Interview with Brett Chell, SmartPAD. Optimizing Completions with a Real-time and Remote Completions Operating System. Innovations in Technology Series

Published
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

For many years, the drilling industry has been correlating multiple data sources in real-time so the drillers can determine how to drill the well, in addition to generating actual time log data that enables appropriate payment transactions. However, this is not the case for completions, which has fallen behind in utilizing multiple data sources, and sensor-driven and time log data to support tracking, analytics and payment transactions.

Welcome to an interview with Brett Chell, President and Co-Founder of Cold Bore Technology which has developed SmartPAD, a real-time and remote completions operating system. Brett will be participating in the U-Pitch New Technology Showcase on August 29, at AAPG’s ICE in Buenos Aires.

Real-time View of Valve Positions, Critical Path Timeline
Real-time View of Valve Positions, Critical Path Timeline
SmartPAD enables operators to completely track, monitor, analyze, record and even replay the second by second details of each well. The system is fully operational and is currently being used on multi-well pads by major operators in Canada (Montney, Duvernay) and the US (Permian, Marcellus) and will soon be deployed in the Bakken and other US basins.

AAPG: What is the main problem with completions?

SmartPAD enables operators to completely track, monitor, analyze, record and even replay the second by second details of each well.
SmartPAD enables operators to completely track, monitor, analyze, record and even replay the second by second details of each well.
Chell: In very general terms there is a complete lack of a centralized operations system which everyone has access to in real time and has all the services data aggregated in one place. What’s more, is that even if that existed before SmartPAD, the key data set which is the operational workflow is still being captured manually. This poses a very big data collection, integrity and resolution problem. What little data is captured relating directly to the operational time log is gathered manually meaning that it is subject to major discrepancies and thus is not a good base data set to correlate raw service data to. What we have done is put sensors on the wellheads to automate this capture process. Our sensors determine the state of the wellheads at all time and capture one second operational data 24/7, automatically creating a high-resolution normalized database which we then stitch all raw service data to in real time. The result is fully operational digital completions system that automatically does things like capture workflow, populate database systems with all data sets attached to precise time logs, and auto generate analytics on the fly not to mention it allows for machine learning to be applied to make suggestions on optimization in real time.

AAPG: What are operators trying to achieve with completions?

Chell: Operators are seeking new ways to improve efficiency and reduce completions costs. Cold Bore Technology’s SmartPAD is the first IIoT-sensor based, remote completions operating system, or ECR (Electronic Completions Recorder), which enables real-time monitoring, tracking and analysis of multi-well pad operations.

AAPG: How is SmartPAD helping operators?

Chell: It is helping operators improve their efficiency, enhance their onsite safety and reduce their overall number of frac days, resulting in costs savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars per pad. The system integrates service company data in real-time such as coil, wireline, frac, flowback, pump down, and other digital data on location and couples it with sensor-driven operational data provided directly from the wellhead to generate a Critical Path Timeline. Valve positions are also displayed in real-time, which is a significant safety feature.

In addition, collected data sources, such as WellView and OpenWells, are auto-populated, which is a significant time saver for onsite operators who typically spend many hours manually entering time log and other operational data on location.

AAPG: What kind of data is collected with SmartPAD?

Chell: The system pulls IIoT sensor-driven operational data directly from the wellhead in real-time and then captures the other digital data from the various completions services companies on location (frac, coil, wireline, pumpdown, and flowback), and couples it together and then correlates the same time stamps. Every second of the completions operations is recorded and time-stamped along with the detailed context necessary for a complete understanding of the chronological chain of events. And all of the data is viewable remotely and in real-time. This enables comprehensive tracking of both productivity efficiency gains (PEG), scheduled operations and non-productive time (NPT) - all critical aspects to track and identify.

The comprehensive tracking of every minute detail of the operations provides new insight, and the instantaneous visibility of the operations on a single dashboard, along with the ability to monitor the operations remotely in real-time, has helped clients avoid serious incidents, damaged equipment, and hazardous situations.

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