Attributes of Drilling Software

Socrates once said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates believed that the whole purpose of human life was about personal and spiritual growth. We are unable to grow toward greater understanding of our true nature unless we take the time to examine and reflect upon our life.

A company is like a living human being, who goes through various growing stages, from infant, childhood, adolescence to adulthood. Last week, 4 of our marketing people sat down and had a discussion on the core values that a drilling software company like us should have.

We agreed not to copy any of the phrases from the internet on company values. Many of these are well written, but they may not suit our particular needs. We want to look inward to see what we are cherishing and to identify the attributes that are missing in order to become a top provider of drilling software.

Each one of us listed 6 values and then we combined those 24 values until we narrowed it down to the final 6 core values for our company. Here is our thought process.

Core Values Thought Process

Core Values Thought Process

The selection process was simple and fun. As soon as we wrote down the final 6, we all agreed that these values should be the ones posted on our break room wall.

We did not use big words like “excellence”, because for instance, if our team members are honest, have great attitudes and take responsibilities, we will have excellent products and services. If we are passionate by default, we are diligent.

Our drilling software is “us” in digital formats. We put our knowledge into the software’s DNA. The more professional we become, the better product we produce. In other words, these 6 values are the attributes of our software in the eyes of our users.

As a team, we strive to be balanced between work and life. Our products are the results of the balance between technical brilliance and aesthetic designs.

Our graphic guru is designing the poster now. Once it is done and hung on the wall, I will post it on the blog. You will see it as soon as we see it.

The Longest Distance Between Drilling Engineers

In "Nine Million Bicycles", sung by the singer Katie Melua, there are some interesting statics:

There are nine million bicycles in Beijing,
that's a fact.
It's a thing we can't deny
like the fact that I will love you till I die.
We are twelve billion light years from the edge,
that's a guess.
No one can ever say it's true,
but I know that I will always be with you.

The distance between us and the edge of our universe was mentioned. Then, I asked myself the question of the farthest distance between any 2 people and found the answer on Google shortly. The circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles. This makes the farthest distance between any 2 people on the earth 12,451miles.

I also found this statement on the internet, which I am not sure about its accuracy: The longest distance between two points in the state of Texas is 867 miles.

As these numbers are getting smaller, I start to make sense out of them. We are talking about the measurable distances. Nowadays, our lives are affected and shaped by many tech gadgets. Mobile phones, ironically, while connecting people in distance, create huge distance between people nearby  and these invisible distances created by the internet or mobile phones cannot be measured by miles.

People spend more time on smart phones, not only talking, but also texting, chatting or simply reading news. This could happen, before or during the meetings, lunches, etc. However, we could use more time getting to know our surroundings, or neighbors. We text more, but meet less; we have become more skilled in typing, but less skilled in socializing. I do agree that mobile phones are becoming the distance or gap between people. The magazine cover of “The New Yorker” November issue of 2009 depicts our situation rather well.

In my mind, the greatest distance between people is not the physical distance, nor the tech gadgets. It is the lack of communication. If we cannot efficiently communicate, we are not in the same page. For drilling professionals, besides regular communication skills, we need to pass technical information to our peers or managements. This requires both engineering and communication skills. Drilling engineering software is one of the solutions to bridge this gap.

Drilling software frees drilling engineers from doing the repeated calculations on torque and drag, hydraulics, casing wear, so that engineers can spend more time in making sound and informed technical decisions. If engineers are using the same software, such as TADPRO (PVI’s torque and drag model), then, they can see tables and charts for the same case, even if they are in different locations. When holding a web meeting, they can easily understand each other’s points of view and reach agreements.

Some drilling software like TADPRO also have been translated into several languages including Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese. The localization further shortens the distances between engineers in different geographical areas. We also emphasize the visualization of downhole conditions. Drilling engineers cannot see 20,000 ft subsurface, but that does not mean that we cannot predict the downhole pressure or pipe deformation, like the buckling status of drilling string in the 3D wellbore as shown below.

Longest Distance Between Drilling Engineers PVI

These software packages are PVI's efforts to bridge the gaps between drilling engineers.

Paper and E-reader vs. Book and HYDPRO

“Paper: The original wireless communication”. This is a sentence in Sappi Fine Paper North America’s eQ Journal 004. So interestingly stated, it tells a lot about human being’s communication need in the age of a digitalized world. “The World Wide Web, far from decreasing paper consumption, served to increase the amount of printing done at home and in the office.” Abigail J. Sellen and Richard H. R. Harper wrote in “The Myth of the Paperless Office”. After people began to use e-mail in the 1990s, paper consumption is estimated to have increased by some 40%. Neither is eBook device nor screen likely to make print on paper obsolete.

For my own reading pleasure, I use these 2 devices whenever I travel.

Paper_and_E-reader_vs. Book_and_HYDPRO_Pegasus_Vertex


The convenience of carrying hundreds of books in one device allows me to switch between the books with a great flexibility, although I still enjoy reading paper books in my backyard. The tactile sensation of fingers turning fine-grain papers and the smell of ink and paper are also parts of reading experience. Developed 2000 years apart, paper and digital technologies not only co-exist, but also enhance the synergy between them as paper is routinely converted to digital documents and digital documents to paper.

We also see this 2-way conversion in the engineering efforts of drilling software developments. In 2012, Prof. Boyun Guo from University of Louisiana at Lafayette and I jointly wrote a book about drilling hydraulics (Applied Drilling Circulation Systems).

This book covers many areas of hydraulics concerns of drilling and mud engineers, with theories, examples, and operation guidelines: a good source of information and knowledge for petroleum engineering students and engineers.

Quite a few years ago, PVI developed its popular drilling hydraulics software HYDPRO which addresses majority of drilling hydraulics including frictional pressure drop, ECD, bit optimization and hole cleaning etc.

Paper_and_E-reader_vs. Book_and_HYDPRO_Pegasus_Vertex_Inc.


Similar technologies, delivered in traditional paper and the state-of-the-art application, serve drilling engineers’ essential need to understand and optimize drilling hydraulics. Equations in the book are the DNA of the HYDPRO, while the software is the screen play of the book.

Drilling software like HYDPRO is a great vehicle to carry the heavy loads of technologies. Yet, it provides engineers with easy-to learn and simple-to-use experience.