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AU

AUTOMATION

IADC Drilling Manual 12th Edition

IADC Drilling Manual • Copyright © 2015


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automated tripping

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AUTOMATION AU–i

CHAPTER

AU
AUTOMATION,
INSTRUMENTATION &
MECHANIZATION

he IADC Drilling Manual is a series of reference guides assembled by volunteer drilling-industry professionals with
T expertise spanning a broad range of topics. These volunteers contributed their time, energy and knowledge in
developing the IADC Drilling Manual, 12th edition, to help facilitate safe and efficient drilling operations, training, and
equipment maintenance and repair.

The contents of this manual should not replace or take precedence over manufacturer, operator or individual drilling
company recommendations, policies or procedures. In jurisdictions where the contents of the IADC Drilling Manual may
conflict with regional, state or national statute or regulation, IADC strongly advises adhering to local rules.

While IADC believes the information presented is accurate as of the date of publication, each reader is responsible for his
own reliance, reasonable or otherwise, on the information presented. Readers should be aware that technology advances
quickly, and the subject matter discussed herein may quickly become surpassed. If professional engineering expertise
is required, the services of a competent individual or firm should be sought. Neither IADC nor the contributors to this
chapter warrant or guarantee that application of any theory, concept, method or action described in this book will lead to
the result desired by the reader.

PRINCIPAL AUTHOR
Fred Florence, National Oilwell Varco
Gregers Kudsk, Maersk Drilling
John Pedersen, Maersk Drilling

REVIEWERS
Clinton Chapman, Schlumberger
Tom Geehan, MI SWACO
Moray Laing, SAS
John McPherson, Baker Hughes
Mario Zamora, MI SWACO

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AU–ii AUTOMATION

This is a chapter of the IADC Drilling Manual, 12th edition.

Copyright © 2015 International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), Houston, Texas.


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form
without the prior written permission of the publisher.

International Association of Drilling Contractors


10370 Richmond Avenue, Suite 760
Houston, Texas 77042
USA

ISBN: 978-0-9915095-5-3

Printed in the United States of America.

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AUTOMATION AU-iii

CHAPTER AU

AUTOMATION
Contents
Overview of automated drilling operations........... AU-1
Impact on rig crew....................................................... AU-1
Automation systems.................................................... AU-1
Control and monitoring............................................... AU-3
Drilling network evolution..........................................AU-6
Examples of automation.............................................AU-6
Automated pipehandling..................................... AU-6
Standbuilding........................................................... AU-8
Tripping..................................................................... AU-8
Drilling ahead.......................................................... AU-8
Other automated procedures............................ AU-8
Operating automated equipment..................... AU-8
Restricted access zone (Red zone)........................AU-11

