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This April 20th marked 10 years since the BP operated offshore drilling rig explosion. The tragic event killed 11 workers and resulted in a 3.2 MBO spilled in the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas of Louisiana to Florida. This became known as the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the worse spill to this date EVER.
The question becomes a matter of technology and time as to if this ever happen again.
Today, companies are spending billions (billions with a B) of dollars on equipment (new technology, stronger equipment technology), drilling in deeper water to greater depths of oil-bearing horizons to guarantee production and return on investment (ROI) to the E&P operating companies investors.
Looking at our history of oil spills, is it a matter of time before this happens again? Quite possibly due to complacent behavior which happens after a period of time of no problems. Tragically, time allows us to forget.
Fortunately, there is a technology patented in US, Canada, and Mexico by Calgary, Alberta based company Resource Energy Solutions (RES) called Drill.ai, which is a program that will NOT forget. Drill.ai is a program that operates in real-time, that gives real-time prompts and information. Ensuring the crew and the office are always in the know as to what is happening downhole. This program is embodied with historical data to know: what depths of increasing or decreasing well bore pressure, mud density, bit life, potential blowout, formation changes, and seeing ahead of the bit. With the real time processing of data we can better know what the formations and problems are before drilling into the problems.
Drill.ai is updated second by second as to its calculations for downhole information and constantly checking against the historical data input from wells in the area, basin, or simulation. If there is a parameter that is not in line with historical data, a prompt is given for the team to act on. When new information from E-logs, mud logs, cores, and drilling is available it can be entered into the program.
How does this Drill.ai do this? It has several engines: a weighted neuro-network, decision engine, algorithms, statistics, various bit equations, and an expert system. It alerts the drilling team (on rig -driller and drilling engineers, in office drilling engineers, and if requested joint venture partners) through prompts of what formation is being drilled, whether the down hole pressure and formation pressures are behaving as per the historical input, when the bit should be pulled as per spec’s, mud density, solids loading through formations drilled, and potential blowouts.
This program was designed to prevent disasters such as the BP Oil Spill among others from ever happening again.
Published by Trent Marx, President & CEO, Resource Energy Solutions and Dr. Gary Wm Reid, Ph.D., P.Eng.