May 27, 2022
Time to think of your schedule as an efficiency model
How do you think about your drilling schedule?
Even though scheduling well delivery programs requires the coordination of many moving parts in the operations world, you may still be scheduling in a one-dimensional process, and focus purely on aligning resources, activities, and dates. But thinking about scheduling in this way means that you’re missing the bigger picture. What you need to think about, and what is starting to happen in the industry, is viewing the schedule as an operational model of your organization, showing how efficient operations are, and how effectively capital is being used.
Why? Because the schedule shows exactly what is happening to make the organization run over a specific time period. And, if it’s managed with modern scheduling software, like Actenum’s DSO tool, it captures a great deal of data that’s associated with the schedule, and which provides much insight into what is really going on in the operational world.
In this post:
- The schedule as a model of drilling operations
- Older tools and ’90’s technology don’t tell you what you really need to know
- What’s the payoff for changing your thinking?
- Integrated Well Delivery platform
The schedule as a model of drilling operations
A drilling schedule shows how an operator is going to make money: the operator’s goal is to obtain hydrocarbons, and the schedule shows the arrangement of resources and activities over time that will accomplish that goal. By incorporating additional data about the resources and activities, though, your schedule will model exactly what you expect to happen. Adding costs, and expected well production, for example, will show how much capital is going to be expended overtime, and what the income stream should look like. And as the schedule is updated on a regular basis (and as operations are disrupted), you are able to determine the impact in seconds.
When you start looking at your drilling schedule like this, you’ll also be able to start asking a lot of interesting questions that are absolutely material to your performance, and how you might change your operations to increase efficiency. For example:
- How efficiently are we using our rigs and frac spreads?
- What’s the average cycle time from spud to first production? Is there anything we can do to reduce it?
- If we added a rig in the fourth quarter, how many more wells could we drill, and what would that cost?
- If we changed the way we are drilling in a specific area, and focused on reducing our overall DUC count, what would that cost, and what would the payoff be?
Older tools and ’90’s technology don’t tell you what you really need to know
Unfortunately, many operators aren’t positioned for success in this way: they are unable to answer questions like those listed above without a lot of laborious effort because they’re using old software tools or 1990s-era technology. MS-Excel is a major hindrance on progress when used for scheduling, for example. It doesn’t enable you to carry out “integrated scheduling”, where all activities, resources, milestones, and relevant data is easily managed in a single unified schedule. It has very poor capability to provide the insights needed in today’s drilling operations. And it’s very cumbersome to use for scheduling in a dynamic environment, where the operational world is constantly changing.
What you need is a modern scheduling tool that enables you to bring all of your upstream disciplines together in a single schedule that’s also a “single source of truth” about the critical Key Performance Indicators that tell you whether you’re making the right decisions at any time.. This means that you’ll not only be thinking about what’s happening in drilling, but also the whole range of operations from pre-spud and construction tasks, completions, tie ins, and also workovers. Sometimes you’ll want to incorporate plugging and abandonment. Using a more effective scheduling tool leads to significant gains in operational performance.
What’s the payoff for changing your thinking?
Recently, a user at one of our customers received an award from the company CIO. Using DSO the user was able to save over 1,000 person-hours of scheduling work in a single year. And that’s because our software automates most of the functions that must be carried out on a day-to-day basis, and provides sophisticated reporting and data analysis that yields answers to complex questions in seconds. Changing the duration of an activity, and moving activities around in time, takes just minutes. And, the impact on Key Performance Indicators is immediately evident.
Because the customer was able to use DSO to view the schedule from different perspectives, they could focus on what was happening at individual wells and multi-well pads. They examined their cycle time metric, and were able to shave it significantly to remove “white space” from the schedule. This improved their return on capital invested and saved them $30 million in a single year.
An integrated Well Delivery platform
The process of improving scheduling, and translating that into efficiency gains, requires an integrated well delivery platform: one that’s structured to provide the entire organization and all disciplines involved in drilling programs with the information that they need to determine how effective they are. By bringing together G&G, reservoir planning, drilling, completions, workovers, and so on, you can use the scheduling platform as a driver that promotes better collaborate, and enhanced performance.
If you’d like to learn more about how to make your company more efficient, please contact Actenum today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vice President Business Development