Chevron Upstream Europe achieves smarter well operations

Chevron Upstream Europe (CUE) has improved the efficiency of its well operations and saved over £9 million in six months by defining distinct operations and performance teams and making more effective use of data.

Over the last few years, inefficient practices and a significant amount of non-productive time on the part of service providers have caused delays of several days to weeks in drilling and completions operations.

Launched in October 2014, the ‘Perfect Execution’ initiative aims to deliver well operations within the time and at the cost predicted. It has involved re-organising the drilling and completions group to ensure a consistent well planning structure.

For all future wells, the performance team carries out extensive historical benchmarking to identify where ‘performance gaps’ leading to non productive time have occurred in the past. Each service provider must also carry out root cause analysis on past issues and then work with CUE planning engineers to develop a well performance plan to resolve them. Progress through the plan is monitored in collaborative meetings and service providers are held accountable with the help of key performance indicators.

Improving how data is used has also been key. Simpler methods of analysing data and real time benchmarking of mudlogging data allows areas of lost time to be understood and captured more quickly in order to improve operational efficiency.

The efficiency drive is focused not only on CUE’s existing producing fields but also applies to new projects such as Alder, Rosebank and Captain as well as non-rig operations.

Andy Mayeux of CUE said: “To combat the drilling delays we were experiencing we have employed a consistent well planning process and made better use of data. The first three wells of 2015 have been completed early, we have accrued over £9 million of savings and service provider non-productive time has more than halved. Most importantly, by reducing well days, wells are being brought online sooner and additional wells can be added to the rig schedule, which ultimately helps increase production.”

To maintain the workforce’s engagement in the initiative both on and offshore, cross-functional well performance reviews are conducted within 30 days of drilling ending. Measures of success against the performance plan and overall well performance data is communicated daily on monitors as well as via posters reminding rig crews of the impact of their support to the delivery of the business plan.