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Task Analysis: Drill Foor Ops
19 December 2008
Does anyone have experience of performing task analyses of
repeatable jobs with a view to improving time/efficiency? I am
thinking specifically of drillpipe connection practices for
example. We have a converted land rig working on a jacket which has
a completely manual derrick. For various reasons, our standard
connections (no reaming etc.) take around 25 minutes (with a 20-30
minute spread). Even without a roughneck/make up tong, I am certain
we can reduce that.
I am sure there is a right way to go about making observations of
people/tasks/equipment etc. to try and make changes in standard
practice for the better.

David Brecknock
Devon, Brasil
5 answer(s)
Consultant [retired Shell staff]
Total Posts: 249
Join Date: 02/09/05
When I did start as a Drilling Engineer, back in 1966 - Angola, West Africa, Petrofina had an enviable record: 90 seconds per drillpipe stand and 270 seconds per DrillCollar stand.

That with a local crew, brand new but trained by experts such as Koop Kroes (Dutch) and Sílvio Carneiro (Portuguese).

Both took advantage of the African inclination for repetitive tasks, provided they follow their rythm.

Later on in Europe, NAM (Dutch Shell) produced a paper with very similar results with European crews.

Professional training the key!

Drilling Engineering Manager
SME Drilling Performance
Total Posts: 3
Join Date: 29/07/08
There are several companies, drilling contractors as well as service providers, who can measure the rig stats for you and pin point the ILT (invisible Lost Time) you're seeing in any rig operation.
Without compromizing the HSE or the operations requirements, you can reduce the number of connections that take the most time, i.e. DC and Stabs, or do as Hendo suggested making the BHA components in the shop and ship to location. 
Managing Director
Damask well engineering ltd
Total Posts: 2
Join Date: 15/08/17
Hi Dave simple answer is:

Connection time of 25minutes is extraordinary.

Longest connection time purely pumps off to pumps on should be no longer than 5 minutes maximum.
Even on a manual rig - longest connection time I have had when I was working drill floor was 5 minutes!! to give you an example, shortest 3 minutes pump off to pump on.  Fully manual rig, with converted land rig derrick in North Sea!  So something wrong somewhere for sure!  I know because I did it!  

Areas to look at are key connection steps, is next operation / task ready to go?  Are key personnel stood where they should be ,waiting or doing next tasks or preparation. I would like to discuss this one with you further too - depends on what you mean fully manual rig - I have heard of many variants of what a "fully manual rig is" from what I classify as manual = tongs, kelly, kelly bushing, chain (no spinner). manual standpipe manifold valves. manual slips?  To derrick (hook, TDS??  pipehandler, to iron roughneck, iron roughneck and pipehandler system... etc  so would like to have your definition - starting with that the procedures can then be defined.  Also dimensioned rig floor layout. way stands are racked for drilling and tripping.  
Note from moderator: I'm fairly confident that Dave (Brecknock)'s original question was in relation to 25 minute 'weight to weight' connection time; which includes all the faffing-about  before actually setting the slips to make a  connection.  'Slip to slip' times can vary from 4-8 minutes depending on a variety of factors.

I deliberately use the term 'faffing about' because a lot of times the reaming etc is totally un-necessary; companies like Unocal (RIP) and Apache get after it!  Our rp-squared performance coaches did an Intervention activity for a client in the Middle East and we were able to work with the offshore teams to drastically reduce the weight-to-weight times.

These are the hidden 'flat-spot' times.
Directional Driller
Total Posts: 130
Join Date: 27/02/08
A great point Dave.

I was giving a presentation to a group of Drilling Engineers this
week and the topic of time to make up BHAs came up for debate.
My personal opinion is that its good to make up the small stuff "off
line" and then make up sub assemblies - providing the rig has the
deck space and tubulars can be handled safely and correctly.

26 minute average for a connection seems extremely long - I just
hope you don't have depleted zones to drill through.

I remember Taylor's 4 principles of scientific management (with a
little help form the web-site);
1) Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a
scientific study of the tasks.
2) Scientifically select, train, and develop each worker rather than
passively leaving them to train themselves.
3) Cooperate with the workers to ensure that the scientifically
developed methods are being followed.
4) Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that
the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the
work and the workers actually perform the tasks.

How you would apply this to a drilling crew is ponderable.....

Chris Henderson
Weatherford, Singapore
Managing Director -Relentless Pursuit of Perfection Ltd.
Relentless Pursuit Of Perfection Ltd.
Total Posts: 25
Join Date: 10/01/05
Hi Dave,

There are a variety of techniques used, and I have come across some
excellent examples over the years.

People can get confused between "rushing" (safety concern)
and "efficiency" (doing the best we can), so whatever you do it is
important to explain to the crews why you are doing this and what
the benefits are to them.

Use of "stop-watches and clipboards" can give the wrong impression,
so we have found it better to "walk it through on paper".

A good approach is .. Whilst drilling the lower part of a stand, you
can get the crew together and discuss how the connection will be
made .. then make the connection (all activities from
reaching "stand down" until back on bottom drilling). Perhaps
include the mud engineer and, if directional drilling, the DD and
the MWD Engineer and discuss surveying practice.

After making the connection, you repeat the discussion to reap any

You could break it down into each activity, very similar the
the "Work Breakdwon Structure" we use in the DWOPs we facilitate.

To determine times, and identify differences across crews, you can
use the mudloggers to capture the information.

You can use a similar technique for larger chunks of activity, like
BHA handling, P/U and M/U shoetrack, N/U BOPs, test BOPs and so
on .. and show the team how they are getting on ..we call them
efficiency factors - example attached.

The other thing you can do is use "Performance Advisors" (ex- Senior
Toolpusher or experienced Technical Limit coach) to facilitate this
process and provide "soft supervision".

I hope this helps

Best wishes

Dave Taylor
Relentless Pursuit of Perfection Ltd
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