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​CHALLENGE: Pad to Pad, in-field rig moves demonstrated significant variation in the time required to complete the moves from lows of less than 5 days to highs exceeding 9 days. Though process documentation existed, it was cumbersome and seldom used. The variation of what time of day the rig was released from drilling operations required a flexible process for mobilization but also created reluctance to document the process.  Shift changes during rig moves and personnel changes (including management) between moves severely hampered process consistency and sharing of key learnings.

RESULTS: A combination of observations and interviews with the process owners lead to the definition of 4 unique process maps based on when the rig was released within one of four 6 hour windows; 6 AM to Noon, Noon to 6 PM, 6 PM to Midnight and Midnight to 6 AM. Key process steps were then defined as triggers (points in the process that allowed other steps to begin e.g. rig release, trucks arrive, etc.) and milestones (major points in the process e.g. pits off the old site, derrick laid down, pits on the new site etc.). The triggers and milestones were then added to a rig move "Clock" that defined the move plan based on one of four rig release windows that is rig specific and seasonably adjusted. The clock showed the planned time a trigger or milestone should happen and allowed the user to add data to show when the step actually occurred. Review of the clock with planned vs actual times was used during after action reviews and drove consistency in the process. The Clock was modified for use across three different rigs in the field. Average rig move time was reduced by 1.8 days per move from the previous year's average of 7.6 days to 5.8. days with 5 of the last 7 moves for that year completed in less than 5 days.


CHALLENGE: Land-based drilling operations demonstrated variation in the time required for individual process steps and often lead to significant overall variation in performance to plan. The field used a planning tool/timeline with estimated times for each process step but did not track daily progress to plan. Historical data was available for over 150 wells completed previously in the same field.

RESULTS: The historical data was analyzed and cleaned to provide target times for each process step and replaced the estimated time used in the planning tool/timeline. A column was added to collect actual time for each process step as completed and was tied to a Percent Complete and Hours Ahead/Behind gages to give the well site leader real-time performance tracking for the well. Drilling engineers setup the tracking tool to allow for variation in well depth and use of a few optional process steps, well site leaders entered the actual data and the status was part of the daily review meetings. The performance tracking tool was implemented across three rigs in the same field. Performance improvement comparing 19 wells completed prior to implementation with 27 wells completed after showed a significant savings averaging over $120k per well with a total savings exceeding $3M over a three-month period.


CHALLENGE:Government mandated Blow-Out-Preventer testing for offshore drill ship was averaging just under 16 hours per test and often plagued with numerous component leaks and valve misalignments. High-pressure testing of all necessary system components typically involves 12 to 16 individual tests with unique valve positions for each test. Leaks and misalignments were observed on multiple tests requiring many non-productive hours spent troubleshooting. Shift changes during testing and personnel changes between tests severely hampered process consistency and sharing of key learnings.

RESULTS: An excel spreadsheet app was quickly developed to consistently track the time for; valve alignment, low-pressure testing, high-pressure testing and pressure bleed-off. Extensive use of macros ensured ease of use and consistent data collection. Additionally, a valve lineup preview tool was developed within the same spreadsheet to allow the users to preview the valve changes required to setup for the next test (whether done in numerical order or non-sequentially).  The output of this preview mechanism was a printed drawing of the plumbing schematic complete with red circles around valves that should be closed, green circles around valves that now must be opened and a two-column checklist of all valves requiring attention, one for opened, one for closed. Immediately upon implementation, leaks and misalignments were all but eliminated, test times were initially reduced from 16 to 11 hours and later to an average of just under 10 hours. The high cost of operating offshore resulted in significant savings for the client and ensured process consistency for the future.


CHALLENGE: Tripping is the operation of hoisting the drill stem out of and returning it into the wellbore and consists of making or breaking connections of drill pipe. The process as observed is highly automated to reduce the interaction between the operators and the drill pipe but still requires a great deal of control by the Driller and Assistant Driller (AD). The Driller controls the top drive which raises and lowers the drill stem while the AD controls both the racking and torqueing tools that move the stands of pipe in or out and make or break the connections between the pipes. In addition to controlling two pieces of equipment and monitoring the roughnecks on the drill floor, the AD is also responsible for continuously calculating displacement (i.e. filling out the Trip Sheet). Considerable variation was evident in this process and highly dependent on the abilities of the AD, the only way to improve this process was to balance the workflow by reducing the load on the AD.

RESULTS: Automated the displacement calculation through the use of an excel spreadsheet on a tablet computer. The AD now sets up the trip sheet by selecting the proper drill pipe displacement, number of stands and definition of the BHA or Bottom Hole Assembly. Once tripping commences, the AD simply enters the current volume of the Trip Tank and any comments if necessary into the tablet program and hits enter. All calculations are automated and charted on a graph. Savings of 30 to 60 seconds per connection have been observed and documented.

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Case Studies - oilfield