors, Drillers, Directional Drillers, and Rig Electricians. Lastly, there is often a knowledge and communication gap between the software/control/user experience and engineers designing the control systems. Since rig control systems are not usually identified as the source of drilling dysfunction, requests for software or interface redesign have not often been initiated in the past.
Challenges for the future are to continue to upgrade rig site manuals, arrange for more crew training, upgrade the control system design, and to incorporate the control system response as part of the topside boundary condition for future drilling dynamics models.