DSATS is the Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). Our purpose is to accelerate the development and implementation of systems automation in the well drilling industry by supporting initiatives that communicate the technology, recommend best practices, standardize nomenclature and help define the value of drilling systems automation. Appropriate initiatives include workshops, forums, lectures, and technical and white papers. DSATS actively encourages the participation of automation experts from outside the drilling industry as well as those from within.

DSATS Symposium 2023

Registration is now open for the 2023 DSATS Symposium here

Amazing Panel Line Up Debating Expansion of Automation in Drilling, Completion, Intervention and P&A – a must attend event, limited seating.
SPE DSATS / IADC ART March 6 Symposium, Stavanger, titled “Trends in Well Construction Automation – where will we push the envelope, if at all?” is open for registration. Immediately precedes the SPE / IADC Drilling Conference with stand-alone registration. Seating is limited to 100. Register now to secure your place. https://lnkd.in/gWrEZ788

Expert panellists, carefully selected from across the industry, will deliver a forward-looking presentation of their perspective on technology trends and possibilities for automation in their domain of well construction (Drilling / completion / intervention / P&A). These presentations will be followed with an interactive debate moderated by Trent Jacobs, SPE JPT Senior Technology Editor.

The panelists are:
-      Arnfinn Grøtte – AkerBP, Manager Drilling & Wells Digitalisation
-      Pradeep Annaiyappa – Nabors Industries, Senior Director 
-      Joop Rodenburg – Huisman, President.
-      Erik Zachariasen – StimLine, CTO
-      Knut Inge Dahlberg - Baker Hughes, Global Manager P&A

The symposium will be followed by a networking reception.

Brought to you by a special committee led by David Curry - DSATS Program Chair Europe
-      John de Wardt CEng FIMechE, DSATS Director Emeritus
-      John Macpherson, DSATS Director Emeritus
-      Austin Groover, DSATS Chair Symposiums and Special Sessions
-      Michael Edwards, D-WIS 
-      Nathan Moralez, ART Subcommittee Chair Data, Controls and Sensors

Special thanks to the DSATS / ART Symposium Sponsors:
-      Platinum - Baker Hughes - https://lnkd.in/gXazRkmu
-      Gold - NOV
-      Gold - Ensign Energy Services      
-      Silver - Weatherford

SPE Workshop: Impact of Digitalisation on Drilling Operations

SPE Workshop: Impact of Digitalisation on Drilling Operations 29 - 30 Nov 2022 Kempinski Al Othman Hotel Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Click here for more info

By leveraging digital technologies and the pillars of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), new opportunities for performance improvement are identified, and innovative solutions are developed, deployed and adopted. This helps tackle the complex and challenging nature of drilling and workover operations, particularly, automation, which is a crucial IR4.0 pillar.


Drillbotics 2021 - 2022 Competition Update

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Now available on the Drillbotics website
2021-2022 Videos 
2021-2022 Reports
- Phase I design reports
- Phase II video presentations for the judges
- Phase II test videos

The design reports include design philosophy, detailed engineering calculations, assumptions and choices that teams must make during the design phase of the competition. Prior to the Phase II testing, the teams prerecord a video presentation for the judges that highlights any changes made since Phase I and why. They also include new learning during the spring term. There are also videos of the judges' Q&A prior to the final test. The test videos show the models or equipment in action.

You can follow us on our YouTube channel or on the archive page of the drillbotics website.



Sponsors who donate cash, material, or assistance to the Drillbotics competition or directly to student teams are the lifeblood of the contest. If you are interested in how you can help, more information on sponsorship opportunities can be found here

DSATS Version 2.0

The leadership of DSATS launched an initiative at the end of 2021, asking for members of the section to form a workgroup with the objective to re-launch the technical section. This included taking a look at the way the section operates and looking for ways to improve it, how the section interacts with the members and other industry entities working on automation, identifying new topics of interest that can be used to launch technical activities, and last but not least how to engage new members in the leadership team as well as in the various on-going and new section activities.