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


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AUTOMATION AU–1

Overview of automated drilling operations operated at a local panel, wired or wireless, and
For decades, nearly all rig designs used the basic separately from the integrated control station(s).
equipment of a drawworks, a rotary or top drive, and
several mud pumps. Drill floor operations were manual: Impact on rig crew
roughnecks handled tongs, slips and even spinning chains Automation is not intended to replace the driller, just like an
by hand. In the derrick, the derrickman pulled pipe to the autopilot does not eliminate the pilot of an airplane. Instead,
fingerboards with a piece of rope. Good crews did this automation can make the driller’s work easier and better.
well, and in some places, with excellent results. In other The driller is needed to supervise the operation and inter-
cases, however, injuries occurred, due to numerous factors, vene when there are tasks to perform that are not automat-
including human impairment (fatigue, distraction, etc), ed, and when things just don’t seem right.
poor judgment, inexperience, or well environment.
Automation also can allow the directional driller to be lo-
Rig owners and E&P companies asked for new tools and cated in a remote operating center, where he/she can su-
work flows to make this part of the job safer. Spinning chains pervise multiple rigs and steer the drilling assembly using
and tongs were replaced with pipe spinners and iron rough- remote controls, resulting in less travel to the rig site. Ser-
necks. Power slips made the work less manual. The addition vice companies from remote sites will also be able to assist
of these types of tools and machines is known as “mecha- with formation evaluation.
nization.”
The most important change resulting from introducing
Mechanization occurs when machines are introduced into drilling automation is monitoring and controlling the drilling
a process to allow people to do more with the machine than process with an overall picture of operations. Automation
they could do with their muscles. By pulling a lever or push- simulators can look at the rig settings with respect to pres-
ing and holding a button, the rig crew lets machines take sures, navigation, wellbore integrity, well productivity, time
some or all of the physical work out of the job. and cost impact, and more, all at the same time, and help
calculate the effect of changes to the drilling plan during the
As control systems evolved, machines were modified to take construction of the well
advantage of new measurements and control capabilities. A
single control command could trigger an entire sequence of Automation systems
steps programmed into the machine and its controls. The Most modern drilling equipment includes controllers such
execution of multiple steps by a machine to achieve some as PLCs (programmable logic controllers) and PACs (pro-
goal is an aspect of “automation,” which can more formal- grammable automation controllers) that collect sensor
ly be defined as a system that, without direct control by an information and provide signals to actuators that allow
operator, performs a set of actions using sensors and/or ac- machines to operate. Such systems are necessary for the
tuators of a machine. machine to execute its basic functions and allow it to be ac-
tivated from a remote location such as a driller’s station or
Automation, when implemented and used properly, can im- chair. Controllers can be connected together to form a net-
prove safety and drilling efficiency. When the machines can work that can communicate with one another and to HMIs
do the routine, repetitive work, the driller can focus on crew (human machine interfaces. Using these remote HMI’s on a
safety and downhole conditions. New automation systems mechanized rig, the driller monitors measurements and ex-
can warn the driller of possible downhole problems and can ecutes commands to control the drilling operation.
propose or change drilling parameters to avoid unwanted
wellbore influxes, stuck pipe, damaging drillstring vibra- HMIs on mechanized rigs range from older control stations
tions, and much more. with gauges, knobs, and buttons (see Figure AU-1) to new-
er fully digital computer displays (see Figure AU-2). In the
An automated system can be operated in different modes: case of the newer computer displays, most of these sys-
• Fully automated mode with no or tems have some sort of screen displays to make it easier to
minimal operator interaction; perform specific process, which can be changed to suit the
• Semi-automated mode in which operation/ current operation making it so driller’s cabins have far fewer
functions are performed in sequences buttons than those several decades old. However, the au-
with operator acknowledgment; tomatic system is not only controlling individual machines,
• Manual mode by the operator from a chair, but also systems that monitor their interaction regarding po-
controlling and monitoring equipment and systems sitioning, limits of operation, acceleration and braking, and
in a step-by-step or direct-control mode; overall safety aspects.
• Local mode where the equipment or system is

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AU–2 AUTOMATION

Figure AU-1: Older driller’s control stations were cluttered with many buttons, switches
and knobs. Courtesy Jan A. Tjemsland and the Norwegian Petroleum Museum.

Figure AU-2: Newer control stations use displays configured for the
current drilling operation to reduce congestion and confusion.

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AUTOMATION AU–3

By integrating measurements and and pressure while drilling (PWD).


control with algorithms in computer These tools monitor wellbore trajec-
systems connected to the network of tory, rock properties, vibration, and
controllers (or embedded within the downhole pressure, just to name a
controllers themselves), automated few. Measurements can be used man-
event detection, such as alarms, and ually by the drill crew to monitor the
automated control begin to surface. drilling process or fed into mathemat-
This allows control of individual ma- ical predictive models that compute
chines on the rig, as well as systems what is expected in the near future.
that monitor their interaction regard- One example would be to use the
ing positioning, limits of operation, drilling engineer’s hydraulics model
acceleration and braking and overall to estimate pressures in the wellbore
safety systems which can account for and update this model while drilling
rig operation objectives. using the PWD measurements. If
the trend looks like the pressures are
However, the automatic system is not building due to excess cuttings in the
only controlling individual machines, annulus, the drill crew could take pre-
but also systems that monitor their ventative measures, such as pumping
interaction regarding positioning, a sweep to clean the wellbore before
limits of operation, acceleration and the fracture pressure of the formation
braking, and overall safety aspects. is exceeded. Predictive models do not
By integrating measurements and replace the driller’s knowledge, but
control with algorithms in computer they can help alert the driller to unex-
systems connected to the network of pected situations.
Figure AU-3: A local control panel is not
controllers (or embedded within the
integrated with other machines.
controllers themselves), many types Once the monitoring is in place,
of automated sequences are possible. someone or something should control
One well known example is Zone Management, which is a the drilling machines to keep the drilling parameters within
smart system where the machines work together to avoid boundaries that are both safe and efficient. The driller ad-
collisions and dropped pipe, while moving at the maximum justs the throttles of the top drive and mud pumps and keeps
safe operating speed. While most machine alarms are the right weight on bit (WOB). The autodriller was invented
based on individual sensors, such as high temperature, over- to make this easier on the driller. After the driller sets the
speed, or excessive torque, automated event detection can desired WOB, the autodriller adjusts the brake, so the driller
alarm on operating conditions, such as potential downhole does not need to do this manually time after time. This is a
problems like stuck pipe, pack offs or fluid influxes. Limiting single example of semi-automated control.
tripping speeds and accelerations can also reduce a num-
ber of downhole pressure related problems such as induced A fully automated system would determine the optimum
fractures. As the system is expanded further to integrate WOB and control and coordinate the individual machines in
with downhole measurements and actuation with down- such a way that the entire process can be conducted with-
hole automation systems, such as rotary steerable systems, out human intervention, except of course, when something
automation of the full well-construction objective will have unusual occurs. The driller chooses the operation; the au-
been achieved tomation system does the required tasks to complete the
operation safely and properly. The driller carefully monitors
the actions.
Control and monitoring
Automation systems have two basic components: control Monitoring and control can be categorized as:
and monitoring. Monitoring systems need sensors and/or • Simple monitoring and manual/local control: Opera-
manual inputs to understand whether the process is going tions on the drill floor are performed more or less by
according to plan. Sensors include the familiar surface mea- using gauges or analog and digital instrumentation to
surements of hookload, block position, flow, density, pres- inform the driller. All control and equipment handling is
sure and others. executed in a manual and local mode by the driller and
crew on the drill floor;
Sometimes downhole sensors are deployed, such as mea-
surement while drilling (MWD), logging while drilling (LWD) • Advanced monitoring and manual/local control:

