OILFIELD technical website www.drillers.com has forged a joint venture with the department of applied mathematics at the University of Pau, in France, with the objective of creating online tools to help optimise drilling decisions.
Drillers.com says these tools will use Mathcad worksheets coded with decision-analysis techniques to optimise outcomes of oilfield decisions. Decision analysis, which is a branch of operations research, is a mathematical tool which can be used to optimise decisions under conditions of risk and uncertainty.
The Aberdeen-based outfitsays that, by way of this new collaborative effort, drilling professionals working in the oil&gas industry will benefit from decision-analysis techniques without having to learn the complex maths for themselves.
The department of applied mathematics at the University of Pau has been working closely with oil majors, such as Total, for the past 10 years in an effort to expand its activities and develop further means to assist industry professionals worldwide.
One result is that a postgraduate student with a Master’s degree in operations research is this month due to start a six-month internship with Drillers.com.
The aim is to work on creating an online decision-analysis tool which will greatly help oilfield companies with drilling-related decision-making responsibilities.
Steve Devereux, of Drillers.com, said: “The JV is an initial effort to get operations-research and, in particular, decision-analysis techniques to be widely used to save costs in finding and developing hydrocarbon resources.
“It will depend on industry participation, but the benefits can be huge, so I’m optimistic that we’ll get support.
“Critical decisions, such as the type of rig that needs to be selected to give the lowest-cost well, the mud system best suited to minimise drilling costs, the number of supply boats required to reduce operational costs or the choice of drillbits that produce the lowest cost per foot, can be optimised using such mathematical decision-analysis tools.
“Drilling professionals currently have three choices when it comes to rig maths: calculators, generic programs like Excel or commercial programs, which can be expensive and hide their inner workings.
“These web-enabled Mathcad worksheets give a fourth option, are free to use and reveal all the inner calculations, which can then be audited or used for learning.”
As part of the new venture, Drillers.com is inviting interested oil-industry organisations to submit a drilling-related decision problem that would be solved by the postgraduate student under the supervision of Professor Marc Artzrouni, at the University of Pau, and Steve Devereux, who has some 30 years’ experience in drilling.