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Rigsite data systems

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Various rigsite systems used for data management and reporting are discussed below:

Data management and reporting rigsite systems

Service company

The most comprehensive data-acquisition systems present at the rigsite are provided by service companies such as mud-logging, Measurement while drilling (MWD)/Logging while drilling (LWD)), and wireline vendors. Real-time data-acquisition systems typically are connected to a suite of surface and downhole sensors that enable live monitoring of the rig-equipment operation and the well-construction process. Service-company systems are typically capable of accepting Wellsite Information Transfer Specification (WITS) inputs from other vendors so that sensor readings from all data-acquisition systems may be collated into a single real-time data set that may be provided to the operator at the end of the well. In addition to collating sensor readings, service-company software systems also enable various interpretative reports to be entered into the system depending on the service provided, such as:

  • Mud logs
  • Drilling-data logs
  • Pressure logs
  • Wellsite geology, mud, and cementing

The combination of surface and downhole sensors with networked graphical data logs and text outputs enables the operator’s supervisory staff, service company, and rig contractor to maintain an accurate picture of the drilling or well-services operation, and track well progress to ensure that the new-wellbore placement or completion meets the operator’s safety, geologic, and production requirements.

Rig contractor

Rig-contractor personnel may use any number of commercially available electronic tour-sheet applications that enable them to complete their Intl. Assn. of Drilling Contractors (IADC)/Canadian Assn. of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) report electronically on a PC rather than fill in traditional paper-based forms. These electronic tour-sheet applications may be hooked up to the rig’s own data-acquisition system, which utilizes electronic drilling recorder (EDR) system to record surface-sensor readings from all rig equipment, such as:

  • Hookload
  • Weight on bit (WOB)
  • Rate of penetration (ROP)
  • Kelly or stand height
  • Surface torque and revolutions-per minute (RPM)
  • Pump pressure
  • Pump flow rate
  • Pump speed
  • Pit volumes

Increasingly, data from rig-contractor EDR systems and service-company systems are being supplied live back to the beach or office and made available as a service to operators through commercial Website offerings that provide online or offline logs of drilling and well-services data.


From an operator’s perspective, rigsite data acquisition typically consists of:

  • Daily operations morning reporting systems
  • Survey-data management
  • Well-engineering software systems.

Operations reporting

The daily operations report is the operator’s record of the construction, completion, workover, or abandonment operation occurring on the well. The daily operations report is a comprehensive record of all daily activity and equipment operations that occur over a reporting interval, for example:

  • Current operations status
  • Progress and current formation/lithology information
  • Time summary information
  • Daily cost
  • Survey
  • Drilling fluids
  • Bit
  • BHA
  • Mud-cleaning-equipment
  • Safety
  • Personnel
  • Support-craft
  • Weather information

Rigsite supervisors or field engineers enter a number of associated reports depending on the type of well operation, rig equipment used, or operator and regional government reporting requirements.

For the drilling process, reports are typically entered for:

  • Daily operations
  • Pipe tallies
  • Casing
  • Cementing
  • Wellsite geology
  • Coring
  • Logging
  • DSTs

When these operations occur.

For completion and workover operations, engineers enter reports for:

  • Downhole wellbore equipment
  • Wellhead installations
  • Perforation
  • Stimulation
  • Remedial cementing
  • Production tests
  • Pressure surveys

For artificial-lift completions, engineers will enter detailed report information for:

  • Conventional pumps
  • Gas lift
  • Electrical submersible pumps
  • Progressing-cavity pumps
  • Hydraulic-lift completions

For all types of operations, performance is measured through detailed, planned (vs. actual) activity tracking, NPT analysis, and equipment-failure analysis. Operational learnings are recorded and collated in lessons-learned systems associated with key data parameters so that this information may be shared across an organization and used for future well-performance assessments or well-planning operations. Health, safety, and environmental assessment and monitoring of the well operation and fluids/chemicals used are an increasingly important part of the well-operations reporting process.

