MPD Automation and Competency: Meeting Training Challenges for New Technologies
Recorded on July 23, 2014 (90 minutes)

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Automation in the drilling industry is challenging conventional thought on how rigs are designed, how wells are drilled, and how the human is involved in the process. Though late rigs and early rigs share the same fundamental physics, new control systems are allowing rigs to push the technical envelope while requiring less operator involvement. While this is beneficial, automation is opening the door for new types of failures due to system complexity and crew latency.

Despite the relative infancy in automation in the drilling industry, examples exist from the aviation industry which highlight how the role and requirement of the operator changes as a result of high level automation. This shift will require new controls and new ways of training people how to use such systems while not losing any fundamental skills.

Austin Johnson graduated with a degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University. Austin has focused on analyzing behavior of automated drilling control and optimizing control logic. Most recently, Austin joined Managed Pressure Operations supporting development of deepwater managed pressure drilling systems.