SPE OKC- October Drilling Study Group

When:  Oct 22, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (CT)
Associated with  Oklahoma City Section
A New Language for Drilling Operation: Talking to Humans and Machines

About this Event

Abstract Drilling simulators are commonly used in our daily training and certification process. They create an extremely realistic, immersive environment, and place people in a safe drilling scenario. The technological advancements of these simulators allow specific training steps to be as close to the reality as possible. This leads to the next inevitable step the human-machine and human-human-machine interaction. With real time operating centers being pushed to their limit of simultaneous processes, the lack of face to face interaction may add difficulties in effective communication. The presentation starts with an overview of drilling simulators evolution followed by our current work in developing a new “language” for drilling operations. For comparison, in aviation there are standard phrases for all operations so it doesn’t matter what language you speak or which plane you are flying, you know exactly what the meaning of any particular command is. This provides a ‘short-hand’ for communication and reduces the possibility of misunderstandings or mistakes being made. For the oilfield, this type of universal standardization in drilling communications has never been fully implemented. Our research shows that the new concept could make a great difference to the number of human error incidents and in maximizing efficiencies.

Working to establish a thorough drilling language on the simulator allows the participants to repeat and redo the phrases in a safe environment. If successfully implemented, the new “language” will make radical improvements in safety and efficiencies in oilfield drilling and in classroom. By simplifying to a short and effective “language”, the ultimate goal of a machine precisely understanding our human commands can be realized. As part of our research, using ‘imperfect’ and non-specific phrases such as ‘decrease rotation by 45’ or ‘pumping too slow, pump faster’ resulted in significantly slower reaction times. ‘Perfect’ phrases such as ‘decrease RPM to 75’ or ‘increase SPM to 140’ were much more successful – earning 100% completion rates.

This is distinctive research which could revolutionize drilling communications and lead to the achievement of full rig automation. Further benefits include raising safety standards, improving efficiencies on drilling rigs, as well as accelerating the timescale of training.

Biography Catalin Teodoriu is Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma since 2015 and visiting professor at the Oil and Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania. He holds a Ph.D. in technical sciences from the Oil and Gas University of Ploiesti and a Ph.D. in geo-engineering (Petroleum Engineering) from Clausthal University of Technology, Germany. Teodoriu has more than 25 years of experience in the petroleum industry and academia, with key qualifications and research in drilling and production equipment, geothermal technology, multibody system dynamics, automation and safety. He is also an experienced industry instructor and is author of more than 285 publications. He was awarded with the SPE Drilling Regional Award in 2018 and serves as Editor and Reviewer in more than 20 Journals.


United States
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Austin Bray