Offshore Drilling and Completion

On occasion, there is a tendency to equate new advances in automation and intelligent systems with an inevitable workforce reduction, to an extent that people can begin to resist their application. However, as we all know from our own oilfield experiences, intelligent systems require well-prepared and creative engineers to deliver a successful and economic outcome and a synergetic relationship enhances the business and opportunity set as a whole.

These technology advances offer a newer dimension to those options for qualified engineers to select, develop, and apply effective applications to ever-more-complex issues. As the resources that the industry develops become increasingly challenging, access to a broader range of options and new and developing approaches allows more-­efficient and -effective recovery.

This month, I have selected a suite of papers that considers intelligent systems, all clearly demonstrating that these approaches are becoming increasingly mainstream in their selection and use. All the papers presented and suggested here demonstrate that the equipment, the techniques, or the systems alone cannot deliver the solutions. Instead, the systematic and innovative ways considered in their applications are responsible.

In time, the use of intelligent and automated systems will mature further into just another set of tools that the engineering community uses with increasing frequency to deliver the most-­efficient development solutions. When that occurs, the industry preoccupation will have moved on to the next wave of innovations, technologies, and advancements, which no doubt will raise new and specific challenges.

This Month's Technical Papers

All-Electric Subsea Well Brings Benefits vs. Traditional Hydraulic Technology

First Three-Zone Intelligent Completion in Brazilian Presalt: Challenges and Lessons

Triple-Zone Intelligent Completions Aid Extended Well Tests of Exploratory Wells

Recommended Additional Reading

OTC 28103 Intelligent Completions Used During Extended Well Test of Exploratory Wells in Brazil by L. Costa, Halliburton, et al.

OTC 27748 The Qualification Methodology Behind an Integrated Multizone Frac-Pack and Intelligent Completion for the Lower Tertiary by R. Jannise, Halliburton, et al.

SPE 187071 Real-Time Downhole Measurements During Deepwater Frac-Pack Completions in the Gulf of Mexico by A. Hawthorn, XACT Downhole Telemetry, et al.

Martin Rylance, SPE, is senior adviser and engineering manager for the Frac & Stim Group with BP. He has worked with BP and its partners and joint ventures for more than 28 years. Rylance holds a BS degree in pure mathematics. He has been involved in all aspects of pumping operations, well control, well interventions, and pressure service. Rylance has specialized in unconventional resources and fracturing in tectonic and high-pressure/high-temperature environments. During his career, he has been responsible for the implementation of numerous intervention campaigns, pilots, and exploration programs. Having lived in 10 countries and pumped in more than 20, Rylance has created and managed teams that have delivered thousands of fracturing and stimulation treatments around the world. He has numerous papers and publications to his name. Rylance was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2008–09 and in 2013–14 and is a member of the JPT Editorial Committee. He can be reached at

Offshore Drilling and Completion

Martin Rylance, SPE, Senior Adviser, BP

01 April 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 4

No editorial available



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