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The Next Generation of Service Rig Technology

by Dr. Franklin Foster, 2006
[note: this article made possible by support and funding from the Petroleum Society of CIM, Lloydminster Section]  

            Time was when service rig personnel were the epitome of the blue-collar worker – rough and tough, more noted for brawn than brains.  Many of the general public still hold this stereotype but times have changed.  Now-a-days, service rigs have on-board industrial computers hosting a network of well specific, field specific and off location computers.  Rig operators work from a computer screen which monitors and even directs a wide range of operating, safety, and environmental functions.  Voice and data flow where needed and useful through state of the art cellular or satellite based communications systems.  Rig personnel are likely to have been training on complex video/computer simulators. In short, today’s service rig is as much about software and electronics as brawn and muscle. 

          One of the leaders in this field is Concord Well Servicing.  In partnership with other companies, they have developed three software packages specific to the service rig segment of the industry.  The first of these is PROPHET, an automated rig information and safety system.  According to Concord, “this system combines state of the art data acquisition and advanced safety control systems to gather information from everywhere around the rig.  It collects and analyzes data, using it to drive advanced safety control systems and feeding it into electronic reporting systems.”

             A second package, capable of being integrated with PROPHET is WebDRIL, an “electronic rig reporting system, providing electronic tour sheet, payroll, safety and regulatory compliance, maintenance and other operational reports both locally and remotely.”  

            A third product is Simulynx, “a video game simulator style training system [which] delivers over 500 competency training modules specifically designed for service rigs.”  “Combining these technologies, Concord is building a new generation of service rigs that will leverage the most advanced electronic information, control, reporting and training systems.”

             In short, working a service rig has changed a lot.  Those rough and tough hands also have to know how to handle a mouse. 

 For more information, including extensive demonstrations of these products, visit the Concord Well Servicing web site – click here.