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AU–4 AUTOMATION

Figure AU-4: Illustrates a first-generation DCN with two chairs and few PLCs, hardwired communication, PROFIBUS DP (decentralized
peripherals) and Ethernet. Courtesy of Aker Solutions.

Some rigs introduced “advanced drilling instrumenta- drill floor operational modes. Closed circuit television
tion” using networks set up with displays located in the (CCTV) allows the driller to visually monitor steps in
driller’s cabin and in the toolpusher´s office. The dis- the process at a remote location, such as checking the
plays help visualize the data on the rig, and sometimes position of fingerboard latches or watching the top
data is shared with off-site centers where everyone can drive engage with the top of the drillpipe while mak-
see the same information at the same time. The driller ing a connection. Operations can be performed in a
still controls the process in a manual and local mode; semi-automatic mode where tripping in/out is more
or less performed automatically and the driller’s only
• Advanced monitoring and integrated manual con- instructions are to confirm that actions have occurred
trol: Some rigs have “operator’s chairs” where most at critical steps in the process, and to choose the speed
of the monitoring and control is implemented in the of operation by adjusting the joystick on the chair. All
chair-shaped control station using networked and com- equipment on the drill floor must be upgraded hydrau-
puter-based solutions. This allows implementation of lically, pneumatically, electrically and mechanically for
automated hydraulic, pneumatic and advanced me- these semi-automated modes;
chanical solutions involving machines and equipment
used for drilling operations. It streamlines the hand-off • Advanced monitoring and full auto control: The
of control from the driller to the assistant driller and evolving “new generation” of drillfloor monitoring and
eliminates the “local” control and operation to ensure a control will be enabled for full automation, using sur-
safer and more reliable drilling operation; face and downhole sensors, mathematical models and
real-time simulation plus machines purpose-built for
• Advanced monitoring and semi-auto control: To- automation. This will reduce drilling related problems,
day’s existing solutions for drillfloor operations typi- improve drilling efficiency and increase the safety and
cally implement advanced monitoring with sufficient reliability of drill floor and downhole operations.
redundancy of control and monitoring systems for all

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AUTOMATION AU–5

Figure AU-5 & AU-6 (above and below) show an advanced DCN network for two well centers with four chairs, where CCTV is implemented with
fully automated functionality of machinery on drill floor. Figure AU-5 courtesy Aker Solutions. Figure AU-6 is courtesy National Oilwell Varco.

