Cruising or racing with RTOC?

Tural Garibov

Regional Sales Manager @ tde driving digital transformation in energy


What’s in common between Formula 1 and oil and gas drilling? Consider the Formula 1 pit crew, orchestrating lightning-fast tire changes and adjustments with split-second accuracy, all while maintaining the safety of the driver and team. Similarly, in drilling, every operation demands a meticulous balance of pace, accuracy, and precaution to navigate complex geology below the earth’s surface.

Difference of tenth of a second can determine victory or defeat in Formula 1. Similarly, in drilling, non-productive time can soar to ten thousands of dollars per hour, making every second count in operational success. Furthermore, safety remains paramount in both, with any oversight or error potentially leading to catastrophic consequences.

Amidst evolution of drilling technologies and integration of machine-learning and artificial intelligence (AI), the industry finds itself at a pivotal juncture like Formula 1’s perpetual pursuit of performance optimization. In light of these should we also reconsider the use of Real-Time Operations Centers (RTOCs)?

Traditionally, RTOCs have served as the nerve center of drilling, focusing on data acquisition and operational control with a strong emphasis on digitalizing drilling engineering workflows. In today’s landscape, however, drilling engineering is more accessible, and drawing well schematics in MS PowerPoint is quite rare. And if this holds true, should we not then emphasize on performance and prescribe actions from this angle?

I’ll outline below tde’s approach for performance-led RTOC, and welcome your thoughts and comments.

Define your base performance

Base performance refers to how wells were drilled in the past to define average metrics like connection times among others. We use tde proNova to analyze the past and monitor the current well operations. With the help of tde proNova teams can identify invisible loss time, analyze it’s root cause and and execute mitigation strategies. I’ve previously detailed the benefits of this technology in another article here.

Compare it to industry peers

After establishing the base, next step is to benchmark it against others to gauge the standing in the trend. This enables teams to assess operational efficiency and competitiveness in the industry and will help them to stay informed while planning for the next well.

For benchmarking, we rely on tde reviews, which compares drilling performance leveraging data from our extensive data lake. Our clients can compare, analyze performance trends, and search for optimal rig choices with tde reviews.

Additionally, the platform offers features such as developing API integrations, connecting BI tools and embedding dashboards.

Plan your next well faster

With tde plan, the planning of your next well is streamlined, delivering operational sequences and comprehensive Authorization for Expenditure (AFE) in under 15 minutes! What once required a week-long process to generate the first draft is now at pace, accurate and adaptable for changes in real-time. To accomplish this, we need well schematics and information about the rig for the drilling campaign. Utilizing this data, tde plan generates the drilling plan, providing detailed time / cost ratio for each phase of drilling and interactive risk profile.

Develop DOPs for the rigsite

Once AFE and operational sequence are finalized, successful execution becomes paramount. Our tde advise solution, aims to streamline the drafting, review, and modification of drilling operation procedures (DOP) and checklists from a centralized platform to the rig site.

Centralized procedure drafting accelerates development, review, and modification of DOPs from single-window accessible to all stakeholders. By consolidating these critical documents in one location, teams benefit from improved efficiency and consistency in procedure management.

In summary, tde advise will play a pivotal role in streamlining procedure management, fostering collaboration, ensuring version control and auditability, and promoting adherence to standardized protocols and best practices.

Automate drilling reporting

Imagine a typical task for rig supervisor of reporting past 24 hour drilling activities to the office. This process is not only time-consuming but also prone to human error, as the supervisor juggle multiple tasks and rely on input from service providers on the operational details.

Powered by tde‘s patented rig state detection technology, tde supervise automates daily drilling reporting considering company-specific codes. It automatically analyzes and categorizes the data, identifying key events and performance metrics.

This automation not only accelerates the reporting process but also enhances accuracy and consistency by eliminating the potential for human error. And while so the rig supervisor stays in control for manual input or edit of the report, where and when necessary.

Validate the progress with the plan

Last but not the least, and closing the loop of continuous improvement – tde prognose represents an innovative surveillance system engineered to detect potential drilling disruptions, and offers tailored engineering recommendations to pre-emptively mitigate them.

Developed with the aim to continuously refine the drilling process, this solution bolsters operational consistency and efficiency. By leveraging real-time and AI, tde prognose continuously monitors KPIs and operational parameters to identify deviations from the plan swiftly recognizing anomalies and triggering alerts.

These alerts not only highlight the potential disruption but also provide actionable insights and recommendations for mitigation strategies based on historical data, best practices, and engineering expertise.


In the face of increasing complexity in drilling operations, the traditional role of RTOC is also evolving from operational control to driving performance and efficiency.

As the industry navigates this increasing complexity, RTOCs should transcend their conventional functions and embrace the trends to drive unparalleled levels of effectiveness.

With tde’s pillars of technology, we consider ourselves at the forefront of the transformation journey, opening a new chapter in drilling excellence. Our solutions add value to RTOCs for harnessing the power of real-time data and analytics, enabling them to make proactive decisions that optimize performance across all facets of drilling operations.

As we look ahead, the future of RTOCs lies in embracing digital transformation and harnessing the power of data-driven insights to unlock greater safety, efficiency, and consistency in drilling operations.