BP Alaska implements drilling automation technology

Comprehensive technology suite on Parker Rig 272 increases performance, safety, and efficiency.

Parker Drilling Rig 272
Jun 18, 2019

Drilling automation has been a topic of great interest to the oil and gas industry for the past several years, but uptake has been limited due to volatility in the marketplace and a cultural resistance to such massive change. In a landmark project on the North Slope, however, BP Alaska recognized the potential impact of new technology to drive a step change if properly implemented, embracing innovation and moving forward with closed-loop drilling automation. This included deploying our NOVOS™ platform, downhole drilling dynamics tools, drilling apps, and wired drill pipe as part of a full automation technology package on Parker Drilling’s Arctic Alaska Drilling Unit (AADU), Rig 272.

On this project, automation was prevalent except for pipe handling while in slips (i.e., torqueing and untorqueing connections), tripping, and BHA makeup and breakdown. The drilling automation system enabled BP Alaska to not only rise above the drilling-speed-focused automation business model of the downturn, which prioritized ROP, but also to obtain performance improvements across categories. BP Alaska saved approximately 4 minutes per intermediate hole-section connection and 2 minutes per production hole-section connection, when compared with relevant offsets, by using NOVOS. Wired drill pipe saved time on both surveys and downlinks, including the effective elimination of all flat time and invisible lost time related to downlinking. Finally, reductions in downhole dysfunctions and improvements in ROP were made possible by the drilling apps, which were integrated into NOVOS.

Learn more about our role as an unbiased technology integrator and the full drilling automation project by reading our special cover feature from June’s edition of World Oil.

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