IADC/SPE: Project is devising autopilot drilling standards

A Research Council of Norway joint industrial project, AutoConRig, aims to develop standard communications for the drilling process, build a framework for autonomous machine control, and create and maintain explicit specifications of shared concepts among drilling centers, reservoir and production centers, operations and maintenance centers, environment centers, and field operations.

Guntis Moritis
OGJ Production Editor

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 4 -- A Research Council of Norway joint industrial project, AutoConRig, aims to develop standard communications for the drilling process, build a framework for autonomous machine control, and create and maintain explicit specifications of shared concepts among drilling centers, reservoir and production centers, operations and maintenance centers, environment centers, and field operations.

AutoConRig, started in 2008, is part of a larger project, Integrated Operations in the High North, that plans to develop an advanced infrastructural framework of integrated operations off Norway.

J. Ormas, with National Oilwell Varco, described the objectives of AutoConRig Feb. 4 at the International Association of Drilling Contractors and Society of Petroleum Engineers Drilling Conference in New Orleans.

He said just as airplanes fly on autopilot, drilling rigs could do the same if there was a standardized communications framework for exchanging information among the various elements that supply information for the drilling process.

Ormas indicated that in 5-10 years, some rigs may drill on autopilot, eliminating the need for a human driller on the rig.

The AutoConRig project is scheduled to continue until May 2012.

Contact Guntis Moritis at guntism@ogjonline.com.

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