A group of thirty industry peers worked for a period of three months and came up with a proposal on how to re-launch DSATS. At a high level, the proposal identified several new directions that DSATS should support (e.g. interoperability, Human Factors, ESG, geothermal, Verification & Validation, to name just a few). For each one of these areas, the team came up with a list of topics/ideas that could evolve into activities of the section, based on the level of interest they create with the members.

A document with full details will be available through the new DSATS website once launched in the next few weeks. It is intended to be a “live” document, updated with new suggestions ideas, and to serve as a pool of activities that the leadership team can draw from in order to launch new initiatives over the next few years.


Nov 10th OPEN community Meeting
Time: 08:30 USA CST (Houston time)
Location: https://lnkd.in/gbXs7YYQ
Join us online and catch up on some latest developments by SPE Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS) in the community meeting (open to all). This is an opportunity to hear progress from some interesting committees and voice your opinion on future activities.

Sept 8th members meeting
Minutes can be found here
A recording of the meeting can be found here

July 14th - Members meeting
Minutes can be found here
A recording of the meeting can be found here


DSATS LinkedIn– Link to the external SPE-DSATS LinkedIn company page. There you will find lots of information on upcoming community events, interesting articles, and open dialogs on all things drilling automation.

Drillbotics – an international competition for universities to design and build a small drilling rig that uses sensors and control algorithms to autonomously drill a rock sample provided by SPE’s Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section (DSATS). Alternately, teams may create a digital twin of a full-scale rig to model drilling autonomously.  Affiliated with SPE DSATS.

DSA Roadmap – (Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap) a cross-industry effort launched in June 2013 to provide insights to industry participants and non-industry participants regarding the adoption of advancements in drilling systems automation for both onshore and offshore oil and gas wells.

DSABOK – (Drilling Systems Automation Body of Knowledge) disseminate Drilling Systems Automation (DSA) knowledge directly or through linkages to various industry recognized websites.

OSDC – (Open Source Drilling Community) a coalition of industry and academic leaders to support an open-source effort for drilling, to encourage the reuse of ever-improving models and code. Chartered by SPE DSATS.

DDQUD – (Drilling Data Quality and Uncertainty Description) to increase the awareness and understanding in the drilling community on how to describe drilling data quality and uncertainty. Chartered by DSATS, DUPTS and WPTS.

D-WIS – (Drilling and Wells Interoperability Solutions) establish recommended practices and standards that enable interoperability between all components, equipment and systems used in oil and gas well construction – regardless of the type or provider.

SPE WPTS – (Wellbore Position Technical Section) to produce and maintain standards for the industry relating to wellbore survey accuracy.

ISCWSA – (Industry Steering Committee on Wellbore Survey Accuracy) produces, maintains, and publishes standards for the industry, promoting a collaborative understanding of issues associated with wellbore surveying. Affiliated with SPE WPTS.

SPE DUPTS – (Drilling Uncertainty Prediction Technical Section) to provide international multidisciplinary forum for technical discussion and a consensus-based arena related to drilling uncertainty & prediction, which focuses mainly on artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science solutions supporting drilling planning and execution challenges.

IADC ART DCS – (Advance Rig Technology committee – Data, Controls and Sensors subcommittee) provide information and guidelines to improve safety and reliability of the interfaces between human and machine, and between multiple control systems.

Future Events

The IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition is the region’s leading drilling event. Rotating biennially within Asia Pacific, it provides the opportunity for operators, suppliers, contractors, and service company professionals to meet, discuss, evaluate, and share ideas to advance drilling operations. Join us in Stavanger 2023 for the worlds leading drilling event. Providing unrivaled technical content, it will cover the latest news, trends, and innovations affecting the drilling sector and deliver emerging technologies and practices in global oil and gas exploration and production.