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AU–6 AUTOMATION

Table AU-1: Key elements to monitor from within the Drilling Control Network (DCN).
Flow in Flow out Flow Choke
Hook TD TD Hook Bit Total Stand Coriolis MP
WOB GPM GPM Out back
Load RPM Tq Pos Depth Depth no position SPM
(coriolis) (coriolis) (meter) pressure
Drilling
X X X X X X X X X X X X
Conventionally
Drilling with
X X X X X X X X X X X X X
MPD
Tripping X X X X X
Run/Retrieve
X X X X
BOP
Flow Check X X X X X
Well Control X X X X X X X X X
Logging X x x

Active
Indicator Total Trip
MP Vol. Active Stroke Trip
Res. Comp. for IBOP, Hook Trip Trip Trip Tank
Disch. (header, Gain/ counters Tank
Vol. Pos. Elev, Speed Tank 1 Tank 2 tank return
Pres. pond, loss (3-4) Discrep.
Slips volume flow
gutter)
Drilling
X X X X X X X X X X X
Conventionally
Drilling with
X X X X X X X X X X X X
MPD
Tripping X X X X X
Run/Retrieve
X X X X
BOP
Flow Check X X X X X
Well Control X X X X X X X X
Logging X x x

Table AU-1: Key elements to monitor from within the Drilling Control Network (DCN) include hookload. Courtesy Maersk Drilling.

Drilling network evolution well as additional monitors for CCTV, third party equipment
Rig controls have improved from manual levers and motor as MWD, etc.
control rheostats to computerized networks of machine Alarm handling is essential to ensure that the operator only
control devices like PLCs and touch screen monitors, often gets alarms that are essential for safe operation. Unneces-
referred to as a drilling control network (DCN). Over time, sary alarms from auxiliaries as seawater systems, freshwa-
the development of the DCN has expanded from a sim- ter systems, generator systems, etc., should be avoided, and
ple network with approximately 1,000 input/output (I/O) these alarms should be directly transferred to the mainte-
points, to today where a dual-well center control network nance department onboard.
with interface to other systems will typically have between
25,000 to 30,000 I/O (hardwired and serial). HMI and alarm handling are still an ongoing development
Figure AU-4 illustrates a first-generation DCN with two process to ensure improvement of safe operation for drill
chairs and few PLCs, hardwired communication, PROFIBUS floor.
DP (decentralized peripherals) and Ethernet.
Figures AU-5 and AU-6 show an advanced DCN network for Examples of automation
two well centers with four chairs, where closed circuit tele-
vision (CCTV) is implemented with fully automated func- Automated pipehandling
tionality of machinery on drill floor. There are established in- The most commonly known automated system involves
terfaces with the BOP control system for monitoring, choke handling of drillpipe, because the system can remove crew-
and kill for monitoring, DP system, mud mixing and mud members from harm’s way and mitigate issues related to
treatment system, etc. tripping pipe. Various drill floor and pipe deck machines
The operator normally has access to two screens/monitors have integrated controls so that they all work together to
in front of him where all essential information is shown, as move tubulars, assemble them into stands, rack them in the

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AUTOMATION AU–7
Table AU-2: Key elements to monitor from the closed circuit television (CCTV).
Wash
pipe/ Hoisting
Drawworks/
Flow TD IBOP TD Mud Rotary Pit Sheaves
Shakers Manifolds CMC hoisting
Line Conn (will be elevators Pumps table Room (crown
cylinders
various block)
heights
Drilling
X X X X X X X X X X X
Conventionally
Drilling with
X X X X X X X X X X X
MPD
Tripping X X X X X X X
Run/Retrieve
X X X X X
BOP
Flow Check X X X
Well Control X X X X X X
Logging X X

Wire line
Drill Drill Riser Riser Riser Riser
Drill pipe RPS/ Capstan Wireline Sheave in Moon
pipe pipe finger gantry gantry finger
fingerboards TFM Unit Unit Derrick/ pool
setback VPC board crane shuffle boards
mast
Drilling
X X X X
Conventionally
Drilling with
X X X X X
MPD
Tripping X X X X X
Run/Retrieve
X X X X X X
BOP
Flow Check
Well Control
Logging X X X

Table AU-2: Key elements to monitor from the closed circuit television (CCTV). Courtesy Maersk Drilling.

derrick, and run them in or out of the hole. Automated pipe


handling puts the pieces together and lowers them into the
wellbore with a minimum of commands from the drill crew.
The drill crew can even set a speed limit, so that the lowering
does not create excessive surge pressure on the formations.
The pipe handling systems have different capabilities de-
pending on the rig type and the type of wells for which they
were designed. Automation on a land rig is very different
from that on a deepwater semisubmersible or drillship. Ad-
vanced pipehandling systems normally include the following
mechanized machines:
• Hoisting system, with either a drawworks with disk
brakes and /or AC motor brakes or a hydraulic cylinder
or rack-and-pinion system. Some rigs even use a
two-drawworks solution: a topdrive with pipehandler;
• Rotary with power slips;
• Iron roughneck with a mudbucket system; Video AU-1: Currently, pipehandling is the best-known
drilling-automation application. The advanced pipehandler
• Pipehandling machine, like a column racker, shown can build and rack drillpipe, HWDP and casing,
a bridge-crane system or a cartridge- including fully automated standbuilding and tripping. No
style that often works as a system; people are on the rig floor. Courtesy Maersk Drilling.
• Remote-operated racking boards;
• Pipe-doping system;

