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IADC Drilling Contractor magazine:

Industry takes cautious but sure-footed steps toward hands-free drilling, automation

When it comes to risk-taking, this industry seems to suffer from a case of multiple personality disorder. On the one hand, it has a tendency to be big gamblers. It’s willing to spend millions or tens of millions of dollars – maybe hundreds of millions or more, if you’re talking deepwater – drilling exploration wells that have unknown chances of success. The industry understands that although the risks may be high, the rewards that could be gained are even higher.

When it comes to automation technologies, however, that philosophy sometimes gets overlooked. The risk-taking optimist gets pushed to the back, and out comes the cynical conservative who eyes “machines” and “computers” with mistrust. “Will it really improve the drilling operation?” “Will it cost me NPT with failures and extra maintenance and repair time?” “Will it require additional training for my crews?” “Will the benefits outweigh the costs and risks?”

Read more at http://www.drillingcontractor.org/feature-test1-59

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