So what happens at 3 am?
Management of Change happens during operations when the plan no longer is valid and you have to change the plan and goals - because the current plan no longer leads to the expected goals.
Typically the Management of Change process starts with an alerting 3 am phone call from the rig, to drilling management, subsurface management, and the asset owner. An investment decision is to be made, and the clock is ticking.
Watch the webinar from May 18th with Usama Sabir and John de Wardt here:
High-stress decision making
Management of change is a high-stress situation for all involved - all the complexity of both goals and targets, as well as the details of planning has to be rethought, and the rig is waiting. You are in a bad situation, with a potential of uncontrolled downhole events or significant cost or value implications for the well.
Have you been on either side, drilling, subsurface or asset owner, you recognize the uneasy feeling of not having the comfort of time and resources at hand.
In almost every well
Change management happens in almost every well, with varying degrees of significance. But since the operations are very good at uncertainty, the Management of Change process always has a painfully high entry ticket, typically starting at 1 MUSD in costs or changes in well performance - which is counted in hundreds of MUSD. And with the disaster potential of drilling operations, there is a significant potential of harm to people and the environment when plans are changed in the middle of the operations.
This sounds like a big risk for investments in oil and gas - how can we mitigate this?
Mitigate 3 am calls with better plans
If we look at what is not a management of change process, well that is following the plan. If the plan documents different outcomes of a situation - you are following the plan. So as long as you have planned for an outcome, it is not a management of change.
You might still be interested in significant events coming up in the operations, like what are crucial milestones for success? When these are planned for in detail before operations commences, you also include the outcomes in the investment decisions.
So a well planned operation does not lead to a costly and risky management of change process.
Is Management of Change a data problem?
Rarely is the problem that the oil company, with all the partners and vendors, are not able to grasp the risks and uncertainties. But the challenge is that the workflow does not transfer experiences efficiently.
Where the document based workflow is made to control and limit the flow of information, a high quality data workflow makes sure data flows where it needs to be.
Working with text and presentations in the workflow means that many details are left out. The people become the carriers of information, as the workflow is overloaded with a few sections about the main plan. So when the unexpected happens, you need to call in all the people from the planning phase.
High quality data flows in the workflow, and is never locked down in a spreadsheet or a presentation. So when you need a visualization or a dataset for a calculation, high quality data is always available. This applies for the planning phase when you are analyzing historical wells, and the operational phase when you are analyzing well plans.
So yes, the absence of data creates the Management of Change situations where key stakeholders have to get up at 3 am to make tough decisions. Not because the engineers weren’t able to think of the events, but because they didn’t have a workflow to transfer their experiences to the right place and right time in operations.
IMAGINE THE PERFECT WORLD
In the perfect world, you make investments based on all potential outcomes of operations. Production profiles are linked to the outcomes of the well design and risk of operations. All stakeholders are informed and can contribute with their expertise in the planning phase, with the comfort of time and resources available. Engineers spend time on optimizing operations and implementing new technology to further refine operations.
When the well is complete, you compare the result with the plan, and you measure the quality of the plan - did you plan for all outcomes? Did we manage to get all our knowledge into operations?
Rest assured that you have done everything you can to eliminate risk and optimize performance.
And never again scramble at 3 am to solve problems during operations.
Download our white paper on this challenge: 3 AM IS NOT THE TIME TO MAKE BIG IMPACT DECISIONS