Optimizing MPD operations: How to get data to work for you

Data is being hyped as the answer to all your problems. “Give me your data, I’ll find the solution” is an often-heard claim. But we all know that is not the truth.

In Helin’s experience, data alone is never enough; you also need domain knowledge, intelligence and a structured approach. This 3-step example of work done for Noble Drilling shows how data can work for you and reduce your operational costs.

Optimizing MPD operations:  How to get data to work for you

Managed Pressure Drilling

Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) controls the pressure within the drilling process, so drilling can take place as smoothly as possible. It will reduce pressure fluctuations and increases operational safety, resulting in minimum loss of time and budget.

Drilling processes are expensive and complex, which means that the drilling company and the oil company want to be kept up to speed about the operation.

This used to mean hiring staff at $5,000 per day, who could watch the drilling process live on location. Obviously, it would be much less expensive, more convenient and safer if this assurance can be automated, and you could monitor processes centrally with a live, high-resolution connection transmitted to land via the satellite.

Saving operational cost

To save up to $5,000 per day Noble hired Helin. The data transmission was up and running within 3 weeks. This meant Noble now was able to monitor the MPD process and knew exactly what was happening.

Step 2 was to automate reporting. Instead of experts manually filling out reports, now there are daily reports produced automatically. This puts the experts firmly back in their expert role. Needless to say, this increases job satisfaction, something we can’t afford to ignore with good technical staff being at a premium.

Minimizing downtime

Step 3 was to check the state of the rubber seal, which closes off the drilling process. The pressure of the drilling fluid can vary responding to the pressure of the oil and the rubber seal maintains this balance. This means you need to predict the pressure and wear and tear on the rubber seal as you go.

A rubber seal may sound like not a big deal to replace, but in the drilling industry it is. You don’t want to replace the seal too early, because that leads to extra, unneeded downtime. Replacing the seal too late leads to unplanned downtime – a whole day is not unusual in this situation. You really don’t want to have to replace the seal in the middle of a drilling cycle as this could result in a further half a day of downtime.

What Helin did was use predictive analytics to predict when the rubber seal would need replacing. Then the seal could be replaced as late as possible, at the right time in the drilling cycle. This leads to less overall downtime. With vessel day rates running at $200k-$400k, it makes a lot of sense to get this right.

Contact us to discuss how your organization will benefit from our solution.

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