Eye tracking technology is an effective analysis tool and has the potential to be of value in other human performance areas that affect wells operations, and enable future safety improvements for well control, according to a new study from the International Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP).
The study, Assessment of eye tracking technology in well control operations, involved recording experienced drilling professionals using eye tracking equipment while participating in well control scenarios using a high-fidelity drilling simulator.
IOGP notes that within the last 20 years, eye-tracking technology has become sufficiently practical to examine tasks outside dedicated laboratory settings, providing useful insights into human eye scanning behavior.
For the study, two visits were made to oil and gas drilling simulation centers. Discussions took place with several subject matter experts and the drilling task was informally assessed through talk-through methods and observation with support of eye tracking. A ‘mock’ experiment was run with two participants to mimic a full piece of eye tracking research to explore the potential of the application.
The study involved the use of a high-fidelity well control simulator designed to provide an immersive experience to drillers for well control training and assessment. The simulator was chosen because it provided a realistic representation that could provide useful insights of eye scanning behavior using wearable mobile eye tracking technology.
The group notes that this study was comprised of a modest amount of data and recommends that a larger scale collection would provide important information for future safety initiatives. "This could involve partnering with equipment manufacturers and rig contractors to standardize design and layout of the consoles and enhance interface on their control instrumentation," the association said in a release.