Introducing DrillTronics

Automates drilling process control, enabling drillers to optimize and enhance the safety of their drilling operations

DrillTronics software automates drilling process control, enabling drillers to optimize and enhance the safety of their drilling operations. Integrated with the rig’s drilling control system (DCS) machine controls for drawworks, top drive, and mud pumps, DrillTronics applies the same advanced modeling capabilities as DrillScene® to maintain wellbore stability and consequently reduce non-productive time.

How DrillTronics can help

The primary focus for a DrillTronics installation is to enhance drilling operations and maximize productive time during drilling.

It achieves this by:

Applying operational safeguards to the drilling control system. These ensure that pressure inside the wellbore remains within the geopressure window, even during transient operations such as starting the mud pump or tripping in or out of hole.

Providing automatic safety mechanisms. These safety triggers react to drilling incidents (such as a pack-offs) and take corrective action to prevent problems from becoming more serious.

Enabling automatic sequences while ensuring that the well is protected by using safeguards and automatic safety mechanisms. The automated sequences offer greater efficiency and consistency across a range of drilling operations. They allow the driller to focus on the most important information while executing standard operations. Predefined automatic functions implement the required operational sequences and manage associated parameters when operating the mud pumps, draw works and top drive.

DrillTronics: tailored to your needs

Drilling operations can be highly variable. Every borehole requires a different approach and places specific demands on the driller and the drilling system.

When activated, DrillTronics calculates safe limits and applies these to the Drilling Control System (DCS). The default setting is that all of the automated functions, safeguards and safety triggers are active during the operation, but the setup can be configured to fit the specific operation.

The DrillTronics functions to activate are:

Safeguarded drill string movement

Safeguarded and semi-automatic pump startup

Safeguarded and automatic friction test

Safeguarded and automatic reciprocation

Automatic safety triggers for over-pull, maximum torque and set-down weight

Automatic safety triggers in case of pack-off with automatic pump handling

DrillTronics in action

DrillTronics is a powerful tool for enhancing the safety and efficiency of drilling operations. It can control swab and surge effects, manage pump startup, conduct semi-automatic friction test and reciprocation, visualize and monitor borehole progress.

The DrillScene trend window makes it easy to see trends building and developing over time.

As DrillTronics detects standpipe pressure (SPP) approaches the defined limit, fracturing pressure, the system performs a controlled pump rate reduction.

Controls swab/surge effects

Swab pressure and surge pressure have to be controlled to prevent kicks or formation break down. DrillTronics helps the driller to control these pressures and so minimize the risk of unplanned events

Manage pump startup/stop and shutdown

During mud pump acceleration, downhole pressures must not exceed the fracturing pressure of the openhole formations. It is vital, therefore, to estimate the effect of downhole pressure variations for the entire openhole well section and not only at the casing shoe depth or at the bit depth. DrillTronics supports a semi-automatic pump startup, which controls the rate of change and maximum flowrates of the mud pumps. This helps the drillers and prevents formation damage when starting the mud pumps. In situations where DrillTronics detects that pressure is getting close to fracturing pressure or erratic pressure signature the system performs a controlled pump rate reduction or shutdown.

The DrillScene trend window makes it easy to see trends building and developing over time.

Automatic friction test (right) deliver a much higher degree of repeatability than manual tests (left).

Conducts semi-automatic friction test and reciprocation

Friction tests record free-rotating weight, free-rotating torque, pick-up weight and slack-off weight. Manual friction tests are inconsistent and give erratic values. It is important that the same procedure be used for every test. By automating friction tests, DrillTronics removes the potential for driller -introduced variations.

Reciprocation is run when further hole improvements, such as hole cleaning or reaming, are necessary and can last several hours. In DrillTronics the reciprocation process can be automated to assist the driller during this tedious and time-consuming operation.

Throughout the reciprocation process, DrillTronics continuously monitors surface parameters (hook load, hook speed and acceleration, surface rpm, surface torque, pump rate and pump pressure) to assist the driller during the automated sequences. DrillTronics makes it easy to detect the sudden changes in hook load and surface torque that may indicate pack-off or hole collapse. If the difference between measured and predicted values exceeds a given threshold level, the safety function will be automatically triggered.

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