Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Intelligent Energy 2016: Have you heard the joke about the driller and the dog?

The Intelligent Energy Conference at AECC, Aberdeen. In the picture is Walt Aidred, research director, Schlumberger.
The Intelligent Energy Conference at AECC, Aberdeen. In the picture is Walt Aidred, research director, Schlumberger.

The first fully automated drilling systems will appear within the next few years, an oil and gas industry chief said today in Aberdeen.

Walt Aldred, former research director and scientific adviser at Schlumberger, said field trials were already being carried out and that the challenge for industry was to work out how it would take advantage of the technology.

“The first automated drilling systems will appear within the next or so,” Mr Aldred said at the SPE Intelligent Energy conference.

“They’re not five to 10 years away – they’re here and are now waiting and they are going to be pervasive across industry.

“There have already been field trials. Now we need to look at how we’re going to use them.

“What efficiencies are we going to get from them that will let us get into those new assets (undeveloped oil and gas fields).”

Mr Aldred also said a joke about a driller and a dog had been thought up reflecting the diminishing role of humans in the upstream sector.

“The driller’s job is to feed the dog and the dog’s job is to bite the driller if he touches anything,” he told the audience at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

However, Mr Aldred said there would always be a place for humans, and that in many ways their roles would change for the better.

He said new systems would free up people to focus on other aspects of the job.

Mr Aldred said during the conference’s opening session: “Really, a football team is just a group of autonomous systems working together.

“We’re just replacing some of those autonomous systems with something better.

“Machines can do coordinated, high speed things. It’s not just low level communications.

“Now you can tell a machine you want to drill to a certain depth and it has the ability to make its own decisions, which allows you to do other things.

“The question now is what value companies are going to achieve from that.”

Recommended for you

More from Energy Voice

Latest Posts