Drilling fluids are critical to maintaining well safety and quality during construction and completion. That makes drilling fluid properties key control parameters of the drilling and completion process. Moreover, increased efficiency of new drilling technology, and demand for data driven by digital advances in remote monitoring and analytics require frequent and reliable measurement of the physical and chemical properties of drilling fluids. Typically, these properties have been measured by manual field sampling and testing. But manual testing lags advances in drilling efficiency, causes delays, and is susceptible to bias, inconsistencies, and inadvertent human errors.
Mud properties must be monitored and adapted as drilling progresses to total depth. These properties are not only critical to the safety and efficiency of the operation, they also provide valuable information throughout the drilling process. With this information, problems can be anticipated, and changes can be made. With better and more frequent measurements of mud properties comes improved safety and reduced nonproductive time (NPT), cost, and time to total depth.
Automatic mud sampling and testing minimizes the need for human intervention, allowing for higher productivity and better utilization of resources. Instead of having a person on the rig gathering samples and carrying them back for analysis, the equipment can do it several time each hour. Automation reduces risk to humans on the rig while helping the crew focus on high value tasks.
More frequent sampling and testing means rig personnel see changing trends faster and can react quicker than with manual methods. Due to the amazing efficiency of rigs today, a bit could travel several hundred feet before manual sampling even shows a problem. With frequent, automatic sampling, problems are discovered and corrected right away, significantly reducing nonproductive time.
OFITE has been on the forefront of the automation revolution. In the last several months we have field tested three new instruments that take automation to the next level: