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The impact of technology and artificial intelligence in drilling engineering – Businessday

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Artificial intelligence (AI) also known as machine intelligence is a technological advancement that simulates human intelligence in machinesusing algorithms and sophisticated networking tools tocarry out tasks and solve multifaceted problems that hitherto required human energy to solve. AI is used in various fields of human endeavor for greater efficiency.
The use of artificial intelligence in drilling engineering has been rapidly gaining momentum in recent years. Some of the earliest applications of AI in drilling engineering include the use of expert systems for drilling decision-making, and neural networks for drilling parameter prediction. In the early 2000s, the use of data mining techniques, such as neural networks, became more prevalent in drilling engineering. These techniques were used to predict drilling parameters such as weight on bit, torque, and rate of penetration. Recently, machine learning techniques, such as support vector machines and random forests, have been applied to drilling engineering.
These techniques have been used to improve drilling performance by analysing large amounts of drilling data and identifying patterns that can be used to optimise drilling parameters.AI techniques are used, for instance, to predict porosity, permeability, water saturation, and wellbore stability. Using the Adaptive Neuro-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS), artificial neural network (ANN), support vector machine (SVM), etc., the two important petrophysical properties: porosity and permeability, can be predicted resulting in saving of cost, greater accuracy, and efficiency in drilling.
Technology and artificial intelligence (AI) have had a significant impact on drilling engineering. One key area where this is evident is in the use of automation and data analysis. Automation has made possible more efficient drilling operations, with tasks such as drilling parameter adjustments and well control being handled by computer systems. The use of automation and data analysis in drilling engineering is becoming increasingly important as the industry shifts towards digitalisation and automation, to improve drilling performance, reduce costs and increase safety. Automation involves the use of technology to perform tasks that would otherwise require human intervention.
In drilling engineering, automation can be used to control drilling rig systems and equipment, such as pumps, valves, and drilling parameters. This allows for more precise and consistent drilling, and can reduce the need for human operators, resulting in cost savings and increased safety. Data analysis, on the other hand, refers to the process of examining and interpreting data collected during drilling operations. This data can include information such as drilling parameters, wellbore measurements, and drilling performance metrics. By analysing this data, drilling engineers can identify patterns and trends that can be used to optimise drilling operations and improve performance.
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The combination of automation and data analysis can be powerful in drilling engineering. The use of data analysis and machine learning has improved the ability to predict and prevent potential problems during drilling. For example, data from automated drilling systems can be used to train machine learning models that can predict drilling parameterssuch as weight on bit and torque, and optimise drilling performance in real-time.
These models can analyze data from previous drilling operations and identify patterns that can be used to predict drilling parameters in real-time. This can lead to a more efficient and cost-effective drilling process, and also help to identify and mitigate potential problems,such as stuck pipe or downhole tool failure,before they occur.
Technology and AI have also had an impact on drilling engineering with the use of drones and remote sensing for monitoring and surveying drilling sites. This allows for the collection of data without the need for human presence inpotentially dangerous areas. These technologies can provide invaluable information for the optimisation of the drilling experience. Drones, for instance,can be used to capture high-resolution images and videos of drilling sites.
By equipping them with sensors such as LiDAR and thermal imaging cameras, theycan be used to collect valuable drilling data on topography, geology, and vegetation, as well as help to identify potential hazards and monitor drilling operations in real-timewhile simultaneously helping to improve safety and efficiency during drilling operations. Remote sensing technologies, such as satellite and aerial imagery, can also be used to monitor and survey drilling sites. It is stating the obvious to say that technology and AI have the potential to greatly improve the efficiency and safety of drilling operations.
The use of artificial intelligence allows for radical improvement and optimisation of drilling processes. As technology and AI continue to evolve, their use will likely become more prevalent in the drilling industry.The use of AI in drilling engineering is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, as more drilling companies adopt digitalisation and automation in their operations, as well as the emergence of new technologies such as deep learning, robotics, and IoT for drilling.There is no gainsaying that AI is the future of drilling engineering.
.Ekanem works with one of the international oil and gas companies as Lead Drilling Engineer, having held various roles in the Wells Engineering group both locally and internationally through his career. He has more than 16 years professional experience in the oil and gas sector.
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Business Day, established in 2001, is a daily business newspaper based in Lagos. It is the only Nigerian newspaper with a bureau in Accra, Ghana. It has both daily and Sunday titles. It circulates in Nigeria and Ghana
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