Upstream Oil and Gas Drill Condition Analysis
Use Case Business Improvement


Drilling is critical for oil and gas exploration companies, which typically use third-party contract drillers to do the work. The service providers often pre-configure the depth and speed of the well-bore path via an auto-driller system that controls the process with occasional human intervention. However, many variables relating to the mechanical equipment and geology can cause unplanned vibrations. It can be difficult to communicate the best approach to the drillers, which tend to use default settings for holding a specific drill speed for long periods of time, which can be suboptimal. If left unchecked, sustained vibrations can damage the drilling rig, leading to costly repairs and delays.

A North American upstream oil & gas company wanted to protect the equipment and well from damage caused by self-inflicted vibration within auto-driller systems. The company’s objective was to communicate with the drillers as to the proper set points, gain, and decay settings, enabling them to adjust the depth and speed of drilling according to the conditions.

Previously, there was no way to avoid the unexpected vibration that caused damage and delays, leaving the company in reactive mode. The company wanted to be able to collect and analyze historical auto-driller oscillation data to understand where problems had occurred in in order to make proactive adjustments.


Using Seeq, the company can identify regions of oscillation in the drilling block speed and summarize the total amount of time and number of oscillations by shift. Seeq then creates a report for operators to guide drillers where the majority of the issues have occurred in the past. The engineers examine this report in near real time daily to make up-to-date recommendations.

Seeq enables the drilling engineers to analyze adverse vibrations when drilling a well. Using Seeq’s searching capability, the engineer creates clear visualizations that identify oscillations to determine the areas of highest risk – specific wells at specific depths. The engineer can parse this information by time of day, specific equipment, and the location of the well. The engineer has the option of aggregating this information in a table and providing it to the operator overseeing the drilling operations. The operator then can use this summary view to guide the drillers and mitigate oscillations, a major step forward.


The use of Seeq enables the company to mitigate auto-driller vibration problems through visualization and notifications. Being able to make proactive changes backed by data helps the company extend the life of the equipment.

This is valuable insight as drilling is an expensive operation, and oscillations can delay the process or damage the equipment and well. Reducing oscillation events significantly reduces the costs of drilling. This example demonstrates Seeq’s ability to use expertise to visualize an undesirable event, analyze its pattern, and share that information with the client company to mitigate risk. The results are longer bit run times, fewer delays due to trips, more efficient drilling, and lower costs.

Now, the company has the ability to proactively adjust the drilling operations in near real time as opposed to just reacting when oscillations caused negative effects. The oil company can use the data to hone the optimal drilling approach, enabling the holes to be drilled much faster and without causing damage, saving time and money.

Data Sources

  • Process Data Historian: OSIsoft PI
  • Asset Structure: OSIsoft Asset Framework

Data Cleansing

  • The drilling block speed is filtered using Seeq’s agile filter to smooth the signal.

Calculations and Conditions

  • The derivative of the filtered signal is calculated using Seeq Formula to indicate “ramp-up” times.
  • “Ramp-ups”, or single oscillations, are detected using Value Search to create a condition.
  • Multiple, sequential oscillations are identified by merging adjacent capsules in the condition.
  • The on-bottom time is calculated by aggregating a condition using Scorecard Metric.

Reporting and Collaboration

  • A Seeq Topic displays the total oscillation time and on-bottom time of the wellbore per shift, per day. This provides a comprehensive picture of high-risk drilling times.