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On The Rig (OTR) simulator improves stuck pipe prevention rates for SSK

20 April 2021

Since opening its state-of-the-art simulator training facility in Nefteyugansk, the Siberian Service Company (SSK) has upskilled hundreds of personnel.

SSK’s new training centre was launched in October 2019 following its investment in the latest generation of On-the-Rig (OTR) simulator technology.

OTR simulators have all the capabilities of a full-size simulator but are compact enough to be transported to remote locations to train drilling crews in all elements of operations, from well control to drilling and crane lifting.

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More than 300 drillers, assistant drillers and tool-pushers from SSK have been trained at the new centre to date, ensuring crews are fully competent and well prepared for live operations.

An SSK employee undergoing training on the On The Rig (OTR) simulator

As well as upskilling for vertical, directional and horizontal wells, personnel have been learning how to prevent stuck pipe, optimize hole clean and prepare for other well control operations. Well control training is another priority.

Andre Plotko, head of SSK’s training centre, said:Using Drilling Systems’ OTR enables us to simulate all types of equipment breakdowns, operational procedures and issues such as stuck pipe. For the oil and gas sector, stuck pipe is one of the biggest issues and the quality of the Drilling Systems simulation is unrivalled. It is extremely realistic and provides a feeling of total immersion. We have been training around the issue and this is already resulting in improvements around stuck pipe prevention for our drilling crews.

“As well as stuck pipe, our personnel have been training for a wide range of scenarios in the safe and controlled environment of the OTR. Feedback from our crews shows this training is extremely useful for them. We analyse actions, identify errors and repeat exercises which helps our crews consolidate their knowledge and improve competency. Because the OTR is portable we have also been able to train entire drilling crews together in-situ on the rig – an extremely useful feature.

“This year we will be using the simulator for DWOS training (Drilling the Well on the Simulator) for some of the more complex wells we are facing to ensure our crews are well prepared before live operations take place. And we’ll be continuing to invest in the development of our assistant drilling personnel to help them reach the next level in their careers. Simulator training continues to be an extremely effective way of reducing the risk of accidents, improving safety and keeping our crews’ skills standards consistent and high.

Clive Battisby, head of simulation at Drilling Systems, said:We are delighted to work closely with SSK to upskill its workforce. Our simulators create an extremely realistic environment, which mirrors the equipment and conditions faced on a rig. People can train in a risk-free setting which significantly improves their knowledge and helps improve efficiencies and safety levels across the sector.