This first of a kind workshop in the drilling industry is everyones opportuntiy to interactively debate the DSA Report and provide input to the version released to the industry.

IADC DSA Roadmap Industry Workshop – Industry review and debate

  • Date: January 17 and 18, 2018
  • Location: Norris Center, Houston, Texas, USA
  • Register Here

Workshop Steering Committee

John de Wardt, DE WARDT AND CO, Program Manager DSA Roadmap, Chair/Moderator
Amanda DiFiore, Charles River Analytics Inc, Human Systems Integration
Ben Facker, NOV, Controls
Blaine Dow, Schlumberger, Modelling and Simulation
Hani Ibrahim, Quantico Energy Solutions
Jay Hollingsworth, Energistics, CTO
John Macpherson, BakerHughes, a GE company, Instrument Measurement Systems
Maria Araujo, SWRI, Verification & Validation
Mark Anderson, Shell, Standards & Certification
Marty Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh Consulting Ltd
Moray Laing, Halliburton, SPE DSATS Chairman, Communications
Paul Hunkar, OPC Foundation
Robin Macmillan, NOV, IADC ART Chairman, Drilling Machines and Equipment
Mike Killalea, IADC


  • History of the DSA Roadmap
  • Vision and Needs: Drilling Systems Automation & DSA Roadmap
  • Current State / Future State for DSA
  • Systems Architecture: an introduction to architecture, states and decision control framework (presentations and work groups)
  • Communications, IMS and Drilling Machines / Equipment: an introduction to these challenges (presentations and work groups)
  • Control Systems, Modeling and simulation, Human Systems Integration: an introduction to these challenges (presentations and work groups)
  • How Will The Rubber Hit the Road: The DSA Value Proposition, Drivers and Barriers to the Rate of Adoption, DSA Standards & Interoperability
  • Workshop review and way forward

Work Groups

The Drilling Systems Automation (DSA) Roadmap workshop will include various work group sessions designed to allow participants the opportunity to give feedback and input to sections of the roadmap. The following descriptors are designed for workshop participants to choose which work group to sign up for in each of the four sessions.

Session 1 Work Groups – Systems Architecture – Wednesday 12:30 – 13:30

Systems of Systems / Systems of Interest including Industry Reference Architecture – Moderator: Hani Ibrahim, Quantico Energy Solutions

Fundamental to the correct functioning of complex interrelated systems, such as occur in drilling, is the need to properly organize these systems. Contractual relationships in drilling fail to achieve this. It is a must for adopting drilling systems automation, without it the best automation / control loops are not created and full value is not added. In developing the DSA Roadmap we developed a Systems of Systems and Systems of Interest map that can become the foundation for many attributes for successful adoption of automation into drilling as well as the ability for various discrete players to cooperate (interoperably). Industries have recognized value from cooperating on standards and competing on innovation. In this vein, we developed a high-level Reference Architecture for standardization in drilling automation cascading down through Pattern Architectures to Solutions Architectures where projects develop their innovation. Join this work group to discuss the proposed hierarchy of Reference through Solutions Architecture and the intention to adopt the Reference Architecture as an industry standard managed by Energistics

 Epics / User Stories / Use Cases and States Definitions – Moderator: Moray Laing, Halliburton

Use Cases incorporate a list of actions or event steps typically defining the interactions between a role (known as an actor) and a system to achieve a goal, they are building blocks for software and systems engineering. They are used to develop software programs for automation. In a complex operation, such as drilling, they can be organized in a hierarchy od Use Cases, User Stories and Epics. States definition defines the condition of an operation, historically in drilling this has been through manual reporting (drilling, tripping, cementing, ….). For improved activity definition, state engines have been developed and commercialized to define activities accurately from machine output (rotating, pumping and slacking off drawworks is drilling). DSA requires that the current state and the future state is understood so that the system can complete the activities in one state and transition properly to the next state. The type of states expands as wellbore state, equipment state, automation state etc. are added for full automated comprehension. Join this work group to discuss the work already described and the future development in the Use Cases hierarchy and States Definition needed to successfully adopt DSA. Do we need elements ort all of these to be industry standards?

Decision Control Framework: ISA 95 – Moderator: John Macpherson, BHGE

DSA applications experts have recognized that there exist models and standards applicable to DSA that can be readily adopted. One is the ISA 95 – the International Society of Automation standard for developing an automated interface between enterprise and control systems. This standard was developed to be applied in all industries, and in all sorts of processes, including batch processes, continuous and repetitive processes. We reviewed the history of this standard from the original Purdue Model to its current form and then developed a DSA model that shows the transition in exchange of information from current practice to remote control centers and cloud computing. We also mapped the expected future of data protocol standards needed to exchange information, especially the linkage between WITSML and OPC. Join this work group to discuss the mapping of information hierarchy, the application and connectivity of WITSML / OPC, discuss the future anticipated development including industry standardization.

