Brazilian pre-salt has gained lots of spotlight lately, confirming its relevance as an strategic oil&gas reserve. Not surprisingly, Petrobras leads the pack in conceiving and developing technologies allowing it to tap those deep and ultra-deep reserves. Moreover, the giant Pre-Salt development challenges’ menu comes with plenty of options to choose from, including Logistics, Formation Instability, Water depth, etc. Drillers, for instance, have to cope with Salt Creeping, Formation Dissolution, Lost Circulation, among others.
The Oil bearing formation is a vugs and natural fractures high incidence carbonate. Without getting too deep in details, during drilling operations, drilling fluid is pumped through the drill column down to the drill bit, and circulated back to the rig tank, with the purpose of cleaning drilling gravel and guaranteeing pore pressure balance. Often enough, while drilling through vuggy formations, vugs and natural fractures act as giant sink holes draining (or drinking) all the drilling fluid, avoiding its return to the rig tank, in other words, ceasing the mud (drilling fluid) circulation. Most importantly, that lack of mud circulation, when above certain levels, can halt the drilling operation, therefore increasing Drilling NPT (Non-Productive Time). In such situations there is an ongoing Severe Lost Circulation. Some more details on Lost Circulation can be found here.
Naturally, given the challenges posed by the Pre-Salt development, Petrobras funneld part of its R&D effort on reducing Well Construction Costs, and based on that strategy, a few years back, Petrobras signed a R&D cooperation agreement with SimWorx. The ongoing partnership accounts for lots of R&D man hours under the big Well Construction Cost Reduction umbrella, and part of it was dedicated to the development of SEIDR, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based solution, focused on predicting Lost Circulation events.
At last, kudos to Petrobras staff for outsmarting this complex puzzle guaranteeing the production figures we’ve been witnessing today! A memorable victory!
Everything disclosed in this article had already been published in this SPE Paper. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons for me to write this is the amount of visualizations the SEIDR paper has. Confirms its relevance!
Reducing Drilling NPT
In a variety of scenarios, Severe Lost Circulation is the main cause of drilling NPT (Non-Productive Time). Drilling Rigs are hired by the hour and costs a lot, therefore, companies try their best in preventing and combating Severe Loss events. Therefore, the availability of an application able to assess which locations are most likely susceptible to Severe Lost Circulation is key and provides relevant and decisive insights for Resource Allocation Optimization.
AI based Resource Allocation Optimization. A Severe Lost Circulation Prediction Tool
SEIDR combines AI technology with Geological and Geophysical expertise. Further more, it translates data assessment and know-how into a questionnaire with its answers serving as SEIDR’s input. Technicians have conceived the questionnaire so that it consolidates and combines knowledge from both disciplines. As a result, the combined, integrated solution, outperforms in relevance each of its individual assessment. A situation where the sum of the parts is less than its combined integration.
SEIDR combines AI technology with Geological and Geophysical expertise. Further more, it translates data assessment and know-how into a questionnaire with its answers serving as SEIDR’s input. Technicians have conceived the questionnaire so that it consolidates and combines knowledge from both disciplines. As a result, the integrated solution overshadows each of its individual deployment. A situation where the sum of the parts is less than its combined integration.
Based on its expertise, Petrobras’ team guided the development through the most relevant aspects of a drilling campaign. Further more, the experience the Geophysical and Geological team brought to the solution was decisive for the development. Lastly, its experience in Pre-salt fields allowed for the success of the whole effort.
Putting SEIDR in the line of fire, early deploying it in real operational scenarios, Petrobras team batch processed a whole drilling campaign. Therefore, assessing the occurrence odds of Lost Circulation events. Consequently, that allowed Petrobras to establish a precise resource allocation, resulting in a High Performance Drilling Campaign under extremely challenging scenarios.
As an example for resources optimization, MPD (Managed Pressured Drilling) Rigs are expensive technology, nevertheless, are fundamental for a successful drilling operation under Severe Circulation Loss situations. On the other hand, MPDs can be an overkill in scenarios with low incidence of Lost Circulation. With SEIDR deployment, by establishing the Lost Circulation occurrence odds per well, and defining the drilling agenda based on that, obviously preventing concurrently drilling of high risk wells, Petrobras’ MPD Rigs usage were kept to a minimum, contributing to Petrobras financial performance, at least in regards to drilling.
SEIDR is a web application hosted at Petrobras’ Well Design web portal Poço Web. Petrobras’ portal hosts a variety of applications focused on Well Construction disciplines, being a repository for all Petrobras’ Well Design Activities. Over the years, since Poço Web onset, SimWorx have had provided simulators, expert tools, etc, all in the form of web applications, customized and tailored according to Petrobras’ needs and specifications. Conceptually, SEIDR is an evolution of the SCOPE application. Further on, while SCOPE hints the Drillers what would be the most indicated additive to combat an ongoing Lost Circulation, SEIDR goes one step back and establishes what are the occurrence odds for such events. SCOPE remediates whilst SEIDR prevents by predicting its occurrence.
SimWorx couldn’t be more proud and honored to have Petrobras’ trust in helping it tackle those key and critical aspects of such overwhelming technical challenges! At last, SimWorx has lots of motivation with exciting assignments, and helping Petrobras tapping Pre-Salt reserves off shore Brazil is surely one of them!
Want to know how SimWorx AI Drilling technologies can help your company the way it helped Petrobras? Please contact us at Drilling AI.