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Here’s What’s Trending: SPE ATCE 2022 – An SME’s Take

October 20, 2022

The SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) is one of the leading technical energy conferences and exhibitions for global energy professionals. This event provides an opportunity for the industry to come together to learn about the latest technologies, and their applications in the field, through workshops, forums, training courses, presentations, and exhibitions.  

Nabors was one of many companies showcased at ATCE this year. Our exceptional team presented on machine and process automation executed by the world’s first fully automated land rig and, secondly, on the importance of casing connection integrity and the vital role automation can play. We also jointly participated in several papers with some of the largest E&P companies. 

This year, we asked some of our drilling automation subject matter experts to give us their take on the exhibition. One of our directional drilling automation experts, Drew Curran, Operations Manager for Nabors SmartSLIDE® automation, attended the show and gave us his take. Check out our Q+A with Drew below.  

Q: What areas of discussion during the conference interested you the most?  

Drew: My background primarily consists of drilling operations, so I gravitated towards the drilling and well construction presentations; however, there were many opportunities to attend talks regarding other disciplines. It was interesting to see the analytical approaches and solutions developed by our peers on the production side of the industry. Initially, my focus was learning how they use data and the analytical models employed. The talks I attended focused on their use of technology to predict future events and mitigate well shut-in time (downtime) due to unforeseen maintenance. It was interesting to hear the perspective from another side of the business. Portions of the drilling side have been doing similar things for years. It is interesting to learn how introducing new technologies and computing abilities more accurately forecast drilling events and failures. As we hone our drilling practices and build better equipment, tools like these could help mitigate the supply issues we’ve seen over the last few years and lead to a leaner and more efficient oil field.  

Q: Was there anything discussed at the conference that made you think differently about your work at Nabors? 

Drew: I was interested in the analysis regarding downhole drilling dynamics and couldn’t help but notice how there seems to be a disconnect between the best practices in the field and what many drilling specialists recommend around parameter control while drilling. It highlights the need for more intelligence in setting drilling roadmaps and the tools we use to execute them. With everyone bringing out new Autodrillers, is there a need for a data and logic-driven system that can effectively bridge the gap between WOB and Control Drilling? 

Q: What topics would you be interested in hearing more about in upcoming conferences? 

Drew: While I like a good technical paper, most of our good ideas fail in the execution and adoption phase. I’d like to see studies focusing on processes and partnerships between service providers and operators coming together to address execution and technical challenges. Yes, this business is competitive, but why shouldn’t we share our learnings, good or bad, when trying to be safer and more efficient? What benefits one could benefit all, and our industry as a whole, and I’m interested to hear more about people’s journeys in that process.