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OTC Technology Review: Drillmec

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Oilfield Technology,

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), held each year in Houston, Texas, US, is one of the world's leading upstream oil and gas events. Before OTC 2020 was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oilfield Technology contacted a range of key players in the upstream industry and asked for their insight on the latest technologies that were due to be showcased at this year's OTC.

In this submission, Gilberto Gallo, Drillmec, USA, looks into a new range of onshore and offshore drilling rigs scheduled for delivery in the near-future. 

Drillmec has developed a number of rigs currently scheduled to be delivered in 2020 and 2021, including:

  • The latest generation of fully automatic HH-Series hydraulic hoist onshore rigs.
  • The new ARS mobile onshore rig.
  • The deployed Striker-800™ advanced unconventional play cluster drilling rig.
  • The new conventional land rigs and offshore drilling rig packages.

The HH-Series hydraulic land rig is equipped with a new, automatic casing handling tool, designed to enhance safety, performance and the durability of the drilling rig package.

The company has also developed several advanced safety and efficiency features, including:

  • Automatic kick recognition and mitigation system.
  • Rig floor zone management approach to reduce access to dangerous and critical areas.
  • Enhanced predictive maintenance package.
  • Performance data analysis and data management.
  • Integrated facial recognition.
  • Voice controlled commands.

The HH-300 hydraulic hoist drilling rig was developed in co-operation with an integrated operator performing the drilling operations in order to maximise the full potential of an existing, automated drilling rig.

The drilling system applies machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to its different rig operations through data analytics, so as to automate and standardise operations and achieve a consistent performance. The rig operates dynamically at optimal capacity, led by AI, to preserve the machine’s durability and guarantee reliability and safety. It achieves fast and safe operations, resulting in a reduction in personnel and non-productive time (NPT), with the central machine learning curve generating overall improved efficiencies.

Figure 1. A Drillmec automatic drilling rig enabling secure and efficient operations.

The rig performs drilling and tripping operations automatically through a system that enables secure, efficient, and stable run in hole (RIH) and pulling out of hole (POOH) movements under the passive supervision of a driller.

The intelligent tubular management system, coupled with an automatic tripping system, automatically recalls each pipe’s length, hours spent in the hole, and hours of rotation in a precise way without the aid of any external device. This helps simplify the operation as well as enhancing safety and tracking tubular working life. The system has been shown to guarantee consistent performance at a higher average rate than the driller’s and is effective also in terms of the utilisation of the drilling crew.

Key to the success of this development has been the collaboration that guaranteed access to the well and to the rig for tracking purposes and resulted in improved performance in a cost-effective and repeatable manner, based on the direct and transparent feedback of the client.

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