Survey-data management

Correct placement of the wellbore to meet geological and production requirements is the primary goal of any drilling operation. In the office, directional-well planners will use a survey-data-management solution to design the well trajectory to intersect one or more drilling targets, avoid adjacent wellbores within safe collision-avoidance tolerances, and not exceed other well-design criteria. At the rigsite, the system is used to record survey-station data for specific survey-tool runs. Survey-tool error models are used to calculate positional uncertainty down the wellbore. The definitive wellpath is updated continuously to calculate the most accurate well trajectory, compare planned vs. actual well trajectory, and perform anticollision risk assessment for any nearby wellbores. Tools are also available to assess the survey data and ensure that it is within acceptable tolerances.

Well Planning/Drilling Engineering. Many commercial software vendors provide a suite of drilling-engineering applications that assist in:

These engineering systems help well planners design the well within concise engineering constraints. These planned models are updated during the drilling process to monitor the well, and ensure that design constraints are not exceeded.

Drilling/rigsite simulators

The electronic capture of real-time rig-operations information into rig or drilling simulations or modeling systems enables the users of these systems to “play back” the well operation, so that detailed research or analysis may be performed. This allows researchers to simulate the use of new technologies or monitoring systems before their actual use at the rigsite. The increased availability of usable data sets provided by various rigsite data-acquisition vendors in WITS or Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language (WITSML) format is enabling operators to store this information consistently within their own data stores. Previously, service companies could provide real-time information only in proprietary, nonstandard formats, making consistent storage of this data for reuse much more difficult.

Other software systems

Associated rigsite systems used by operators include site construction and reclamation software and environmental-assessment and monitoring systems. The rig contractor and/or the operator may also be using human resources systems and materials/inventory-tracking software systems to manage the flow of personnel and materials to and from the rigsite. A new software area at the rigsite and in the office is e-invoicing, where service-company and materials/equipment vendors invoice the operator electronically using Extensible Markup Language (XML) systems instead of traditional paper invoices or field tickets.

The value of integration

Historically, these types of rigsite software systems have been separate applications or application suites hosted on separate data stores and IT infrastructures with little to no connectivity between them. These software systems did not integrate because they were used by different companies, teams of users, or single users who did not expect integration, because they were using their software to perform specific tasks. With increasingly complex and costly drilling and well-services operations and technologies, all office rigsite personnel who use well-information management systems today expect to use innovative suites of applications that integrate across the geoscience, well-engineering, and rigsite-management disciplines.

The current trend in oilfield software development is to provide integrated systems used by multiple well-engineering disciplines that support numerous engineering workflows that meet rigsite monitoring requirements. These systems use a single common repository of well data that covers an ever-increasing extent of the well life cycle including:

  • Initial wellsite environmental surveys
  • Initial well construction
  • Completion to production field-data capture
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Workover
  • Abandonment
  • Site reclamation
  • Follow-up environmental monitoring

Engineers expect shared use of a common data store to allow them to more efficiently perform their specific tasks or perform analysis without having to duplicate or transfer information entered elsewhere.

Where systems do not share the same data store, field users expect to be able to import or exchange data between systems with no loss of content or data quality. To meet this requirement, electronic data-exchange systems have evolved from the 1980s WITS standard and various system-specific methods to modern XML-based systems. Additionally, standardization of software systems on the Windows operating system enables rigsite systems to exchange information through Microsoft OLE and ODBC standard methods.


Noteworthy papers in OnePetro

Wayne D. Martin and John E. Sirotis et al. 1978. INTEGRATED DATA MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEM FOR OFFSHORE DRILLING RIGS - DESIGN AND OPERATIONAL EXPERIENCE, Offshore Technology Conference, 8-11 May . 3327-MS.

R.S. McCoy 1985. Practical Rig-to-Office Data Communications, SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, 5-8 March. 13497-MS.

External links

See also