Nexen – Journey to change beliefs to improve water injection rates

Submitted by Nexen


Nexen’s cultural beliefs and the marginal gains campaign soon became integrated into everyday procedures – and soon the results were plain to see.

The water injection campaign helped drive a 40% improvement in water injection rates across within six months of implementation.

Description of Best Practice

Nexen Petroleum UK management team set on journey to evolve Nexen’s performance from a top quartile position to become to a Best-In-Class operator.

Leadership understood that workforce collaboration and two-way communication was crucial in achieving cultural transformation, specifically in influencing a paradigm shift to create new experiences, beliefs and behaviours to deliver top business results and establish a common language which would drive accountability both individually and collectively across the whole business.

A suite of tools were developed to equip employees in implementing the changes but to naturally engrain the new ways of working into everyday tasks. The toolkit consisted of eight cultural beliefs and the deployment of four working tools – focussed recognition, storytelling, feedback and accountability.

One example was recognising the need to improve our water injection performance. Nexen ran a series of multi-discipline engagement workshops to empower employees into changing beliefs and experiences about the importance of water in enhancing production, which helped drive a 40% improvement in water injection rates.

To implement change, establishing a clear purpose and understanding was essential. The company set out clear messaging on why water injection was extremely important to our operations. Nexen created new experiences that led to the implementation of the right processes to make water injection a priority. Water injection is now a top focus offshore and features on the top line in our daily reports.

Nexen was also inspired by the concept of Marginal Gains Theory, created by the British Olympic Cycling Team, which involves breaking down routine work activities to find small efficiencies or enhancements which accumulate into significant benefits and savings.  Nexen’s leaders encouraged onshore and offshore teams to work together on campaign focused on driving improvements and better working practices from everyday tasks.

Contact: Ray Riddoch, Nexen Petroleum U.K. Limited