Kanokwan Kullawan - UiS

interview with a DrillWell researcher

Name: Kanokwan Kullawan
Age: 29
Nationality: Thai
Education: PhD Candidate in Petroleum Investment and Decision Analysis

Department: Department of Petroleum Engineering 
What are you working on (related to DrillWell) right now?
My project title is “Bayesian Framework for Real‐Time Optimization of Well Placement”. This is a PhD project under supervision of Professor Reidar B. Bratvold from University of Stavanger and Professor J. Eric Bickel from University of Texas at Austin.
In short, my project is about making real‐time drilling decisions such that (oil & gas) wells are placed in an optimal location. To do that, we propose applying a decision analytic approach by using real‐time data gathered while drilling and drawing Bayesian inference to optimize decision making.

What do you find inspiring about the projects in which you are involved?
My research topic is a combination of drilling engineering, which is directly related to my educational background and work experiences, and decision analysis, which is my personal interest. I found it inspiring and motivating when I look at the potential for major improvements in the way real-time operational decisions are made. Applying a well‐structured decision‐making approach can help the industry create both long-term and short-term value.

In your opinion, what are the main benefits by doing a PhD in a center with both academic and industry partners?
Doing my PhD in DrillWell offers me the opportunities to work with many brilliant minds in academic world, both in Norway and international. With DrillWell’s cooperation with the University of Texas at Austin, I’ve a chance to spend some of my PhD time as a visiting scholar there and it was a great opportunity to broaden my perspective for my research work. We also have regular reference group meeting and the annual seminar where the industry partners are invited to join the meeting and share their industrial expertise on the ongoing research. This way, we can align our academic research to the industry needs.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Ten years from now, I will diversify my skills and experiences in decision analysis and uncertainties management (both strategic and operational decisions) to become an expert in my field. This can be achieved by enhancing my perspective towards the organization’s decision process and integrating decision driven approach to make the organization benefit from the changing business environment.