Since its launch in 2018, Vallourec’s Smartengo Running Expert digital solution has been improving operators’ running performances worldwide, reducing tubular management inefficiencies and providing easy access to data management. Having recently been employed by a major operator in the Caspian Sea, Smartengo Running Expert added a new success to its growing track record.
Poor traceability and lack of access to accurate pipe information are common issues encountered during rig operations. Running the wrong pipe, incorrectly positioning accessories, and making inaccurate mud or cementing calculations can be costly and slow down operations. Tubular management between the yard and the rig can be complex and inefficient due to the lack of a pipe tracking system, causing working capital to be tied-up in excessive contingency stock. Preparing the run-in-hole tally and the job report is often time-consuming and inaccurate.
To solve these difficulties, Vallourec created a digital solution called Smartengo Running Expert which reduces tubular management inefficiencies on the rig deck, improves operational control by preventing errors during running operations including human input errors, and provides easy access to data management to monitor rig performance.
The solution relies on a set of features designed to automate rig activities. First, the system operates by creating a unique pipe identification number (called VALid), which provides individual pipe data and enables data collection and traceability. All the products that are to be run, including accessories, are measured and issued a barcode which is applied on the pipe body providing the following data and information: the manufacturer name, order reference, grade, outer diameter (OD) and inner diameter (ID) sizes, connection type, torque values, drift size, make-up loss, bore volume, actual pipe length and planned running sequence. The barcode can be applied at the mill, at the customer yard or at the rig site.
During rig preparation, the stock of tubulars is scanned and a pre-tally is generated. With direct access to pipe data, the tally provides operators and well drilling teams with details on all pipes to be run which simplifies rig receipt management. Each pipe is assigned a position in the pipe rack which allows operators to easily prepare and record potential contingencies. If any pipe is rejected during inspection, the reason for rejection and any inspection comments can be entered into the system and tracked.
Another important feature of this technology is running supervision. On the rig, the barcode on the pipe is scanned as it is positioned for make-up, using hand-held tablets, with watchdog alerts set to prevent running incorrect pipes or accessories. Thanks to the running dashboard, the driller in the doghouse can track the running sequence with the actual run-in-hole tally. An accurate and complete digital construction report is then created with each pipe number linked to the connection make-up graph, providing automatic updates of key drilling performance indicators (KPIs) such as bore volume, steel displacement, cumulative depth, and remaining target depth. Any back-outs, rejects, non-productive time or stoppages can be recorded with technical comments in the tracking system. Once the job has been completed, remaining pipes can be identified and included on the tally, automatically generating the backload manifest for rig returns.
In addition, a web portal provides access to well performance data as well as to consolidated job reports which can be created automatically. By collecting pipe data, tracking the pipe from its production to the moment that it is run downhole, and transforming this data into information that is easy to access and analyze, the system opens up opportunities for operators to improve efficiency and upgrade running operations to obtain greater value from their assets.
An innovation-driven operator in the Caspian Sea was exploring digital solutions to reduce their operational costs and to increase safety and productivity on the rig. Leveraging over 15 years of presence in Azerbaijan and a longstanding collaboration with the customer in both running operations and digital transformation, VAM® Field Service introduced the Smartengo Running Expert solution with the objective of bringing innovation to their rigs and ensuring running efficiency.
The digital solution was implemented with outstanding results and feedback from the customer who recognized the value the tool brought to their operations. As a sign of their satisfaction, Vallourec was awarded an agreement for future additional services.
Smartengo Running Expert is a good example of our commitment to provide customers with innovation and value. Its successful deployment was made possible thanks to the strong presence of VAM® in the Caspian Sea region, our ability to seamlessly integrate digital solutions into our traditional running procedures, as well as our deep knowledge of customer running operationsDaniel Khoda Rahmi VAM® Field Service Director
“Smartengo Running Expert definitely provides a significant improvement to our operations”, said the operator’s Well Site Leader. “It is a very effective tool that assists in pipe tallying and matching to the deck check. It clearly highlights discrepancies and allows for a far more efficient way to ensure we get all the correct information needed to run-in-hole.”
Since using Smartengo Running Expert on their rigs, the operator has registered an increase in productivity by eliminating the need to remeasure the length of 10% of their tubular stock on deck which represents over 30 minutes saved per job. Smartengo Running Expert also eliminates the need for a tally revision saving over 2 hours per job and allowing the rig crew to focus on core operations.
“Smartengo Running Expert was very helpful when laying out tubing on the deck. The digitalized deck tally eliminates the risk of someone miss-recording a joint length which could affect tally and space out”, explained Elmaddin Shikhiyev, VAM® Field Service Operation Manager.
The operator especially appreciated the increase in quality control and traceability that Smartengo Running Expert was able to provide. Incorrect pipe lengths in pre-tally were thus identified and revised in time, pipe misplacement instances were reduced as well as manual input errors in tally preparations. Having the full and accurate run-in-hole digital tally complemented with the exact individual pipe length, as well as the traceability of every stoppage reason and its duration offered our customer the assurance they needed to confidently run their pipes. “The watchdog alert system, which ensures the right sequence is being run, prevented a contingency pipe to be run during the very first job. This feature was much appreciated by the customer representative”, added Elmaddin.
In addition, Smartengo Running Expert provided length reminder features such as up/down weight evaluation every 500 meters, pip tag installation, and run-in-hole (RIH) speed reduction when entering the liner zone. These types of reminders contributed to running efficiency. “Thanks to Smartengo Running Expert, we optimized the time dedicated to checking that the correct tubing joints were run-in-hole”, says one of the customer’s completion engineers.
Smartengo Running Expert also improves safety as it eliminates the need for rig personnel to climb on pipes to paint the tally number and to check the pipe length. The digital solution provided the operator with 100% reliability on the exact tubing depth and thus optimal positioning of the string, perfect hanger landing and minimal cement plug. This is crucial, as an identified depth mistake could stop the rig between 2 to 6 hours.
After every tubular running job, the customer received a comprehensive report which is also available online through a dedicated web portal. Reports included:
- Actual run-in-hole tally,
- Decision report for pipes backed-out and rejected (with comments filled by technicians),
- Analytics (joints per hour, length per hour, depth per hour, cruising speed…)
"The preparation of the execution phase was critical to ensure the success of Smartengo Running Expert implementation in the field. We worked closely with local teams to train them and provide them with the latest-generation material and software”, said Calum Thomson, Smartengo Digital Services Delivery Manager. “After the job, we also organized lessons-learned sessions to take customer feedback into account and continuously improve our solution.”
The use of Smartengo Running Expert for this customer’s operations was a success with significant added value acknowledged by the operator’s Engineering teams from the first job done. In addition to providing simplified operations, the digital solution also enables significant cost savings.
“Smartengo Running Expert seamlessly integrates pipe data with digital as an IIoT (Industrial Internet of things) tool, allowing customers to focus on core operations in a smart rig environment”, explained Tiago Cavanha, Smartengo Running Expert Business Owner at Vallourec. “These latest jobs in the Caspian Sea proves this”.
Pipe traceability simplifies tubular management to and from the rig offering better stock visibility and reducing the need for excessive contingency stock “just in case”. The solution’s watchdog alerts during running operations prevent potentially costly errors caused by running the wrong pipe and the reliability offered on the exact tubing and casing depth helps in optimizing the positioning of the string. Finally, access to data management simplifies performance analysis, offering opportunities to improve overall efficiency.
Smartengo Running Expert has become a valuable resource on the rig, allowing operators to generate greater value from their running operations.