RTO in Your Pocket: How to Drill Longer Laterals from the Beach

Soaring demand for oil & gas and the US shale revolution has created an imperative for today’s domestic producers to increasingly outperform.   Keeping up with demand means continuously improving processes and driving higher levels of drilling and cost efficiency through automation and factory drilling.  As a result, the industry is shifting toward real-time operations to manage, monitor, and optimize drilling programs.  For the majors, RTO takes the form of technology-filled rooms staffed 24/7 by engineering staff that often resemble NASA mission control.  But for the hundreds of other E&Ps drilling wells in the Permian, Eagle Ford, Bakken, and other areas of development, the benefits of RTO have been out of reach – until now.

The Need for Real-Time Drilling Operations

Whether you are managing 3 rigs or 30, you must contend with constantly changing variables in the field, keep track of rigs at multiple stages of drilling, and avoid nonproductive downtime while assuring safety and balancing costs.  Engineering teams are overloaded with manual and repetitive tasks, such as data management and modeling, creating bottlenecks to productivity.  And all too often, critical and time-sensitive drilling optimization hinges on manual data analysis while a rig sits idle.

Instead of chasing down a torque and drag model, for instance, engineers need instant access to calibrated models and real-time data.  Advances in information technology over the past ten years have opened the doors to real-time operations with the promise of freeing up engineering teams to focus on high-value data interpretation and drilling optimization.

Downside of Brick-and-Mortar RTOs

RTO initiatives share the same problem as digital oilfield programs in general, namely, that the technology and requisite resources have been limited to the global majors and NOCs. Building an RTO center is an enormous undertaking, requiring dedicated office space, servers, specialized software, and a full-time staff of engineers and technical specialists to support 24/7 operations. The E&Ps who build brick-and-mortar RTOs may build one for each region and resource play or only for critical wells.  Multiply the costs by these multiple areas of drilling operation and the investment needed to build and maintain RTOs is staggering.

Mobile, Distributed, On Demand

The high cost of building and staffing an RTO is simply not an option for most independent producers. However, the rise of cloud computing and mobile devices has leveled the playing field. Combined with a new generation of mobile-first drilling technology, drilling teams can now access an RTO app on their smartphones or tablets as easily as the other apps they use, all in a familiar interface that can be used from anywhere, even the beach.

The benefits of mobile RTO include:
  • Real-Time Optimization – Instantly access drilling data, identify hazards, and review real-time analytics in real-time – such as static torque and drag models – right from your mobile device.
  • Reduced NPT – Avoid costly downtime by giving everyone on your team access to the same drilling data and reports, accelerating decisions and allowing you to drill full laterals, faster, and with more confidence.
  • Virtual Teams – Drilling operations teams bring their own device (BYOD), enabling them to contribute their ideas and expertise on the devices they prefer regardless of where they are in the world.
  • Expertise On Tap – Rather than assigning a few rigs to a single engineer, your entire organization’s cumulative expertise is pooled, enabling the right experts to be called on at the right time to optimize wellbore performance or troubleshoot drilling issues.
  • Zero CapEx – Cloud-based software, or SaaS, accessed over mobile devices requires no investment in physical computing hardware, server software, and PC workstations. And because it’s BYOD, E&Ps have no capital costs.

Corva – The RTO in Your Pocket

Whether your team manages a few rigs or a large-scale factory drilling operation, Corva provides an out-of-the-box mobile drilling app that will accelerate timelines, decrease errors, and reduce NPT.  With Corva, the extended team accesses up-to-date drilling status and KPI’s right from their phone or tablet, allowing critical decisions to be made in real-time, 24/7, whether staff are in the office, field, or on the go.


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