Drilling Software Training in Snow

No matter how unpredictable the weather is, drilling software can predict downhole conditions.

One would never think that Denver in May requires a winter coat. That was my judgment before I came here to teach a drilling software course. I did briefly check the weather website and I saw 70 °F. So I assumed a warm spring in the mile-high city. Upon my arrival on April 30th, I became aware that snow was coming and I felt the temperature dropping as evening was coming. I did not bring any jacket. I went to the stores along the street but could not find any coat. See, even the stores thought the winter is over. I finally bought a winter coat in a souvenir store: after all, it is better to spend money on cloth than cold medicine. Surely enough, the snow came as predicted during the night. Here is the picture of downtown Denver on May 1st, 2013.

Drilling Software Training in Snow - Pegasus Vertex

Modern technology, particularly computers and weather satellites, and the availability of data provided by coordinated meteorological observing networks, has resulted in enormous improvements in the accuracy of weather forecasting, despite of people’s intuition. To better prepare our daily life, we do need to pay attention to the hard-to-understand red/green/yellow images on TV.

Snowflakes danced outside the window all day long as I taught 7 drilling engineers from the Rocky Mountain region the HYDPRO software (drilling hydraulic model).

Drilling software, in a sense, is much like weather forecasting for an upcoming drilling operation. With planned well path trajectory and proposed operation parameters, engineering software can pinpoint potential problems and make necessary adjustments on operation. The potential economic benefits of accurate drilling engineering modeling are immense. For example, drillpipe or casing buckling is always a concern during drilling and casing running operations. TADPRO (torque and drag model) predicts the locations of different buckling modes. The following screen shot from TADPRO shows the sinusoidal and helical buckling sections along a drillpipe.

Visualization of buckling in TADPRO - Pegasus Vertex

Generally speaking, sinusoidal buckling can be tolerated, while helical buckling should be avoided,  because helically buckled pipe creates additional drag, which could lead to “lock up” situation.

It is often quoted: Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. We cannot change the weather except predict it. In other words, we react to the prediction. However, drilling software like TADPRO can alert engineers the potential downhole problems prior to the operation so necessary measures can be taken to prevent it. This improves safety, saves time and money, and reduces risks.

We use weather forecasting to plan our daily activities. Similarly, drilling professionals should use drilling software to do well planning. The future belongs to people who can predict and prepare for it.

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.