Production Capability Maturity Model: How to Make the Jump From Managed to Optimized Upstream Oil and Gas Operations

Production Capability Maturity Model: How to Make the Jump From Managed to Optimized Upstream Oil and Gas Operations

Work and task management processes can help E&P companies minimize health and safety risk, reduce deferments, and stretch their resources further

This is the fourth in a five-part series about the Production Capability Maturity Model for upstream oil and gas companies. This blog covers the components of the model’s Managed stage and how they can be used by upstream organizations to unlock more efficient and productive operations.

Did you know that nearly one out of every 20 wells drilled in the Marcellus Shale from 2010-2012 had a well-integrity issue of some kind?

Or that most wells lose 8-9% of their potential production because of deferments and unplanned downtime?

Or that, because of the universal need to do more with less in today’s low-price, resource-strapped commodity environment, production engineers are managing more and more wells?

No industry is free of its challenges, and these are some of the upstream oil and gas business’s biggest ones.

But they’re also opportunities. Because well-integrity issues can be minimized, downtime can be reduced, and a single production engineer, when armed with the right tools and processes, can manage hundreds of wells and do so efficiently.

Enter work and task management and Managed operations, the next phase in the Production Capability Maturity Model.

Production Capability Maturity Model

In my last blog, which was all about operational intelligence, I talked about how exception-based-surveillance (EBS) processes are used to monitor a company’s assets and trigger alarms when predefined events occur.

Remember, production engineers are responsible for lots of wells these days. Not only that, but each well is likely churning out lots of events. A large number of wells multiplied by a large number of events – that’s a lot of activity to manage. And in all reality, it’s probably not possible to address every event. There are only so many hours in a day and so many resources to go around.

So what’s the best way to maximize those hours and resources? By qualifying cases and issuing task assignments. First and foremost, when an alarm is triggered, it should be determined by a production technician or someone in a similar role whether the event is real. If it is real, does it need to be addressed? And if it does need to be addressed, which priority, based on the severity of the other events in the queue, should it receive? After considering all these things, a task to diagnose the issue should be assigned to someone, usually a production engineer or field operator.

Assigning tasks is all well and good, but it’s critical that the task assignee isn’t left empty-handed. In other words, he should be able to go into the operational intelligence environment – the same environment that the production technician used to identify and qualify the event in the first place – and have all the information needed to diagnose the event available to him. What does all this mean? It means that everyone – those in the field and in the back office – is using the same information, working together, and always focusing on the most valuable activities.

How to Make the Jump From Managed to Optimized Upstream Oil and Gas Operations

Once the issue has been diagnosed, the necessary operating procedure should be readily available. To enable personnel to locate the right process for the event at hand and set it right as quickly as possible, all of a company’s operating procedures should be integrated into a single system.

But the work and task management chapter isn’t quite finished. Any and all lessons learned from each event should be captured, shared, and, if necessary, used to update the EBS rules in place. Always learning, always improving, always optimizing.

And when you put all these things – case qualifications and task assignments, facilitated diagnostics, integrated operating procedures, and adjustable rules – together? Simple: Teams are able to minimize health and safety risk, reduce the duration of production-robbing deferments, and get the absolute most out of their limited resources.

And isn’t that what every upstream oil and gas company is after these days?

Stay Tuned
I’ll be talking about the Optimized level of the Production Capability Maturity Model in my next blog. In the meantime, check out this oil and gas production video-white paper combo. Watch the video to see how EnerVest is maximizing production, minimizing downtime, and driving down operational expenses using an integrated, daily-allocations-friendly production system. Then read the "Information Technology and Field Data Required to Successfully Manage Shale Production Operations" white paper to learn how to master every facet of the oil and gas production game.

Get Video & White Paper

About The Author
Alex Schultz works on P2’s corporate marketing and communications team. Prior to coming on board at P2, Alex worked as a news and sports reporter in California’s San Joaquin Valley, where he covered everything from local politics and citrus farming to college baseball and senior slowpitch softball leagues. When he’s not writing about the innovative and resilient upstream oil and gas community for P2, you’ll likely find Alex in one of two places: at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO, watching (and usually regretting his decision immediately) a University of Colorado football game, or trying (and usually failing) to hook a rainbow trout from one of Colorado’s mountain streams. Alex holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from CU-Boulder.

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