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Unconventionals drive new ways of thinking - Halliburton

Friday, August 31, 2012

Development with unconventionals are driving new ways of thinking, particularly learning from the manufacturing industry, said Jonathan Lewis, Senior Vice President, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Halliburton, speaking at the 2012 Utrecht Intelligent Energy conference

The development of unconventional gas is helping to 'question our traditional ways of thinking,' said Jonathan Lewis, Senior Vice President, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa Region, Halliburton, speaking at the 3rd plenary session at the SPE Intelligent Energy conference in Utrecht.

'Operational process innovation is difficult to deliver,' he said, because it involves changing the way people do things. 'It needs strong external stimuli and strong internal leadership.'

'We took a decision a year ago to reinvent how we deliver unconventionals. We have a 'frac of the future' strategy, including IT, supply chain, digital workflow,' he said.

'Unconventional operations have become a crucible for operational innovation and realising our tolerance for inefficiency.'

'It has always struck me how tolerant we are in the oil and gas industry to inefficiency,' Mr Lewis said.

People in the manufacturing industry, by comparison, 'have had no option but to be extraordinarily efficient.'

'There is much we can learn from the manufacturing industry, particularly how we realise process efficiency.'

'We had an operational excellence individual [working in Halliburton] who had [previously] worked in vinyl flooring. In vinyl flooring you have to be extraordinarily efficient.'

With manufacturing industry techniques, Mr Lewis said that it is possible to reduce drilling non productive time so you have 99.999 per cent uptime. 'The question is how much do you want to pay for it,' he said.

Halliburton has improved its systems for keeping track of its activities. 'We know where employees are and what they are doing,' he said. This makes it easier to provide field employees with the right technical advice.

Too often, companies try tackle problems 'with a fixation on existing business structure,' he said. It would be better to work out the best workflow first, then work out what operational structure you need to support that.

Halliburton has put together a digital framework to manage its procedures globally. It has defined and released 7 advanced 'workflows' covering tasks such as full field production management, and reservoir stimulation.

Halliburton is creating many new workflows, including for managing safety and process assurance, and putting them together like building blocks.

'We thought these were products that would be consumed by operators. [however] adoption rates were much slower than we would have imagined, given the production gains,' he said.

Improvements in productivity can mean a lot more to service companies than to operators, because margins for service companies are tighter. This can mean 'we are uniquely incented to drive adoption perhaps more than operators,' he said.



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