A Preview of Drilling Operation

The great Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Albert Einstein said this in the last century. Since then people’s imaginations have come a long way. From a caveman’s painting on rocks to modern man’s sci-fi and animated movies. Imagination explodes around us.

We see imagination on a big scale, such as, NASA’s Apollo 11 – the first manned mission to land on Moon in 1969 – and on a small scale, where we use our imagination to be more creative and happier.

In art, our imagination allows us to be whoever and whatever we want to be in this world. Whatever we imagine, we can conceive and give birth to it. We can sing it in song, write it in a story or poem, draw it, paint it or even sculpt it. Through imagination, the world is literally at our fingertips.

As we grow up, we often grow out of our imagination. We are taught to stop using it. And we soon believe that we no longer have one. But we can recapture our imagination through some simple steps, such as:

  • Think about something extraordinary when you wake up
  • Pretend to be someone else
  • Visualize things you want to create
  • Wear socks that don't match
  • Drive to work a different way or eat at a new restaurant

Imagination demands that we open our mind and heart and let our thoughts flow freely.

For drilling engineers, drilling software is a great tool to boost our imagination. With this tool, we can be drilling a 20,000 foot horizontal well or cementing a casing in an offshore well at a water depth of 10,000 feet, all while sitting in front of a computer screen. During the planning stage, we don't have to be on-site. A simple run of a simulation puts us on the rig floor so we can see hookload changes as it is happening. We can even modify our operational parameters (ROP, RPM, etc.) to see how they impact our drilling performance, simply by switching between input and output windows or employing a sensitivity study.

Drilling software, through 2D or 3D visual display, makes our imagination tangible and real. Sometimes it can even spot the flaw in our imagination by identifying potential problems in our drilling operation design before we execute it in the field.

Below is output from PVI’s CEMVIEW software (cementing engineering toolbox). It shows the casing configuration and wellbore schematic at each casing stage.


Just as our imagination is the preview of our lives’ coming attraction, drilling software is our engineers’ preview of our next project.

Change of Plane

Milan was the last stop of my vacation in Italy. On my way back to Houston, I had to make 2 connections at Zurich, Switzerland and Amsterdam. The Zurich airport is still using buses to pick up and drop off passengers from concourses to airplanes.

Things were smooth for me to get into my airplane.  After I sat down, a flight attendant made a short announcement: “This plane is flying to Amsterdam. Those of you, who are going to Munich, please come to the front.” Immediately a handful people, surprised and talking, rose from their seats. Then, everyone started laughing, including those in the wrong airplane.

They must have stepped into the wrong bus at the concourse, given that there were several buses leaving from the neighboring gates. A wrong bus could lead to a different city in a different country.

Personally, I only saw this kind of drama in movies like “Home Alone 2”. This is the first time I witnessed a similar situation, almost happened in real life.

We have developed a suite of drilling software, solving various engineering problems during drilling and completion phases. Our cementing software suite consists of CEMPRO (mud displacement model), CEMVIEW (cementing engineering toolbox), CentraDesign (centralizer placement) and CTEMP (wellbore temperature model).

Our clients have not mistakenly purchased wrong programs, but occasionally they forget to purchase the related model. Recently, a service company involved in pumping service purchased CEMPRO, which is geared for cementing job design and simulation. CEMPRO surely can assist them as engineering and marketing tool for their cementing teams. But after software training, they realized that for tender preparation, they also needed CEMVIEW, which calculates the volume requirements, material balance, amounts and costs of additives for all casing strings in a well. It creates casing schematic with cementing columns for each string and entire wellbore structure.

If we compare a well to a building, the end-of-well report with wellbore schematic from CEMVIEW is like a blue print of architecture.

CEMVIEW - Wellbore Schematic

CEMVIEW - Wellbore Schematic

For bidding purpose, CEMVIEW is an excellent tool for cementing companies to illustrate their job design and give cost estimation to their potential clients.

Finally, our client purchased CEMVIEW as well. We were happy to make a new sale and happy for them, because we know CEMVIEW will make their life easy.

CEMPRO and CEMVIEW are like wings of an airplane. With both programs, your cementing job will be a smooth flight and you do not need to change plane.