From his desk in an office tower in the middle of Brisbane, Nick Nguyen can tell you exactly what is happening in real time at a drill site, located on the other side of the continent.

Nick is a senior technical engineer within Ventia’s Rig and Wells team. In front of him sits a series of screens showing live graphs and a lot of moving numbers. At first glance, it can be hard to decipher, for Nick however, it’s easy to read and it’s giving him and our people, live and compelling insights about drilling operations happening more than 3,000km away.

Ventia senior technical engineer Nick Ngyuen analyses data from a minerals drilling site in the Pilbara


Seeing what has never been seen before

“By capturing and analysing real time drill data from our rig in the remote Pilbara, we’re helping our customers better understand subsurface geology and supporting our rig teams to drill with maximum safety and efficiency,” says Kyle Koziol who is the General Manager Rigs & Wells with Ventia.

Traditionally this sort of depth of data output wouldn’t have been available to drillers on the rigs themselves, now we have engineers, located anywhere across the country using this information to deliver insights for a safer and more efficient service.

This, along with other insights from our dedicated technical services team is becoming a key differentiator as we seek to extend our relationships with long-term clients


Insights that drive efficiency

There are a number of opportunities that real time data creates for Ventia’s minerals drilling operations.

The first of these is performance monitoring, to determine how effectively and efficiently an operation is being carried out by the drilling crew. It also allows for early detection of downhole issues where Nick can communicate directly with a rig manager to talk through anything that might need investigation before it becomes a hazard.

Expertise provided by Ventia technical engineers is being used to improve safety and efficiency across the minerals operations.

It’s not just during the drill that the data is improving drilling outcomes. It is also being used by the team to review and analyse during debriefs, to determine what worked well and what can be improved before moving on to the next well.

The system is currently installed on one rig; however the insights and subsequent actions can be utilised across the entire fleet. 


Modern solutions for a historic environment

The Pilbara is, geologically, one of the oldest regions in Australia, containing rocks that are more than 3,600 million years old, forming when the earth was still very young. Drilling in this region of Australia has always required a special kind of team and operation to navigate.

Our drilling team knows this region well, bringing deep expertise and experience to our clients. From the leaders down they have taken on the ambition of being number one in the field, through learning, innovation and deep client partnerships. 

“We want to recreate the face of minerals drilling,” says Anthony Crane who is the Operations Manager for Minerals Drilling across Western Australia. 

We really want to peel back the curtain to really see what’s happening, using data and anything else that we have to increase efficiency

Ventia’s minerals drilling team have deep expertise that their using to drive innovation at sites across Australia


The future is remote

With safety and innovation always front of mind, the team is currently working on a trial for a remote drilling panel, the ultimate goal of which will be to remove the driller from the drop zone, allowing them to control the drilling, using a remote panel located some 10-15 metres back from the area.

“When we look after our people, when we look after our equipment, when we bring more people and provide the best set ups, that’s when we get great benefits,” Anthony said.

The team is also continuing to roll out their mobile rig suites which have been received well by the team and clients alike.

“Having the rig manager on site we are getting problems solved in real time, better quality and more frequent field leadership and an improvement on working under direct supervision,” said field operations superintendent Colin Marshall. 

Having the caravan equipped with Starlink (remote site communication) allows the rig manager to complete their daily workload in field which ultimately leads to a better experience and service for our clients