OpenLab Drilling

OpenLab Drilling
4 min readSep 19, 2018


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OpenLab Drilling is the ground-breaking integration of the physical and virtual drilling and well operations, which is new and unique to the drilling world.

Developed here at the International Research Institute of Stavanger (IRIS), the project is the combination of three systems:

  1. Web-based drilling simulator (Finishing development)
  2. Drilling control room (Currently under development)
  3. Full-scale on-site operational drilling rig (Future development)

We seek to be the world-leading system within drilling and well operations for simulation, research, and innovation, as well as facilitating and increasing acceptance of new technology.

Web Client

At the heart of OpenLab is the web enabled drilling simulator. It takes one of the most tested and validated well models in the world, which has been developed for over 30 years at IRIS, and brings it to a user-friendly, web-based application.

“OpenLab Drilling is an ingenious, easy and an intuitive web application that neatly hides all the complex algorithms and technical details and presents a clean, user friendly interface to test and play with a large number of drilling and well scenarios.” -user

It can act as a standalone component within OpenLab, where it serves as an educational, developmental and testing platform for students, lecturers and researchers within the drilling community.

Above is our casing design or hole section editor

The application facilitates all levels of expertise from the absolute beginner to the knowledgeable industry user. The beginner user can choose from one of our numerous pre-made and optimized configurations, with no need to input or change anything, before running simulations. While our more experienced users can use our configuration editors to customize everything from the casing design, wellpath, drilling fluid properties, drillstring elements, formation properties, and special rig equipment.

And if you make any mistakes, Jill-Bit will be there to help you along the way.

Jill-Bit validates all user inputs, and will alert you if there are any errors

Simulations can be run interactively in real-time, single-step, or fast-forward mode, and even with a supported joystick. Alternatively, simulations can be run in sequence mode with pre-defined setpoints at times. These setpoints can either be imported as a csv file or created using our sequence table editor.

A simulation running interactively

While a simulation is running, select from over 30 time-based and depth-based results to display on the simulation page. Once you have found a layout that you like, you can save it as your default.

Additionally, the simulator can also be run through our Matlab or Python packages, which allows testing of new software with feedback from artificial measurements from the simulator. These packages can be downloaded here.

Drilling Control Room

The drilling control room is a facility for research, innovation and demonstration of new drilling software, control systems and drilling concepts. Downhole simulations can be run with a large variety of scenarios with 3D visualization of the drill floor. Drilling control systems will be available with user-friendly access also for non-vendor specific software.

The control room currently under development at IRIS


The physical rig, Ullrigg, is the worlds most advanced full-scale drilling test site in the world and includes an offshore style drilling rig with access to seven wells. Measurements from surface and downhole sensors will be partially replaced by artificial measurements from virtual wells using the OpenLab simulator


Development for this stage of the project will begin in 2019.

Who’s Using OpenLab

Get started using OpenLab today

Using a Google or Microsoft account, you can create a trial account at and try the drilling simulator for free!



OpenLab Drilling

A web enabled drilling simulator and lab facilities for research, education and demonstration of drilling technology!