The next frontier in oil and gas training
By Jess Sinclair
“Technological development is accelerating across the globe and the oil and gas industry is no exception.” So says Brad Reiser, President of Endeavor Technologies Corp., (drillingsimulator.com) a company that has been developing oil and gas simulations since 2012.
The Alberta-based firm’s new simulation software engine is designed to be the next best thing to training on a rig floor. In fact, it may be better in that the simulators are designed to reproduce fluid dynamics and physics along with geological and geophysical data in real or accelerated time. The system calculates thousands of nodes several times per second which is delivered on an AAA videogame platform — the same one found in an X Box One or Playstation 4. So it’s no surprise that the technology has been embraced by students eager to immerse themselves an authentic rig environment. Bruce Reinders, chair of the Petroleum Engineering Technology program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, says that “[Simulation technology] enables the students to learn about drilling equipment and operations in an experiential fashion. In the past what may have taking hours of lecture time to explain in a classroom setting can be experienced and retained more effectively using the simulators. We find that the students have embraced the technology in way that we could not have predicted.”
Endeavor’s simulation models go beyond the classroom. The software can be programmed to apply to any oil and gas service, upstream or downstream. The well site programs are all customizable, so the simulator can recreate an unlimited amount of subsurface and surface conditions to train or test for competency. “Part of our value to our clients is that our training and testing capabilities reduce the capacity for human error, which can lead to unsafe conditions or costly mistakes,” says Reiser. “It makes much more sense to prevent these issues before they become bigger problems.”
Canadian drilling and service rig companies are generally safety obsessed. With so many dynamics at play — inclement weather, equipment failure, human error, rapidly changing downhole conditions — it pays to always consider a “what if…?” scenario. The advanced simulation technology makes this possible, with more than a hundred different types of programmable malfunctions to increase safety and competency in a risk-free environment. One of its most interesting components is the simulated workers feature, which allows a company to track near misses and potential accidents on the rig floor.
This is in keeping with the company’s vision of “Enable[ing] people to learn how to avoid errors and develop the disciplined mastery of industrial processes to help save lives and reduce injury, costs and environmental damage.”