Drilling (Rig) Information Model – Moderator – Marty Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh Consulting Ltd

There is a need to aggregate all the information concerned in planning and drilling a well and expose this information in a standard way. The Drilling (Rig) Information Model consists of a virtual device object that can be inherited and extended for use by each piece of equipment present on the rig. The Rig Information Model, originally developed by Marty Cavanaugh as part of SPE DSATS Drill a Stand Team in 2011, has been realigned to the Systems of Interest in the Reference Architecture and expanded to be a Drilling Information Model. This provides a framework that can readily become a managed and maintained industry standard which will advance both data analytics and drilling systems automation. Join this work group to discuss the work done so far, the gaps to be completed and the proposal to adopt this work as an industry standard managed by Energistics.

Session 2 Work Groups – Communications, IMS and Drilling Machines / Equipment – Wednesday 15:45 – 17:00

Communications – Moray Laing, Halliburton

Communication is a complex process that requires full understanding from the sending of the message to the interpretation of the message in a correct and accurate manner. Aspects of communication that are critical for DSA include latency, bandwidth, uptime and cost. DSA communications arena covers downhole to surface (and back), surface systems and remote centers. The development of communications systems, particularly from and to downhole systems, will drive the rate and type of adopted automation systems. Communication is also a core element of interoperability between data and processes. Is the way ahead foreseen in the roadmap on course or do you think it will develop in a different manner? If so, how?

Instrumentation and Measurement Systems – John Macpherson, BHGE

Instrumentation and Measurements System (IMS) includes sensors – the source data. This section of the roadmap developed a comprehensive description and map of data requirements for automation. These requirements define targets for 7 characteristics of any measurement and further define 5 quality requirements. The transition from the current state for IMS to the future state needed for automation, and incidentally proper manual drilling operations, is a major jump requiring investment in sensors and maintenance, and a commitment to measurement transparency and interoperability. Progress towards systems automation is currently hindered by poor data quality, the result of a lack of standards and active ownership/responsibility for data. Join this work group to discuss IMs for automation, how data transparency and interoperability can be achieved, and how quality data can be delivered routinely in drilling operations.

 Drilling Machines and Equipment – Robin Macmillan, NOV

Significant advances in drive systems and controls have created an environment in which drilling rig equipment and many of the associated machines are ready for automated control. The next stage in value realization is the redesign of equipment to take full advantage of automation, examples include offline stand building, continuous tripping….. Redesigned equipment has not been readily adopted as the barriers outweigh the advantages – cost of replacing current assets, speed of financial return from the business model. Drilling performance and well quality needs create an opportunity for re-designed automated machines and equipment. This work group will debate the trends and possible timeline for adoption of automation in current equipment as well as the potential development redesigned equipment.

Session 3 Work Groups – Control Systems, Modelling and Simulation, Human Systems Integration, Thursday 10:00 – 11:00

Control Systems – Ben Facker, NOV

Control systems have become prevalent at the machine level and have been advances in the acquisition and analysis stages. The DSA Decision and Control Framework based on ISA 95 provides an important industry structure for the hierarchy over control systems up to enterprise management. Control systems offer both the direct value add of reducing human risks, faster response, reducing labor costs, offsetting labor shortages, ensuring reliability through complex envelope management and the indirect value of advancing equipment redesign for automated efficiency, effective parallel activities, etc.. The future outlook depends on a number of aspects including accurate sensors, complete data, interdependency of systems, effective application. The challenge to describe the future is assessing the willingness of the industry to adopt effective solutions; fast or slow. Bring your opinions to this work group and map the uptake of advanced control systems.

Modeling and Simulation – Blaine Dow, Schlumberger

Modelling and simulation are key processes needed to fill gaps in impossible data acquisition and to test the outlook for future activities. The decision and control framework provides a map for the fit of modelling and simulation into the overall process. Models fall into domains described as industry accepted, proprietary for own use and proprietary available as a service. Model output accuracy and data quality available for the input are key factors determining the acceptability and usability of models. Models are needed as they fill gaps in the data acquisition spectrum that cannot otherwise be filled, but can they be trusted especially for automation. Join this work group to debate the current and future practice and for adopting models / simulations suited to support drilling systems automation.

