IADC DEC Tech Forum – “Rig for the Future”

IADC DEC Tech Forum - "Rig for the Future"

Meeting & Venue Details

Online Only

To attend, please register. Instructions for the online meeting will be e-mailed to registered attendees the day before the event.

Start DateJune 24, 2020Start Time8:20 am
End DateJune 24, 2020End Time12:00 pm

24 June IADC DEC Tech Forum on Rig for the Future

Over the years, the drilling industry has used the same methods, processes, and basic machine technology to drill oil and gas wells. Will this trend continue in the future, or is a new Rig for the Future required? What is a Rig for the Future – more of the same (evolutionary) or is it a step change (revolutionary)? What technology is required to achieve a Rig for the Future – more automation? What kind of automation? What is the cost vs. benefit of the Rig for the Future, and is it worth it? What role will rig- and office-based personnel play? Will this new technology keep people safer? Will the Rig for the Future be better for the environment and have a reduced carbon footprint? What could the Rig for the Future look like in 2030, and what are the main obstacles that must be overcome? The IADC Drilling Engineers Committee (DEC) Q2 Technology Forum is designed to explore our progress and consider our future.

To attend, please register. Instructions for the online meeting will be e-mailed to registered attendees the day before the event.


08.20-08.25      Welcome – Dennis Moore, Chairman

08.25-08.30      Introduction to event – Robert Estes, Halliburton

08.30-09.00      The Future of Rig Power Systems: Marcel Snijder, Patterson-UTI Drilling Company

Efficiency of power systems on drilling rigs improved steadily over the years until the development of today’s AC rigs. Progress has since plateaued, but the increased importance of reducing emissions has renewed the drive to improve efficiency. The next major leap in efficiency will come from implementing an autonomous energy management system that manages all power production on the rig. Eco-cell is an energy storage system that uses lithium batteries and genset automation to keep gensets running at their most efficient load range. The system automatically starts and stops gensets based on the rig demand and state of charge of the batteries. This presentation describes the technology and explains how it can enable significant emissions reductions and fuel cost savings. We also explore how to target specific types of emissions reductions or unique fuel consumption objectives.

09.00-09.30      Robotics: A Critical Partner for the Digital Revolution in the Drive to Full Automation: Andrew McKenzie and Daniel Meinders, National Oilwell Varco

The adoption of pad drilling and an increasing demand to achieve better, faster and cheaper results on the unconventional well design has strained most onshore rigs and related equipment in the marketplace today. Over the past decade, many optimization techniques have been researched and applied. With this, an increasing gap has been propagating amongst existing rigs, which encompasses a substantial variation in equipment, controls and instrumentation. This presentation is intended to support a path toward achieving the levels of automated machine and machine control that operators require and expect regarding safely, efficiently and cost effectively executing common industry rig floor drilling tasks.

09.30-10.00      Rig for the Future is Powered by Automation & Digitization: Luis G. Hernandez, Schlumberger

Over the past decade, the industry has seen a dramatic surge in the footage drilled per rig per year. This pace of drilling has added to the load on both equipment and crews, and digital technologies are proving to be increasingly necessary to consistently meet these growing demands. Two key elements of our approach to digital drilling are the orchestration of the various activities conducted at the wellsite and the automation of the driller’s tasks. Two important elements are automation of analysis, together with equipment automation, driving consistent performance operations in the well construction process, and the digitization of the well construction process provides an in-depth understanding of the real-time condition not previously available

10.00-10.30      Driving Continuous Improvement with Robotics: Scott Boone, Nabors

Nabors Rigs of the future are platforms for the digitalization of drilling operations designed to minimize HSE and red zone risk, provide digital workflows to drive continuous improvement, automate repetitive tasks, provide remote operations and support and integrate technologies to improve efficiency and performance. Nabors will present the CanRig Robotics robotic system for seamless operations and additional digitalization technologies.

10.30-10.40      Break

10.40-11.10      Drilling Automation – Evolving Rig Control: Ketan Bhaidasna, Halliburton

The drilling industry is in the midst of a technology revolution that is brought to the forefront due to market conditions. This presentation will explore technologies at play in traditional rig operations. We will highlight an approach for how to transition from data logging into data analytics and automated control. In addition, we will discuss the efficiency of cloud-computing and edge-computing strategies as applied to rig control. The presentation will showcase a typical top-drive control application, where changing environments in fast processes are addressed in real time. We had to overcome hardware limitations, data measurement rates, communications pitfalls, and existing infrastructure challenges to implement such an active control scheme. The need for workflow optimization and risk mitigation using over-arching collation of data, algorithms, and multiparameter real-time control is what will drive future rigs. The argument for a workflow that operates independently or without constant human oversight is a compelling attraction when it comes to saving money..

11.10-12.00      Operator’s Panel,  moderated by Robert Estes, Halliburton

In this panel session, we will hear from operators on what they would like to see from drilling contractors and service companies/OEMs over the coming decade on Rig for the Future.                   


  • Willie Thompson, Drilling and Completions Engineering Manager, Hess Corp
  • Michael Behounek, Senior Drilling Advisor, Apache
  • Nathan Moralez, Rig Automation Engineer, BP
  • John Willis, Director Drilling, Completions and Well Servicing New Mexico, Occidental Petroleum

12.00                  Adjournment

IADC Drilling Engineers Committee Mission

The Drilling Engineers Committee was formed to advance new technology related to drilling wells.

Quick Links

General Committee meetings are open to participants from all categories of IADC membership. The Chairman may invite non-members to attend when it furthers the interests of the Committee. At the discretion of the Chairman and IADC staff, the meeting or portions of the meeting may be exclusively reserved for drilling contractor members. Meetings will be held at such times and locations as may be selected by the Chairman with the advice of the Committee. For any questions, please contact the IADC Committee Coordinator.