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Potential Pitfalls & Lessons Learned from Operations Centers

01.16.20 | Posted by Joseph Sellers

Blog author: Ricardo Borjas.  

With the changes in market conditions, the industry has been facing for the past several months, comes a drive for increased operational efficiency and cost reductions on an operator’s AFE. In some cases, this drive has seen some resurgence of Real Time Operations Centers (RTOC). Either for remote operations or remote expertise support, it is relevant to look back at what the industry has learned on these initiatives to ensure they have a high return on investment.

Some of these are but not limited to:

  • Underestimating the importance of data quality and the work needed to correct it. From real-time data coming from the rig to daily reports, if left unchecked, it becomes the largest time- consuming WF at the center and greatly limits its value.
  • Lack of integration to the well construction process. If the RTOC does not have a place or role on it, it is seen just as support.
  • Overdoing collaboration, trying to include rig/field personnel on internal RTOC workflows instead of having the center integrated on operations.
  • Inappropriate value analysis of software solutions selected for the center. The software is there to expedite the center’s work and extract value to operations from their experience. The center is not there to maintain the software.
  • Exposure of the center’s work to drilling engineers and the rig needs to be seamless, utilization of cloud-based applications and good communication between teams is quite important.
  • Traceability of decisions and actions taken. Proper knowledge management, both internally and with collaborating teams, is of great importance.
  • Change management and learning new tools was a challenge for our staffs; centers were not imaginative enough to understand most of our technologies. We tried to force fit technology and then adjust our processes accordingly versus the other way. Our existing processes and habits became our biggest barriers.
  • Proper vetting of interactions and interventions with external teams, specially the field. Earning the trust of the field is one of the first major tasks of an RTOC initiative.
  • Staffing and workload need to be closely managed, at least ensure wells and sections complexity is accounted for and match the team’s expertise. Collaboration and WF overlap should be accounted for as well.
  • Misunderstanding by the larger user community about how initiatives from decision centers fitted in their daily workflows or helped in creating compelling interactions with their peers, which resulted in bad investments. Definitions and expectations from the decision center varied by geography and business units.
  • Active involvement from management to support the initiative is key.
  • Clear definition of success metrics is difficult to create and communicate, but it is the key step in identifying and measuring the initiative’s success.

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