Drilling and well teams typically has incredibly strong engineers but management principles has not been updated with technology and corporate innovations over the last decade. Use this article-of-lists for inspiration. Share if you like it, on LinkedIn or email or wherever you meet your peers.

Posted 03.06.2020 10:18 by Magnus Tvedt
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First things first. To get to new horizons, we need to ask questions. Ask yourself: "How will well planning evolve?" If your answer is, "Pretty much the same," then promise yourself to read this question again in three minutes, when you have read the rest of this article. And do post your comments!


Here are a few guidelines, in a handy list format:

  • Repetitive work must be automated.
  • Writing reports and making presentations are symptoms of an outdated work process.
  • Some stakeholder requiring a special presentation? Find the data in your work process, do not create a presentation or report.
  • You don't have the data in your work process you say? Well, then you need to fix how you work.

This requires a bit more explanation. Let's say someone has a question for you with a different angle than what you have looked at: "How many times did we drill with this overbalance in that formation?" If you can't search and find that answer, forward a figure or some documentation without opening a text editor or a presentation tool, you are in the 80's.

More lists, your brain loves lists.

How do you handle the complexity of drilling and well projects?

  • All costly events in operations can be planned for. They couldn't when we were pioneers, but they can today.
  • Written reports are written by somebody. This somebody has a context when writing, and that context transfer poorly through text. Don't rely on final well reports for experience transfer.
  • Make sure everyone can share their work and experiences. Working encapsulated for three-six months to finalize a project is not sharing.
  • Enable discussions when they occur, and make sure a group discussion always seconds away, not a meeting call, not a document, not a presentation, and not a week away.
  • A quality review meeting after all the work is done encourages creative presentations and lobbying, not good engineering or analysis.


Tools in your workflow should extract the information you want to share with your stakeholders. If you are looking at weather data for the last week, you get the data beautifully presented from a third party cloud service. If you are comparing the ten last operations, you need a week in excel and .pdf's. The weather data could have been stored in a text document, saved as a .pdf so you can't search them, but they aren't. Because someone took time to find the problem with the weather workflow. Let it be your goal to automate and increase the precision of your organizations communication.

Here is a list of what your should do when you open up a text editor or presentation tool:

  • Make a note of what you were going to make or document
  • Do a guesstimate on how long time it would take you
  • Do a consideration if this is what you define as part of your job
  • Share this list item with your colleagues
  • Discuss with your colleagues if they have similar experiences
  • Map the process in flow charts with stakeholders
  • Be the owner of a juicy problem which can make you the boss you want to be!

Own your problems

Everyone agrees that it is fun to come up with a great idea which saves the company loads of money and makes everyone happier. But everyone hates being enforced improvements upon. Question your work process and own the problems. And share them.

About what we currently have software for in our industry

  • Thirty years ago, you would do all technical calculations on a piece of paper
  • Twenty years ago, software which would do the calculations for you was offered
  • Today, engineers are still using time on these calculations, mostly for verification.
  • And they don't use the tools to analyze or find new solutions, that's not what it is intended for.
  • Move on, your job is to analyze and improve, not punch in numbers and be offended by buttons you don't remember how to use.

We have two more posts coming, How do you treat your engineers, and How do you treat data. Check back for more!


Great, you are our future! Now go talk to someone who need some inspiration!

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