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Innovative project helps Petrobras save $130 million in 5 years

The construction of offshore oil wells is a complex and costly process, corresponding often to 20-35% of the investments in a field development plan. Therefore, phenomena that directly impact the drilling operation have to be closely monitored and its early detection can prevent significant extra-costs to this already expensive activity. In that light, Petrobras, the largest Brazillian energy company focusing on oil and gas, relied on ESSS to create PWDa (Real Time Drilling Problem Diagnosis Program), one of the first software developed in the industry that provides real-time interpretation of possible operational problems during well drilling. PWDa transient calculations combined with an automated methodology of data analysis with quantitative criteria remove the subjective part of the interpretation and identification of events and helps in the decision making process.

With the participation of renowned Universities and Research Institutes on its development, PWDa allowed Petrobras to increase its operational safety, as it alerts for possible risks to the operational team, as well as reducing well construction costs by predicting and preventing failures that lead to millions of dollars in losses. “We estimate that PWDa brought a potential gain of 130 million dollars in the last five years. Furthermore, it is a tool that helps in better decision making,” explains Roni Abensur Gandelman, former coordinator of Petrobras’ Real Time Operation Centers.

In 2016, PWDa received ANP’s (Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels) Technological Innovation Award, in the category of Technological Innovation developed in Brazil by Small/Medium Size Companies in Collaboration with Oil Companies. The awardrecognizes projects related to Research, Development and Innovation (R,D&I). Clovis Maliska Junior, President of ESSS, stated: “Receiving an award like this, which is one of the main prizes in R&D in Brazil, is the recognition of the serious and focused work that ESSS has been performing throughout its 25 years of operation in the O&G market.”

PWDa Project

PWDa is a software that embeds simulation models and engineering knowledge to guarantee that operation limits and safety procedures are respected, and to provide insights and diagnostics to predict possible issues before they evolve to significant damages. Real-time analysis such as the annular pressure profile comparison against pore and fracture pressures, well cleaning efficiency, solids concentration and bed formation can be easily done. Also, PWDa creates alerts for operational problems, such as washouts, bit nozzle obstruction, circulation losses, pump problems and kicks, so the operator can decide how to mitigate those issues.

ESSS also has an  availability of 24/7 team of experts inside Petrobras that are constantly monitoring and analyzing the wells being drilled to detect possible failures and assist in decision-making. See how the PWDa works in the infographic below.

Carolina Barreto

Business Development, ESSS O&G

Carolina Barreto has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Engineering, from the University of Tulsa. Spanning over 10 years of professional experience in O&G, Carolina initially worked as a process engineer to later focus on petroleum production, in which the use of simulation for engineering applications became indispensable. Carolina has been working at ESSS since 2018 and is one of the responsible for fostering partnerships between Oil & Gas companies, Universities, Research institutions and ESSS, in order to develop R&D projects related to simulation and new software technologies.

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