Mud Reporting: A Piece of Cake

Daily tasks can become heavy burdens if we do not use proper tools. These burdens cause us more stress and cost more time. Time is money, but even money cannot buy us time. On the other hand, if we are equipped with the right tools, our productivity increases. We can be happier and capable of controlling what we do.

For mud engineers, daily life starts with the preparation of mud reports in the early morning. In the old days, mud engineers used paper forms to record mud properties, usages and costs. Nowadays, most mud engineers use Excel spreadsheets or computer software like MUDPRO (drilling mud reporting) to do the same jobs. Software has become our most essential weapon to fight the daily battle of mud reporting.

But, not all weapons are created equal. Excel, while serving the purpose of electronically filing mud data, has limitations on keeping track of costs and mud volumes, because the start of each day of drilling is the continuation of the last day of drilling: we need to calculate the accumulative cost and the current inventory of chemicals. Once the drilling is done, mud engineers are required to generate end-of-well reports. At this stage, Excel’s limitations become more obvious. As the number of wells being drilled increase, the difficulties of using Excel arise exponentially.

A better approach is to use a software like MUDPRO, with a back bone of database to record and more importantly, to manage the data. Yes, it is a new piece of software we need to get familiar with, but once you use it for a few days, it can become a habit and a routine; a good one you want to keep. No matter how many days the drilling phase may take, MUDPRO keeps all the history in its database. So, daily efforts of mud reporting are almost the same and at the end of the drilling process, you can just click a couple of buttons to generate the end-of-well recaps.

If we compare the efforts in the overall performance of using Excel and mud reporting software like MUDPRO VS drilling days, we can see the divergence between the two lines.

Mud Reporting-Reporting Efforts VS Drilling Days

Reporting Efforts vs Drilling Days

Managing our time is managing our lives. Using the right software saves us time and enhances our lives. MUDPRO makes mud reporting a piece of cake, which you can enjoy with a cup of morning coffee.

Saving Time Using Drilling Software

Who doesn’t like savings, deals, bargains and even some free stuff every now and then? Further, who does not want to save time in our work? Generally speaking, software save us tremendous amount of time in our daily lives. We heavily rely on Outlook® for our email communication, Microsoft Word® for word processing. These software free us from repeated and often tedious tasks. And they are so common in our work places that we often take them for granted.

While we use these software as tools for our work, they are the missions of many software developers, whose full time jobs are to created them. In this society, everyone serves someone else.

Specifically, drilling engineering software has become an indispensable tool for well planning, especially for horizontal and extend reach well drilling. Being a software developer, I feel very lucky to be involved in this highly creative work, which requires both engineering background and graphic design senses.

Our goal is to create drilling software not only to solve technical problems, but also improve drilling efficiency by solving problems quickly. This means carefully designed user-interfaces so that the users will be able to save trouble and time to perform a certain task.

Time belongs to everyone. Wasting other people’s time is a crime. On the other side, saving people’s time brings benefit to them.

Our way of saving people’s time is to make software extremely easy to use.

We as software developers do not meet with our users often, but our users frequently use our software and some even do on a daily basis. For example, there are more than 500 MUDPRO (drilling mud reporting) users in US. Every morning, these mud engineers open up MUDPRO, input wellbore configuration, mud properties, inventory and type remarks. Then they will generate daily report from MUDPRO Output window. If we can add features to save one user 5 minutes in the process,  we will be able to save 5(min) x 500(user) x 365(day)= 912500(min) = 15208(hr) = 634(day) of time of those 500 MUDPRO users in a period of one year. This is as powerful as the butterfly effect. The flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas. If we make an improvements in our software, hundreds and thousands of software users will benefit, even it means that sometimes we need to spend months for certain feature. But it is worth the efforts. Spending time in software development translate into tremendous time saving for all software users. The benefit is amplified much greatly as more users join the pool.

Happy running software and saving time!


What Is Common between Elevator and Drilling Software?

Creativity, life or business each has its up and down, like an elevator. This article was triggered by an elevator in a hotel I stayed in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq. I spent one week there providing cementing software training to a fast-growing service company in the region.

One time I stepped into the elevator and accidently pressed ④. The button ④ lit up. My room was at level 5. Realizing the mistake, I pressed ⑤. Then, just out of curiosity, I pressed ④ again. To my pleasant surprise, the light on ④ was turned off. You know what? The elevator did not stop at level 4.

Here are the 2 pictures I took later to reproduce the steps.

what is common between televators and drilling software-Pegasus Vertex

My past experience told me that if I press wrong buttons, I have to forgive myself, either patiently wait for the unscheduled stop or let the elevator stop at untended level after I leave.

This new experience let me wonder why they design their elevators differently.  There must be reasons behind the design of elevator control panel. As a software developer, I find this new way of design the most natural. Because round buttons representing the hotel floors are actually check boxes: riders can change mind to go to room first instead of heading to gym. Plus, adding this “Cancelling” or “Checking off” feature does not affect other normal selections.

During software development process, developers use many controls in the graphical user interface (GUI). Among those controls, a radio button or an option button (⊙) is a type of element that allows the user to choose only one of a predefined set of options. On the other hand, a check box (☑)permits the user to make multiple selections from a number of options or to have the user answer yes (checked) or no (not checked) on a simple yes/no question.

In our drilling software such as MUDPRO(drilling mud reporting), we use these controls extensively. For example, in generating daily mud report, we provide checkboxes and options, allowing mud engineers to tailor the contents and style of the report.

Mudpro daily report - Pegasus Vertex

Checkboxes and options in MUDPRO Daily Report

Problem of programming a bank of elevators is often used as exercise for students majoring in computer science. The software program is to control the actions of each elevator, based on the information of the state of each button on the floors and inside the elevators, as well as the time elapsed since each floor-button is pushed. Drilling software provides technical solutions to the engineering problems in drilling operations, based on the operation parameters. The commonality of any programming tasks is to test the functionality and usability from a user’s prospective. This process requires constant exchange, back and forth between developers and users. This is also one of the reasons why upgraded versions are necessary. Software is not only a product, but also a process of improvements. This new control panel in the elevator might be an upgraded version.

MUDPRO, when generating the end-of-well recap, memorizes the users’ setting such as shown in the following graph, so the user can generate recap in the same style.

MUDPRO report memorizes users settings - Pegasus Vertex

MUDPRO report memorizes users settings

Our office is in a 5-story building. I take elevator at least twice a day. In the future, there might be elevators that can recognize the frequent-rider like me through eye recognition and automatically memorize where I am going. Of course, it will allow me to cancel my selection and visit my travel agent on the 3rd floor.

I am still dreaming… Elevator chime sounds. My floor is here and I got to go. Have a good day and I see you next time.