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AU–8 AUTOMATION

• Pipe-deck system; the desired value. The autodriller does not control both WOB
• Pipe deck crane, or; and delta P. It controls line payout, and it stops paying out line
• Pipe handler on the pipe deck, and; when one of the boundary conditions, either WOB or delta P,
• Conveyor belt or catwalk machine (or similar) is too high. If the autodriller has more than two parameters, it
to transport the pipe to the drillfloor. stops paying out line when any one of the parameters exceeds
• Possibly a V-door machine; the set points.
• Chutes from a low setback area may be installed;
• CCTV system, with cameras located on equipment In the future, automated drilling will do much more than
or positioned in the drilling tower, mast or derrick; control the brake. Pipe movement (up and down) and pipe
• Tailing arm to secure and position the lower end of the rotation will be adjusted as needed. Mud pump flow rates,
tubulars as they move from the V-door to well center. managed pressure systems and drilling chokes will be in-
cluded. Harmful drillstring vibrations will be avoided. Sur-
face and downhole measurements will feed drilling models
Standbuilding that will adjust the setpoints on the drilling machinery and
Stands of drillpipe and bottomhole assemblies (BHAs) are downhole tools. It may be something similar to a continual
often assembled in a separate location called an auxiliary automated drill-off test or adjusting parameters to minimize
mousehole. Stand building may also have an optional use in downhole vibrations measured at the bit.
preparing and racking back stands of casing. On some rigs,
this can be done offline to reduce trip times.
Other automated procedures
There are few, if any, automated procedures in use today, oth-
Tripping er than the piperacking systems and the autodriller. Look for
With the stands already racked in the setback area, the pipe- running and retrieving the riser and BOP to be automated in
handling machines and the rig’s hoisting system are integrat- the future. BOP and choke manifold testing will not be far off.
ed to trip pipe in or out of the well in an automated fashion. There are obviously many more processes that can be safely
The driller can set a maximum speed, but this still requires automated over the next few years.
rigorous monitoring of the downhole conditions to avoid ex-
cessive surge and swab pressures, tracking pick up and slack
off weights, and watching for possible ledges and other con- Operating automated equipment
ditions critical when tripping manually. As operator of an advanced or simple drilling operation today,
there are several parameters that should be taken into consid-
Future systems will use hydraulic models that calculate eration and monitored while these operations/ functionalities
downhole pressures in real time and automatically adjust the are performed.
trip speed limits depending on mud properties and downhole As “operator,” when located in the chair, you are responsible
conditions. The models will issue alerts when abnormal con- for a safe operation.
ditions are suspected. The driller will still be at the center of
the process, but perhaps not physically located near the haz- Tables AU-1 through AU-7 offer simple guidelines for “what
ardous location on the rig floor. to monitor“ when located in the “chair” on the drilling con-
trol network (DCN), including CCTV, BOP, choke and kill
panel (C&K), logging system, MWD, and fire and gas sys-
Drilling ahead tems. This information is sourced both from rig owners and
Automated drilling today uses a brake controller to limit the third parties. Be aware that third-party information might
payout of the drill line. When the calculated WOB is below not be available to view.
a threshold, more line is released until the WOB reaches the
set point. Some autodrillers use multiple parameter control, These tables present guidelines and are not exhaustive. Fur-
but they still do just one thing: they limit the payout of the ther, rig type and layout can impact information availability
drill line. When drilling a horizontal well, the normal way we or applicability. Therefore, a similar setup should be gener-
calculate WOB is no longer valid. Drillers normally measure ated for the specific vessel and drill floor layout of any given
the standpipe pressure off bottom and again when they start operation. It is recommended that the Driller not focus on
drilling. The pressure will change due to the forces of the bit the dynamic-positioning (DP) system. Instead, the Driller
and formation and the torque from a downhole drilling mo- should rely the DP Operator to confirm that operations are
tor. This differential pressure is called “delta P.” When drilling following approved procedures and for feedback regarding
off differential pressure, if delta P is below a certain thresh- watch circles/times.
old, the autodriller pays out more line until delta P reaches

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AUTOMATION AU–9

Table AU-3: Key elements to monitor from the BOP panel.

