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DBIMS: A Framework to Ensure Successful Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Business
Sumit Duttagupta, Assoc Director, Process Industry Group, Rolta India Limited While executing oil and gas exploration and production business, it is extremely significant to organise the information in a systematic manner. Further, the accessibility of the information when needed is equally crucial. A Drilling Business Information Management System (DBIMS) framework not only stores and provides the information or data when needed but performs a number of critical tasks such as analysing proper drilling applications and monitoring well engineering activities. DBIMS interconnects the entire drilling business by integrating information on planning, engineering, operations and processes.

The vision of collaborative Drilling Business Information Management System (DBIMS) framework is to cr eate a flexible digital infrastructure that supports an upstream oil & gas exploration and production business by building knowledge driven teams. This includes collaboration inside the business, with partners and customers, whilst ensuring that all operations and engineering data, business documents and contents relating to engineering and operations are organised in a pre-defined manner and transparent to the end user.

A collaborative environment leading to a “Well Centric Information Strategy” is basis of this requirement across the key stakeholders of the drilling business. The basis for implementing this type of information system comes from the following areas, which impact business efficiency:

1. Improved access to Data – The availability of all drilling data, documents and files from planning, engineering, operations and processes in one integrated system will have a significant effect on the speed of response of the drilling department in areas of response to operational issues and planning of new wells. This will be reflected in faster turnaround times and more flexibility to changing business requirements. The real time data management in Real Time Operations Centre (RTOC) is also planned to make it vendor independent. The foundation of DBIMS framework is to have a system whereby legacy and the present data are stored in a standard WITSML (Wellsite Information Transfer Standard Markup Language) data format. This will help the organisation to have an independent view of the integrated data in a standard format to do the necessary analysis.

2. Implementation of lessons Learned – The ability to quickly search out similar issues encountered in the past and identify the solutions provided earlier or avoidance of inappropriate actions will ensure that drilling function builds on the lessons from the past and does not repeat them. Quantification of timings from previous activities will allow more statistical based analysis resulting in better planning of wells (drilling well on paper) with improved confidence in the proposed well programme.

3. Process Improvements – Process definition and tracking will make the progress of each well visible at any point of time. This will provide a tangible reduction on the time spent within processes and allow management to intervene earlier to resolve holdups. Capturing of process data will allow review and correction of bottlenecks or inefficiencies in the process using more objective data.

4. Auditing and Statutory Compliance – The single integrated system will ensure that all data is in one place. Requests for any information can be quickly processed reducing man efforts, now being spent in searching and collating. Inventorying of data and documents will be automatic making the job of checking for the completeness of the information records much faster and less error prone.

The DBIMS system framework is a collaborative interconnection of various Drilling business functions being executed by underlying base systems. The native systems of the respective functions, which are envisaged, to be integrated under the solution framework are as follows:

Drilling Engineering Applications – The drilling engineering applications cover the following well engineering activities.
• Well design, including casing seat selection, stress check
• Cementing
• Hydraulics with temperature effect
• Kick tolerance
• Directional profile
• BHA analysis
• Torque and drag
• Surge and swap

Drilling Operations Data Management (Well Life Cycle Management) – This is considered to be the heart of the drilling information system. It deals with mostly non real time data for analysis and reporting. It will collect engineering and planning data from the technical applications, and accumulate operations data from the rig providing a single solution that allows comparison of planned vs. actual drilling activities, daily drilling reports, and Non Productivity Time (NPT) and other performance analysis. Lessons learned can be tagged to individual drilling activities for better understanding of the relevant circumstances related to the learning. The information solution can store structured data as well as documents and other files (video, audio, pictures, etc.) in any format against specific contexts and activities for the well.

Real Time Data Integration – This component add resses the availability of all real-time data in the RTOC by provisioning a WITSML ser ver to host all historic, current and future data. This will in turn make in-house analysis more effec tive and will have a platform independent data set.

Rig Equipment Operations Data – This component will cover all process data related to critical rig equipment’s such as BOP, DP Systems, Power Management etc. This data is normally available only at the rig operators or at the drilling or BOP console. Provision of this data in RTOC will lead to better pro-active steps.

Business Process Management – It will cover the specification of the drilling business processes to improve tracking and execution of processes and their respective deliverables. To star t with the initial scope normally covers high-level definition with stage gates defined for confirming review and completion of all activities and deliverables. Further refinement will allow definition of workflows for finer control and repeatable execution. Document tracking, review and approval will be a core component. Execution parameters will be captured for analysis to identify improvement areas.

Document, Audio and Video Storage and Integration with complete solution – The operations data management and business process components will have the core capability of storing documents and other file formats within an overall document management solution. Searching will use both keywords as well as indexed data extracted from the document and file contents. Searching can be broad-based across all wells or restricted to specific well characteristics or location.

Information On-Demand (Dashboard) – Access to the complete solution will be through a single interface that will provide access to all components including well engineering applications, operations data management, business processes and real time data. Specific overlays will provide technical and managerial summaries of the drilling activity tailored to the user's role. Information will be provided in real-time and will be limited only by the availability of the data within the overall solution.

The information solution framework is expected to conform to both core E&P business domain and the corresponding IT standards. It will capture data at source, reduce data entry through flexible data loading, provide support to drilling business processes, and cover full well life cycle delivering a comprehensive solution that captures all relevant planned and actual data, documents, emails and other electronic and paper files into an electronic well file. Intuitive searching of data in single or multiple wells is required.

A standard drilling business information management has following modules, which define the overall framework:

1. Collaborative Module – The collaborative module will include the following features:
• Context based email management
• Document storage based on drilling taxonomy
• Workflow management
• Integration with drilling engineering, technical and business applications.
• Information on demand as dashboard/portal for drilling.

2. Well Life Cycle Management Module – The well life cycle management module will include drilling operations and engineering data management throughout the life cycle of the well. It also provides the capability in terms of collecting the legacy data from old systems and collaborates with the framework envisaged. The well life cycle solution as envisaged will be web based. The application will have the capability of handling multiple clients in different rig across geographic location. The clients and server data will always be in sync bi-directional. Further, data across different rigs can be easily viewed from the central repository. The WLCM module will include the following features:

• An information solution covering the upstream drilling activities from handover of geological targets to well planning and well engineering.
• An information solution covering the drilling operations activities both on rig and in head office including daily drilling reporting, well services, drilling services, cementing, mud logging etc.
• Drilling Analytics solution allowing the drilling department to design future well proposals using experience and learning from earlier drilling campaigns.

3. Real Time Data Management Module – This component addresses the availability of all real time data in the RTOC by provisioning a WITSML server to host all historic, current and future data. It will act as a single source of real time drilling data. WITSML Central Server in the office environment will have visualisation capability, capability to stream WITS data from vendor server, import LAS and ASCII data and exports to standard formats like WITSML. The real time data management will include the following features:
• All the legacy data in different proprietary formats will be considered in a single WITSML environment.
• The present data available in any proprietary format will be converted and stored in WITSML format.
• Going forward all the historical and present real time data will be made available in single vendor independent WITSML platform for analysis.

Strategic Value Envisaged
• Higher quality decisions by having well data in a single user interface – The DBIMS architecture envisages structured and unstructured information in one easy to navigate user interface.
• Increased Productivity by having data structures span the well life cycle – to combine aspects of the entire life cycle into its underlying framework, while leveraging the data and capabilities of departmental information systems.
• Reduced risk by role based and asset based filtering.
• Enterprise consistency by having flexibility in data organisation – envisages applying changes to the "master" structure to all wells built on earlier versions, allowing the environment to evolve over time with limited IT intervention.