About the Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap

The Drilling Systems Automation Roadmap (DSA-R) initiative is a cross-industry effort launched in June 2013 to provide insights to industry participants and non industry participants regarding the adoption of advancements in drilling systems automation for both onshore and offshore oil and gas wells.


The DSA -R’s primary objective is to provide a guideline to the future emergence of drilling systems automation across all aspects of this technology. A secondary objective is to inform non-oil and gas industry of the opportunities to support this technology development.

DSA Roadmap Organization Structure

The organization structure for the DSA Roadmap Cross Industry Initiative was designed to provide the greatest opportunity of success for a volunteer organization while including as broad a spectrum of participants from across various industry segments and academia as possible.

  • Leadership – Leadership is provided by a Program Manager.
  • Steering Committee – The committee was formed from a range of competencies required to encompass the spectrum of expertise envisaged in the roadmapping initiative. These volunteers developed the core of the program and lead development of various aspects of the roadmap.
  • Key Challenge Development Teams – Key challenge development teams enabled a large cross section of participants to provide input into the work as it progressed. The total number of global experts involved through out reach and sub team involvement was fifty (50).
  • Advisors – The advisors were specifically selected and invited into this role due to their significant standing and history in automation systems transformations. Their role was to provide ad hoc insight to the leadership to optimize the direction of the initiative and avoid pit falls.
  • Affiliates – multiple institutions become affiliated as a means to ensure a broad footprint of connectivity. The affiliated institutions are SPE (DSATS), IADC (ART) and AUVSI, Energistics, OPC Foundation and SwRI.


Drilling Systems Automation was recognized as a developing technology in 2008. SPE and IADC set up work groups to support the advancement of this technology; SPE DSATS focusing on initiatives to accelerate the introduction in areas of communication, interoperability and the like, IADC ART focusing on control philosophy, communications to surface equipment and the like.

In July 2012, an SPE Advanced Technology Workshop identified some actions to progress DSA to the “next big jump forward”; report is available onOnePetro . These included:

  • Need for a Drilling Systems Automation Vision
  • Need for a strategy
  • Need to coordinate across industries
  • Develop a catalyst for standardization

The conclusion was that a roadmap was the best means to define a way forward to progress these issues. This was the impetus for this DSA-R initiative.