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Access to real time data while carrying out a drilling operation is expected to have large impact on the future well construction processes. Increased support from onshore located e-centres manned with experts from different disciplines is expected to improve decision making processes both from an operational and well planning perspective. New forward looking calibrated models combined with appropriate visualisation systems will be used to analyse the current state of the well and give advises for the ongoing operation. The well planning phase and the operation itself which traditionally have been seen as separate phases will move into a continuous process. These improvements in the working processes are expected to have large impact on decision making both with respect to safety, efficiency and costs.

In order to reach this vision, it is important to carry out an analysis in advance on how these new e-centres should function in practice, both technically but also from a human perspective. A careful analysis of such systems is needed to ensure that they really improve decision making processes and that the new working environment is adapted to humans and not the opposite.

In this project, the main objective is to build laboratories and facilities for developing, evaluating and designing future e-centre based working processes, software tools and automation processes throughout planning and execution of drilling operations. Such facilities can provide a unique environment for safe experimentation with automated drilling processes.  

Research topics

Three Norwegian R&D institutes will work closely together in this project. Several research tasks will be addressed:
  • Development of advisory models for e-centre based well construction
  • Visualisation systems, design and evaluation
  • Laboratory/Experimental control room design and development
  • Human performance studies with real operators in the experimental control room, evaluation of working procedures and software tools
  • Automation of the drilling process (plans for experimental facility at Ullrigg)

Visualization team

Helwig Hauser, professor

Ove Daae Lampe, PhD student

Research partners

International Research Institute of Stavanger
Cristian Michaelsen Research (CMR)
Institute for Energy Technology


"e-Centre Laboratory for Automated Drilling Processes" (eLAD), participated by International Research Institute of Stavanger, Christian Michelsen Research and Institute for Energy Technology. The eLAD project is funded by grants from the Research Council of Norway (Petromaks Project 176018/S30, 2007-1010), StatoilHydro ASA and ConocoPhillips Norway..


A list of publications resulting from eLAD.


 Last modified: CT 2010-03-10