How efficient is your oilfield operation?

The answer to this question lies in the efficiency and productivity of your lease operators in the field. Are you able to optimize their time and give them the opportunity to deliver more within their day at work?

One of the leading oil and gas producers recently engaged a reputed consultancy to conduct a benchmarking study to understand the drivers for lease operator (LO) efficiency. The study concluded that ‘the best way to improve LO efficiency is to bring everyone up to the same level and consistency.’

Is skill and efficiency gap among LOs impacting productivity in your oilfield?

Every oilfield employs numerous lease operators and they come with varied skill levels and experience. The senior more experienced ones, sometimes refer to as Multi-skilled Operators (MSO) or Super LOs, are at the top of the chain, highly skilled and knowledgeable of every nuance of oilfield operation. They know almost all assets – wells, batteries, pumps compressors, meters – and at times even some electrical. Overall, they have thorough knowledge of their assets They can, at times, prioritize well visits based on experience and intuition. They are equipped to handle issues at wellhead and can carry out most of the fixes. Overall, it is their experience and intrinsic knowledge of their route that makes them more efficient.

On the other hand, the novice or less experienced operators follow static routes, mostly gathering field data and communicating back to the office if they come across an issue. Obviously, their productivity is much less compared to the more experienced MSOs. So how does a producer get its field personnel more efficient and its novices ramped up to near senior staff level performance in as short a time as possible?

How can you increase speed and transfer tribal knowledge?

Many of our customers have successfully bridged the experience gap to equip their field to Pump by Exception with JOYN. Here are three simple steps to bring every operator in your oilfield to same level of consistency and efficiency:

  1. Step 1 – Mobility: Equip every LO with mobility to capture/validate data at the point of entry, and complete tasks saving them up to 2.5 hours a day over legacy systems. Move beyond manual data capture towards digitized mobile grease books. Create a single point of entry for all data. Why should they juggle multiple interfaces (e.g. Production software, grease sheets, ERP, EAM, Email, Text, Chat, etc) when they can use their iPhones to configure, capture and validate any reading anc complete tasks on JOYN?
  2. Step 2 – Transfer Tribal Knowledge: Equip LOs with technology tools to Pump by Exception – instead of visiting every well every day, equip them to prioritize well visits as per assigned risk matrix. MSOs add technology precision to their experience while the newer LOs come up to speed on efficiency with easy prioritization. This bridges the efficiency gap, clarifies and transfers built up tribal knowledge before it retires and brings consistency in productivity across the board.
  3. Step 3 – Upskill: Upskill new or less experienced LOs and cross-train MSOs. Use the time saved with mobility and prioritized well visits to train them on new skills. This will ensure more value per day per operator. You will bridge the skill gap and gain the ability to cater to more production with the same number of boots on the ground.

How are leading oil and gas producers improving LO efficiency?

The Technology Business Champion at the largest supermajor told me that “we couldn’t continue to operate the way we’re operating and maintain what we’re doing…with JOYN, we’ve seen an uptick in production…we have managed the same amount of work with just 15 people in the one of our oilfields.”

A mid-sized producer digitized its field operations and broke down every activity in the field to micro level tasks. “We were very granular with laying down time required for each task. And so, when we work it out… on an eight-hour day, LOs spend five hours in standard daily routine stuff and they have three hours left for stuff that fills in or for new things…”, he said. The 3 hours gained for new tasks meant that the operators were able to respond to the issues more proactively and carry out preventive tasks more often.

Additionally, the time gained is used to equip the operators with required skills. “That’s what we are trying to do with our additional time, in cross training them (LOs) to understand new tasks, new skills… and part of the Dynamic Routing is to see who is out there and what skills do they have … to perform the most suited tasks”, claims the Operations Efficiency Supervisor at a midmajor.

There’s much more you can do when your field is equipped to Pump by Exception. What steps are you taking to make your oilfield more efficient and equipped to pump more, with the same resources?