Global Management Consultant Oil and Gas

Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap

Advances in automation and autonomous systems are occurring and accelerating in drilling and completion operations. Players in this industry are evolving their technology contributions against an uncertain technology and business landscape.

John de Wardt is a Founder and Program Manager of a cross Industry Initiative that has a team of experts developing a Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap for the industry. Recognized as an expert and leader in the oil and gas business, this initiative was quickly affiliated by the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the Association of Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI). This work is defining the way forward for the advancement of automation technology application to oil and gas drilling and will support many companies and industries in their entry and development of this technology application.

John de Wardt defined the roadmap process applied in this endeavor and actively led the work that developed the roadmap products. This industry program is already yielding important insights that many companies involved in the industry, or wishing to enter it, will cherish.

This Drilling Systems Automation (DSA) Roadmapping Industry Initiative offers the opportunity to make a significant advance in multiple aspects of well construction value:

  • Safety: Remove humans from safety critical areas
  • Responsiveness: Speed of interpretation and action – beyond human capability / Close the loop where humans cannot perform or are too distant for fast data rates
  • Consistency: Repetitive operations – reduce spread / Programmed response in place of human interpretation
  • Knowledge application: Offset loss of knowledge and skills from high turnover of crews / Incorporate knowledge from experts / Input details of well plan directly into machines
  • Well Costs: Reduce NPT through systems managing the operating envelope / Lower numbers of onsite personnel

The DSA Roadmap process identified 8 critical challenges that require description over time in order to deliver the roadmap. These are currently being developed by interdependent teams under the leadership and direction of John de Wardt:

  1. Systems Architecture
  2. Communications
  3. Instrumentation and Measurement Systems
  4. Drilling Machines and Equipment
  5. Control Systems
  6. Simulation Systems and Modelling
  7. Human Systems Integration
  8. Certification and Industry Standards

John de Wardt is also leading the Systems Architecture team which will define the foundation on which the other 7 challenges build their futures. Critically, two models have been developed that support the DSA initiative:

The Systems Architecture Framework for DSA

The Decision Making and Control Framework