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Top Five Methods to Avoid Problems During Well Intervention

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Well Interventions are becoming a focus for energy companies looking to maximize the production of existing wells in times where environmental concerns over drilling new wells are increasing.

Planning for these interventions and recording data from the operations is still often a manual task which perpetuates typical problems such as miscommunication and subsequent delays fixing the issues, affect the entire process. 

In this blog, we will elaborate on the challenges and problems that are common during Well Intervention, and look at the methods that can help avoid such problems. 

As this article is somewhat extensive, we have for your convenience highlighted the content here: 

  1. Typical problems
  2. The five methods
  3. Conclusion

download paper - improve well intervention planning

 

Typical problems

Time is the biggest challenge with Well Intervention today, as its a time-consuming process gathering together all the information that is required to plan a work program. 

Currently, the intervention team gathers relevant data for the specific well and manually creates a set of ranked and rated plans, which will then allow them to select the most efficient method for the job and the one with the highest likelihood for success.

This process is iterative and as there are many stakeholders, it requires a lot of meetings and follow-up to communicate new information throughout the process. 

Until now, teams involved in planning and running Well Intervention jobs have had to manually retrieve information about past jobs and find reports to remind them of what they did previously, why they did it, and what happened. Then, once they brought all the data together, they had to decide what was relevant for the job they were planning now.

This was very prone to miscommunication, as critical information might have been left out. 

If the information retrieved isnt correct, it can lead to delays in the operation due to inaccurate planning. This again can affect logistics, people not arriving on-site, and ordering and usage of wrong equipment. 

 

The five methods

Fortunately, there are several methods that can be used to avoid these challenges. 

1. A collaborative end-to-end solution

When planning a Well Intervention operation, there are many people and companies involved. As you are well aware of, planning is not an isolated task, but needs to be considered as part of a continuous cycle of improvement. 

It is therefore a benefit when all stakeholders work effectively as a team and produce the required deliverables.

In order to accomplish this, it is essential that all parties have access to the necessary information needed to complete their task. 

Some organizations use digital collaboration to supplement their day-to-day, on-site operations. Others, such as remote-only companies, practice digital collaboration exclusively by making video calls, sharing documents, and managing projects in the cloud. This is especially important when team members are physically distant from each other.

Communication, project/task management, efficient file sharing, auditability, access privileges and security are all key for collaboration.

2. Data-Driven Intervention Planning

Its crucial to know the history and historical data of the operation and wellbore. What lessons were learned from previous operations? What went wrong? What needs to be corrected? This information will assist you in making data driven decisions. By connecting plans to executions and then capturing experiences which are used in future plans, it enables reliable, efficiency gains to be made again and again over time.

Having access to information from earlier rounds of intervention, helps operators to understand the current condition of the well, predict the results of planned changes and decide which of the possible intervention tools or strategies would be most cost-effective.

The key to achieving these operational benefits is having access to high quality data that can be shared across disciplines, replacing traditional data resources that are frequently outdated, misplaced or forgotten.

Effective communication with better teamwork across disciplines and companies is enabled by collaborative platforms which make working together more streamlined and intuitive.

3. Knowing the risks

When doing well interventions, there are several potential risks. These can be operational risks, human error related risks, and some can be directly related to operational type and safety.

The ability of modern software to give a constantly updated overview of field operations through data streams and user-friendly field reporting, allows onshore personnel to more easily understand risks in the field and the causes for potential deviations. 

Further, having a central risk registry is central to modern operational planning. With a standard format all mitigations are included and there is conformity between operations. This is critical to avoid losing lessons learned or to adapt to changing regulatory frameworks.

A planning tool that also includes such a risk register makes sure that every item is updated and allows the end user to easily look up and add risks to future and ongoing operations - instead of having to juggle between software systems.

4. Updated procedures

Having procedures updated and available for team members is crucial. Using planning software with an integrated procedure library allows for a much more efficient and safe operation.

Instead of relying on copying previous procedures manually and relying on human intervention to correct errors or update with new information, library procedures can be set up to pull parameters and variables directly from an integrated system when added to a new plan.

Interlaced systems allow the full operational plan to be updated when one piece of information is changed, avoiding cumbersome (and often error-prone) manual updates. 

 

Interlaced systems allow the full operational plan to be updated when one piece of information is changed, avoiding cumbersome (and often error-prone) manual updates.

When combined with powerful post-job analysis tools, this can allow users to pin-point inefficient or outdated procedural steps instead of relying on field personnel to formally report small deviations or potential updates.

5. The Digitization of Work Process

Having real time data available at all times saves a lot of time when pinpointing the problems. Consistent plans, progress monitoring, automation, transparency and efficient retrospective are all key benefits from implementing digital work processes.

Workflows are useful for ensuring that important processes are done the right way every time. Since the workflow is clear and visible, it helps all team members better understand the process, which makes planning more efficient.

Furthermore, it can help newer team members grasp quickly what needs to be done, as well as clearly identify what is missing, or if there is an issue with the planning process. 

As digital workflows make it possible to assign tasks and monitor the process, it can have a positive effect on accountability and reduce the stress of micromanagement. This increased accountability and transparency can lead to improved communication between team members.

 

Conclusion

New software tools and a more data-driven approach to managing oil and gas operations have enabled companies to improve collaboration during planning and operations, learn important lessons and capture best practices and integrate data streams.

This directly impacts the associated cost, increases productivity, and contributes to the creation of fit-for-purpose Well Intervention plans.

There are new powerful technologies increasing automation, productivity and safety, whilst at the same time reducing unit cost and labor force. The digital revolution is all about unlocking the power of data to generate value.


download paper - improve well intervention planning

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