Drilling control automation

April 15, 2015

The Drillmec rigs recently supplied in Australia are in the final stage of development to match the latest Shell standards for rig control automation. 

The HH Series rigs are fully automatic as far as its drill pipe handling system. Drillmec stepped up to the next level by adding a cyber-chair and by creating a fully digitalized control system, creates the perfect machine to achieve automation of the rig control itself. 

The drilling software of Shell is the so called SCADAdrill. It is designed to execute the drilling process by interacting with the rig equipment in the same way a driller would. 

The associated SCADAdrill IT system, also nick-named “rig in a box”, receives real time information from the rig through all of the sensors. It monitors drilling parameters, determines appropriate controls that need to be communicated back to the rig, and navigates the course of the wellbore. In a few words SCADAdrill can act to manipulate the mud flow rate, top drive velocity, and rotary RPM.

Shell has developed the algorithms that will work in tandem with the Main Rig Control System equipment, and downhole tools to optimize vibrations, ROP, and other downhole parameters to directionally steer the wells to target.

It was mainly designed for low-cost land drilling in unconventional plays (coal bed methane, heavy oil, and some shale gas), where development involved several similar wells. Anyhow the same technology can be utilized in different application

The rig control system allows the driller to switch to manual mode anytime.

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