SPE logo

Well Construction Efficiency: NPT,

Reliability, and Process Improvement

13–18 July 2014 :: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Technical Agenda

Session I:  Defining Well Construction Efficiency—Are We Measuring the Wrong Indicators?

Session Managers: Mike Mannering and Kate Gibbons

As an industry, we usually attempt to measure well construction efficiency in terms of NPT (Non-Productive Time), and ILT (Invisible Lost Time) amongst others. Since these terms are commonly used, we rarely take the time to fully examine the rationale or components that comprise NPT or ILT, let alone question if there is a consistent understanding of the components. There is potentially a lack of a common definition/understanding for what we are actually measuring. As a consequence, we are unable to universally distinguish those factors that can be optimized such as equipment efficiency and reliability, personnel competence, process improvements, tangible quality, from those that (arguably) cannot.

In this session we will evolve an understanding of what is meant by well construction efficiency by questioning:

  • What aspects of well construction should we be / are we measuring?
  • What are the current definitions of NPT, ILT? Can they be improved?
  • Are there other, alternative KPIs, that we should  be using to define well construction efficiency?
  • What are the limitations to well construction efficiency?
  • What if we break down well construction into clearer phases in order to assist these efficiency definitions and thus improve measurement relevance? What could those phases be?
  • Should we treat all wells equally? Should we have a different approach for unconventional vs complex deep water wells?
  • What are the equivalent examples outside our industry?

Session II:  Continuous Improvement—The Key Ingredients

Session Managers: Dean Tremaine and Jost Brehme

Implementing a successful continuous improvement program is within reach for any organization, however, it is often a missed opportunity due to lack of understanding and adoption of good practices. This session will discuss the tools and strategies necessary to define effective key performance indicators (KPIs) based on organizational goals, define measurement strategies, establish benchmarks, and put an effective continuous improvement program into practice. The session will begin with panel and round table discussions that reflect on KPI development challenges in the Well Construction world and discuss new performance measurement strategies. The session will conclude with a panel discussion highlighting the real world costs, challenges and complexities of defining and running a successful continuous improvement program.

Session III:  What are the Costs or Benefits of Being Efficient as Opposed to Being Effective?

Session Managers:  Mike Loudermilk and Richard Logan

This session will attempt to get the attendees to understand that there are many ways to achieve the same goal. There are consequences with every decision in drilling a well. Modern drilling should not only have the goal of being cost effective but also safe. We will attempt to answer the basic question of: "When is good enough, good enough?" Can we have different industry approved criteria for different operations and still call them standards?  At what point do economics demand a deviation from the plan? The deliverable from this discussion is targeted to be two fold; when should engineers deviate from the standards, if ever, and at what point does the pursuit of perfection become irrelevant.

Session IV: Drilling the Perfect Well. Is it Possible?

Session Managers: Gene Beck and Eric Maidla

Everyone has an idea of what a perfect well will look like. This session will identify two examples of perfect wells, debate how a perfect well differs from a current well, and discuss what is keeping us from drilling these perfect wells.

The session will be conducted in 3 phases.

  • Phase I: An example of new technology deployment with focus on the constraints that were successfully overcome.
  • Phase II: Discussion on constraints and ideas on how to overcome them from the point of view of equipment, people, and process. Following the example of a technology breakthrough and discussion on constraints and overcoming them (removal or mitigation) the stage will be set to present
  • Phase III: the characterization of the perfect well. The group will be divided into two, the first one concentrating on onshore wells and the other one on offshore wells

Session V: Optimized Planning and Outstanding Execution—Ways to Consistently Achieve Our Targets

Session Managers:  Sonny Johnston and Robin Macmillan

This session will address techniques and methodologies to optimize both the upfront planning and transfer to operations, focusing on reducing the implementation risk and increasing the adoption of identified process improvements. This session will include exploring specific techniques, including statistical and simulation, to reduce the uncertainty of the plan while exploring methods to promote collaboration, integration and alignment among different groups to achieve implementation of the process improvement. The session will address unconventional, high volume land wells and deep water complex wells to demonstrate similarities and differences. We will seek learning from the implementation of plans outside our industry.

Session VI: Innovation and Its Role in the Delivery of a Perfect Well

Session Managers:  Thomas Geehan and Fred Dupriest

This session will discuss innovation, meaning the actual deployment of new technology, operational practices, or business practices, rather than the simple creation of an idea. The factors that limit our ability to change the way we work depend broadly on the business model one operates in. The three models that will be discussed in this session are the repetitive well (shale) model, the complex well project model, and the service company lump sum project (IPM) model. Each approaches innovation differently because they have significantly different resources and workflow supporting the business, and they also must achieve different ends in order to succeed. The session is divided into three corresponding parts, with a knowledgeable discussion leader from each sector. The debate will cover the major factors that currently limit innovation in each business sector, views of how these sectors are likely to evolve over the next 5-15 years, and a summary of the new limitations to innovation we may be facing in that future reality.

Session VII: Optimizing All Aspects of Operations Through Equipment Design.  Process—Reliability—Time to Maintain

Session Managers: Frank Springett and Bret Montaruli

This session will discuss applying manufacturing principles and operational processes to the design of equipment. Three primary areas will be discussed.

  • First is driving reliability and uptime through data management, failure reporting and fundamental philosophy of equipment design.
  • Second, designing equipment around the operational process vs. designing operational processes around the equipment.
  • Third is equipment design considering minimizing maintenance and survey time of the equipment through its product life cycle.

It will include a discussion around the different types of expertise and knowledge for designing vs. operating equipment and how to bridge that gap of knowledge.

Session VIII: Optimizing Performance Through Human Systems Integration (HSI)

Session Managers: Terry Loftis and Amanda DiFiore           

Turnover of experienced personnel within the drilling community is alarming; far exceeding many other industries. We also recognize that well construction safety and efficiency are directly impacted by personnel's abilities. The rising challenge requires thinking that is more advanced than typically applied in order that the solution will lead to overall improved efficiency and not just struggling to maintain the status quo. This session will explore the human factor issues impacting the drilling industry and debate methodologies, with input from other industries, to improve well construction.

Session IX:  Changing the Future—Collective Knowledge to Ignite Individual Action

Session Managers: John de Wardt and Ben Hawkinson

Real improvements in efficiency will stem from this forum; and this session aims at collecting, organizing, and focusing the most inspiring thoughts into real goals that will result in a positive impact to the drilling industry. Through focused discussion on the gaps between current practice and the future desired state, participants will be able to formulate their own personal goals, aimed at delivering value to their own companies and to their customers. Individual goals will be reviewed in small peer groups and evolved into strategies for success; the groups will facilitate connections between participants with common goals for support beyond the forum. This collective knowledge-sharing session will ignite individual action to make well construction more efficient across the industry.