Possible implementation of automated systems in drilling rig design
Research output: Research › Master's Thesis
The implementation of automation technology has changed many industries, with the result of steady increases of economic performance and quality of the manufactured goods. With all the benefits of automated systems, the drilling industry is beginning to follow this trend. One major precondition to develop autonomous working infrastructure is the understanding of the work flow itself. The technology that is required for such a system brings together different engineering areas. Cooperation of operators and contractors as well as the manufacturers of the key components such as drilling rigs and downhole tools will be essential. The aim of this work is the documentation and analysis of one of the main operational challenges during the drilling for oil and gas, the assembling and disassembling of the bottomhole assembly. Tripping of regular drill pipes is nearly mechanized and about to be automated. However, the bottommost part of the string still requires a lot of hands-on labor to get it in and out of the well. Reconsidering conventional rig floor design and eliminating manual work steps during that phase will be a milestone on the way to the hands free working infrastructure. The detailed investigation of the different work steps on the rig floor will provide the basis for further developments and the implementation of new equipment to realize the automated drilling rig. The thesis describes in detail the workflow of BHA handling and also discusses the possibility of future automated handling process.