While collaboration is at the heart of the oil field, the various moving parts involved in any operations setting can make working together difficult. Weatherford International is working to solve this with its digital Centro platform.

The Centro platform is a vendor-agnostic digital environment integrating drilling and geoscience information with real-time engineering, data-driven machine learning models and real-time, key performance indicator (KPI) analytics, said Reisha Bouska, global product manager at Weatherford.

“We want to make sure that people are working together in a collaborative way, not in silos,” Denise Livingston, product manager of digital solutions for Weatherford, said. “If I'm working in real-time and if I bring everybody together to look at the same data and the same type of information, then I can improve the agility of making my decision.”

Centro acquires high-resolution data from multiple sources, including rig site, offset well databases and geological and geophysical data and transfers the data over a secure network to a centralized repository hosted in a cloud database. From there, team members are granted access and can share project information among multidisciplinary team members.

“The platform has communication channels, alarms in place, document management tools that allows the user to make quick decisions,” said Marian Patranescu-Matea, Weatherford’s software services lead for Europe and the Caspian Sea. “It also has the ability to be accessed from remote locations with only your mobile device or … tablet. So you are not dependent on [a] computer or laptop and you can monitor the activity when you are traveling.”

Patranescu-Matea said Centro also provides a “wide variety of tools for the people that are inside of the platform working and monitoring the activity,” with various methods of intra-platform communication, allowing each user to share with their team members and safely store any vital information in a safe place on the platform.

The platform also has various alarms and document management tools in place that can be accessed from a remote mobile device as well.

The efficiency gained by using the collaborative effect of Centro can increase the speed and the safety of operations on shore and off.

The platform has been used in projects in both Mexico and Colombia and proven its time-saving capabilities, Patranescu-Matea said.

“In Mexico, we aggregated data from six different providers and created an end-to-end solution for the customer, which led them to achieve 32% production enhancement and a 60% time reduction,” he said.

This project, which Patranescu-Matea said also reduced costs by 40%—saving $1.8 million—integrated data from five vendors external to Weatherford as proof of concept that the product is vendor-agnostic.

In Colombia, Weatherford’s client had an issue with a lost hole, meaning they weren’t able to drill their wellbore to its absolute maximum depth. The client was also grappling with a tight drilling window and excessive vibrations downhole, Patranescu-Matea said. With Centro’s well optimization capabilities, the client was able to reach total depth on the well and achieve a 33% reduction in time— with zero incidents.

Five pillars

Centro’s approach to optimize wells relies on five pillars: aggregation, monitoring, engineering, prediction and benchmarking. Each concept plays an important role in Centro’s process.

“We start aggregating the information from multiple rigs. We aggregate all the information—and again [it’s] vendor neutral, it doesn't matter who's at the rig working for you. We aggregate that information, we send to our cloud or whatever is the deployment of choice,” Livingston said.

Data on parameters such as directional control, operational performance, well placement, mud density and more are collected and shared to the Centro cloud. Once shared, users can use 2D and 3D visualizations to monitor and make observations about the gathered rig data to make informed decisions about drilling strategies, equipment adjustments or to diagnose any underlying issues.

“Using Centro engineer’s planning capabilities, [operators] can generate a tentative well program design, considering rig configuration, piping and rig piping instrumentation,” Bouska said. “[Operators] can also look at the well path by inputting [their] trajectory plan and look at the well geometry based on hole sizes and casing designs and can also plan for various drilling fluids and different work strings.”

After highlighting areas of improvement and using different engineering modules, operators can further validate changes to well designs related to mechanics, hydraulics and geomechanics. Combining the real-time data with dynamic models and calculations allows for early detection of operational performance needs. Predictive algorithms and Centro’s machine learning capabilities are then combined with physics-based algorithms to provide other insights and suggest new pathways for optimization.

After the prediction phase, benchmarking updates information and strategies for further well optimization. This allows operators to leverage decades of industry expertise by seamlessly integrating multidisciplinary fields.

“We want to bring up both productivity and efficiency, but not just efficiency for one particular drilling operation,” Livingston said. “Of course, efficiencies reduce costs, but in the same way, I want to be able to be safer. We understand that one KPI for one particular operation may change, but the overall goal is for us to work together in a safer environment, and when we bring everybody together, we achieve that collective efficiency.”