Mark van de Velden, Learning Adviser Wells, Shell International said:
“Shell International operates five state-of-the-art well learning centres globally where we develop our engineers to the most advanced levels in drilling and well control.
“Refresher training takes place for all drilling personnel every four years but during the Covid-19 pandemic we have faced the difficult challenge of how to train our people to the highest standards when they are unable to travel to our centres of learning.
“We use simulators in our advanced well control training programmes to provide a realistic virtual environment which mirrors the conditions and scenarios faced in the field. This allows personnel to practise operations and build confidence in a safe, controlled environment. Practice makes perfect as they say!
“To combat the difficulties of Coronavirus stay-at-home directives and global travel restrictions, we have adopted cloud-based simulator technology, which has allowed us to run a number of traditional simulator training sessions remotely online. Using the technology, called iDrillSIM, we have created virtual learning events in the cloud, which can be accessed by several Shell personnel at once via tablet, laptop or desktop computer from anywhere in the world. Our drilling supervisors and teams have been able to train together for specific scenarios and fine-tune their well control skills remotely, overseen by our skilled instructors.
“The technology is easy to use and our personnel have adapted well. As well as enabling us to continue advanced level well control training in the face of Covid-19, it has helped us to practice human factors and build strong team dynamics prior to projects commencing.
“Although our courses to date have been run in a European time zone, we are now looking at rolling these out to the Middle East and South East Asia. The convenience of the virtual learning environment is obvious and we see the use of technology like this continuing long after the pandemic is over. Just like the global upsurge in the use of video conferencing rather than face-to-face meetings, cloud-based simulator technology will provide a useful tool in the toolbox of tomorrow’s global learning environment.”