Design Your Wells Faster, Safer: A Validated Approach on Automating and Customizing Workflows in the Drilling Design Phase


Alfredo Alvarez (Weatherford) | Reisha Bouska (Weatherford) | Dauren Mustafa (Weatherford) | Jerry Webb (Weatherford) | Sunny Chelmella (Weatherford)


IPTC - International Petroleum Technology Conference

Publication Date

January 13, 2020


International Petroleum Technology Conference, 13-15 January, Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Paper ID



Pre-job engineering tasks conducted during the drilling design phase have often been an overlooked aspect regarding time and cost savings. This is a critical phase that directly impacts efficiencies and effectiveness while drilling. This paper highlights the multiple benefits of an engineering solution that automates and triggers advanced engineering computations simultaneously. The objective is to realize time savings and accuracy gains necessary for quick evaluation and resolution of the decision-making processes, while eliminating unintentional oversight on engineering requirements.

The approach focuses on a fully customizable application that automates sequences of models/ actions; interpretation and validation of results, based on pre-determined criteria; and reporting functionality. This automated solution uses established workflows and conditions, and user defined calculations to conduct typical pre-drill engineering tasks.

To demonstrate the tool's capabilities, two wells were reviewed by multiple engineers of varying experience levels. Each performed the pre-drill engineering tasks assigned based on proposed requirements. The outcome reviews the time taken to deliver validated engineering solutions; accuracy of result validation and ability to track compliance to standards. Results from the evaluation of these three Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) are presented and thoroughly described.

The validation conducted revealed significant time efficiency gains when executing pre-engineering tasks and automatically validating each simulation (71% overall time-reduction). The accuracy of results was always guaranteed when using the automated method, with a 100% accuracy for both wells analyzed, compared to an average of 92% from the focus group. This improvement is key to ensure the delivery of flawless well designs, consistently and reliably. Additionally, the described potential for ensured compliance based on standardized rules specific to each organization, allows for repeatability and accountability, enhanced through the use of auditable trails.

Automation of processes, workflows and equipment is driving the innovative and creative direction for the industry, but it should also steer toward an increase in reliability, performance and minimization of risk in every step of the well delivery process. This fully customizable engineering tool proved to be a highly efficient approach that allows users to eliminate manual, time consuming tasks while removing the potential for accidental oversight in identifying future issues before drilling begins.