Well head Well head BOP Acc system Flow count for functions
BOP line up Alarms
pressure Temp pressure (calculated and actual)

Drilling
X X X X X X
Conventionally
Drilling with
X X X X X X
MPD
Tripping X X X
Run/Retrieve
X X
BOP
Flow Check X
Well Control X X X X X X
Logging X X X X X

Table AU-3: Shows key elements to monitor from the BOP panel. Courtesy Maersk Drilling.

Table AU-4: Key elements to monitor from the choke panel.

Manifold Manifold MGS MGS MGS Choke


MGS liquid seal Choke Temp
line up Pressures differential temperature pressure Pressure

Drilling
X
Conventionally
Drilling with
X
MPD
Tripping X
Run/Retrieve
BOP
Flow Check X
Well Control X X X X X X X X
Logging X

Table AU-4: Shows key elements to monitor from the choke panel. Courtesy Maersk Drilling.

Table AU-5: Key elements to monitor


from logging systems.

Background gas

Drilling
X
Conventionally
Drilling with
Table AU-5: Shows key elements to monitor from MPD
X
logging systems. Courtesy Maersk Drilling.
Tripping
Run/Retrieve
BOP
Flow Check
Well Control X
Logging X

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AU–10 AUTOMATION

Table AU-6: Key elements to monitor from MWD and directional drilling tools.

Lateral
Stick Slip Whirl Actual WOB Actual Bit RPM Actual Bit Torque Well Trajectory
vibration

Drilling
X X X X X X X
Conventionally
Drilling with
X X X X X X X
MPD
Tripping
Run/Retrieve
BOP
Flow Check
Well Control
Logging

Table AU-6: Shows key elements to monitor from MWD and directional drilling tools. Courtesy Maersk Drilling.

Table AU-7: Key elements to monitor


from fire and gas systems.
Fire Gas
Fire Type Gas Type
Location Location

Drilling
X X X X Table AU-7: Shows key elements to monitor from fire
Conventionally
and gas systems. Courtesy Maersk Drilling.
Drilling with
X X X X
MPD
Tripping X X X X
Run/Retrieve
X X X X
BOP
Flow Check X X X X
Well Control X X X X
Logging X X X X

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015


AUTOMATION AU–11

Pending the system setup, there will be common or sever- The restricted access zones in connection with general lifting
al monitors and systems from which the operator gets all operations are typically the areas of the deck or structure be-
of the information, and the operator should be familiarized low any crane or where the load of a crane can be expected
with these systems before going into operation. Whether to land.
dual-well centers with four or five chairs or one well center
with two or three chairs, it should be clearly specified what to The general philosophy of the restricted access zone is to
monitor during operation when located in one of these chairs. establish a visual indication of an area where there is a high
potential for a hazardous event to occur if someone enters
without authorization.
Restricted access zone (red zone)
Rig crews identify and mark off areas that should be restrict- The restricted access zone could and should be treated in a
ed to essential personnel only. Indication of this “red zone” similar way to that of a safety barrier taped-off area, exten-
provides a simple and uniform procedure for identifying sively used throughout the industry to control and prevent
and/or differentiating between the areas deemed hazard- unaware individuals from entering an area with potentially
ous and less hazardous on the drill floor, pipe deck, riser hazardous conditions or events.
storage, moonpool and adjacent areas, and identifying haz-
ards in connection with handling operations. The intention is to identify the restricted access zone areas
for both drilling- and lifting-related operations and describe
On the drill floor, the restricted access zone is defined as the the control measures to be implemented to minimize the
drill floor and the area that can be impacted by equipment risks associated when working within the red zone.
remotely operated from the rig floor. This includes adjacent
walkways. Access to restricted zones in connection with lifting opera-
tions is normally not needed, but due to the large area a crane
With the range of automatic and remotely operated pipe or lifting device is able to cover, personnel can enter the lift-
and riser handling equipment in the restricted access zones, ing zone without being aware of the potential hazards from
as well as rotating machinery and high-pressure circulating the overhead work. The restricted access zones are estab-
manifolds, the area can be deemed hazardous. lished in order to avoid any personnel movement within the
work zones of a lifting appliance.
The red zone also provides a clearly defined and controlled
working environment for all drill floor activities and lifting op-
erations across the rig.

IADC Drilling Manual Copyright © 2015

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