Human Systems Integration – Amanda DiFiore, Charles River Analytics Inc & Hani Ibrahim, Quantico Energy Solutions

Drilling systems automation cannot advance safely and effectively without incorporating Human Systems Integration (HSI). There is a lot that DSA can incorporate from more advanced applications of HSI typically found in aerospace, aviation and other technically advanced industries. The levels of automation from manual to autonomous through the 4 functions cycle is defined in a Levels of Automation Taxonomy (LOAT) matrix. The critical implementation areas of personnel competency, training, human factors engineering etc. are described in terms of best practice. Join this work group to discuss the work done so far, the potential to adopt the LOAT as an industry standard managed by Energistics and whether how the drilling industry may adopt the critical implementation areas best practices.

Session 4 Work Groups – DSA Value Proposition / Drivers & Barriers to the Rate of Adoption, DSA Standards, Interoperability, Thursday 13:45 – 14:45

DSA Value Proposition: Project style wells / drilling testing operations – Leader Mark Anderson, Shell

The value proposition for automating drilling and testing operations is a significant challenge. Automation of mechanized system has been costly and incurred some considerable downtime. The industry is reluctant to adopt automation in high cost and high uncertainty operations as encapsulated by single exploratory land wells, single exploratory offshore wells, single exploratory deepwater offshore wells. The DSA Roadmap projects a future in which this resistance is replaced with optimism that advanced automation will deliver value. Join this work group to discuss the vision for the future adoption of automation in complex and expensive drilling environment – will value be realized and adoption accelerate or will adoption remain stagnated by bad experiences.

DSA Value Proposition: Repetitive wells / drilling completion operations – Leader Robin Macmillan, NOV

This is the world of so called ‘manufacturing of wells’ where repetition provides the significant opportunity to transform drilling to an integration of highly automated systems leading to the potential for autonomous drilling and completion. Advances in key drilling processes are being automated in the first cycle steps of acquisition, analysis and decision recommendation leaving the human on the loop to confirm or deny the recommendation. These systems are now breaking through to close the loop as the recommendations are sufficiently competent to no longer require human overview and are plugged into the drilling control systems. These systems will rapidly expand across multiple repeatable land development wells (shale wells) and then multiple repeatable offshore platform development wells. Join this work group to discuss how fast automated solutions will become available and adopted across the spectrum of drilling and completion operations in repetitive wells.

Verification & Validation of Sensors and Systems – Leader: Maria Araujo, SWRI

Some critical sensors employed in drilling are inadequate in a number of ways; for example, they are not calibrated nor maintained, they measure properties in the wrong location invalidating the value they purport to represent, or they are poorly designed for the property they are intended to measure.  Additionally, the communication channels transferring the data from point of acquisition to an end operator or analyst are susceptible to reliability problems such as latency problems and packet drops. Multiple systems are emerging as panaceas to mapping missing data, analyzing large amounts of data (big data and predictive analytics), and modeling various drilling processes; many of these systems have not been verified in terms of capability, reliability and validity. Often, each operator tries to validate these systems as black boxes, with various methods and varied results. DSA has brought to the fore a need for formal verification and validation certification to ensure reliability and safety of interconnected drilling automation systems. Join this work group to discuss a proposed plan for SwRI to formulate industry approved verification and validation certifications for sensors and systems based on their expertise in this methodology and industry expert input.

Future DSA Standards with Energistics – Leader Jay Hollingsworth, Energistics

Energistics has become the industry sponsored organization providing the non-competitive, vendor-neutral infrastructure for the energy industry to develop, maintain, adopt and deploy standards. The DSA Roadmap has identified as well as developed foundations for some core standards that will enable the beneficial advancement of DSA. These include Reference Architecture for Systems of Systems and Systems of Interest, Drilling (rig) Information Model, Decision and Control Framework, Levels of Automation Taxonomy matrix. Join this work group to discuss the critical success standards and articulate if there is a recommended path forward for adoption by Energsitics for implementation by the drilling industry.

Interoperability in data and control: The Role of OPC in DSA: Leader Paul Hunkar, OPC

Interoperability covers many aspects of DSA with one of the core being data and control flow from sensors and back to machines. OPC has become the standard in industrial automation for transferring data and control signals in a manner that is secure, comprehensive, extensible, platform independent. Adoption by the drilling industry as the standard for moving data provides the basis for interoperability at the operating level. The drilling industry has started collaborating with the OPC Foundation in the adoption of this standard protocol. Join this work group to discuss the future application of OPC UA as an industry standard and its linkage to oilfield information system WITSML