A Common Data Language in a Multi-lingual Upstream Well Life Cycle:

We all know it’s true…if you ask your well planners, reservoir engineers, upstream finance managers, drilling techs, completions engineers, production ops managers, sub-surface analysts, or your land admins, “What is a well?” …every one of them will give you a different answer.  The challenge is…. they are all correct! Each of the professionals mentioned engages in different stages of the well life cycle and so all of them could be correct, based on where they are in the life cycle of the well and the related activity. When talking about the life cycle of the well there are 6 basic stages shown in Figure 1 (shown below).

 And within these 6 basic stages lies an intricate set of functions and activities which all rely on well data to effectively manage the well lifecycle. Figure 2 (shown below) shows an overview of these functions and gives an idea of the flow of well data across the well life cycle.

 A Common Well Language

So how does one get all these different upstream disciplines, with their respective well life cycle stages, and their own language and jargon, to effectively share, report, and ultimately gain effective data insights to drive value?  Simple…teach them all a new language; in this case, a common well language. This new common well language must accomplish three basic objectives:

  • Allow for clear and concise communication across the life cycle of the well
  • Drive capability improvements in data analysis and reporting
  • Deliver tangible gains in data insights and actionable information

And while these stages have different activities and different data metrics that are specific and unique to that particular stage, it is important to establish a common well language.  This language will manage the enterprise standard definition of a well across the well life cycle stages and provides a common understanding across the corporation. A lack of understanding leads to miscommunication resulting in challenges that impact the bottom line of the business through poor decisions, such as:

  • Losing a lease through misinterpretation of the surface location information.
  • Drilling a wellbore in the wrong location because production was allocated to the wrong reservoir.
  • Incurring a significant penalty by not allocating production correctly and underpaying partners.
  • Missing steps in safety checks because of an improper well handover process.
  • Paying too much for a lease because production was double-counted.
  • Mismanagement of maintenance crews, schedule, or equipment assets due to improper well identification.

Establish a Baseline of Terminology

It is generally assumed that learning a new language can be a daunting task, but in the case of creating a common well language, it is more just a matter of establishing a baseline of already existing terminology within a company across:

  • Well Definition
    • Identify the key master data elements and the level of attribution required for each well and completion.
    • Establish data ownership (individual, system or process) at the attribute level.
  • Well Name
    • Determine process for naming wells such as convention, length, and system(s) of record.
    • Determine impact in other systems.
    • Determine reporting standards.
  • Well Status
    • Determine the valid well statuses
    • Establish the source systems of status and synchronization process

By following these steps, the new corporate common well language will be established.  From here, the corporation can use this new language to build a baseline Enterprise Data Management strategy for all of the well data and deliver value through data insight (Figure 3 shown below).

How We Can Help

  • And while this process may sound challenging, Sullexis has a tried and true approach of quickly identifying the core elements of “What is a Well” that works best for the individual company.  We conduct a simple information governance exercise with our clients that helps identify the data owners and processes needed. Please contact us for more information or to setup a discussion.