HOUSTON — Halliburton and Aker BP have developed a digitized, remote management system for surface drill cuttings handling.
BaraStream is the result of a collaboration that started in 2020 to improve the cuttings handling system on Odfjell Drilling’s sixth-generation harsh-environment Deepsea Nordkapp semisubmersible that is operating for Aker BP in Norwegian waters.
According to Halliburton, the development has focused on four key areas:
- Live cuttings weight monitoring in honeycomb bottom tanks, and control and measurement of lubrication volumes, using multiple sensors and a purpose-designed interface;
- Remote valve operation and automation of cuttings flow and transfer;
- Digital monitoring of the "skip and ship" process through installing weight measurement sensors and camera monitoring of tanks; and
- Remote managing the offloading of cuttings to vessel-based cuttings transport tanks using remotely operated valves, Camera oversight.
The gains achieved from the digitalized approach have included a reduction in personnel on board the rig while moving remaining personnel further from the danger area, using an automated flow control and automated line-up; dispensing with the need for staff on board to operate vessel equipment; and best practice programming incorporating previous learnings/experience, weight control and real-time modelling of cuttings left in hole, mass-balance and predicting hole cleaning.
According to Aker BP’s drilling superintendent for the Semi Alliance, Marc Wassenborg, the upgrade has led to the world’s first automated and remote-controlled cuttings handling system on a semisubmersible rig (Deepsea Nordkapp).
Halliburton cited further benefits such as:
- Lower HSE exposure and reduced CO2 footprint through less manning offshore; and
- Systematic data gathering and sharing between services, enabling real-time monitoring of dimensioning parameters, and lookahead on wellbore activity.
Contingency plans back up the system and facilitate fully manual operation when needed.