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The pandemic happened--we can't escape it. It has affected our personal lives and those of our families, friends, and loved ones. But how have we coped? We have adapted, we have overcome, and we have evolved our ways of working to be just as, if not more, effective in the face of the ever-changing environment in which we exist. If that's happening in our personal lives, where else might it be occurring?
Lean Thinking is a generic version of the Toyota Production System, which was cobbled together just after World War II. The system was how a resource-poor Toyota, staggering with broken processes and a low-skilled workforce, scrabbled through the harsh post-war economy to become one of the most successful and highly respected enterprises of the 20th century. The 1996 book, Lean Thinking, introduced lean to mainstream business. Since then, lean has propelled operational excellence in construction, software development, healthcare, financial services, state government, and more. Lean Thinking is a philosophy that engages everyone in systematically solving problems.
This course begins with examining the origins of the Toyota Production System (TPS) with Ford in Detroit, TWI during WW2, and the Demin PDCA cycle in post-war Japan. These principles are now used by every automobile company and we have successfully applied them to upstream work in the oil industry. Actual examples will cover from initial reservoir characterization work to well selection and planning to drilling and completion. Time will be spent on why and how to streamline day-to-day work using a multi-year infill drilling project (over 500 wells per year for 12 years) and project to drill 190 horizontal well with the world’s closest spacing. Throughout, participants will be encouraged to share their experiences an ho they might apply the principles in their own work.
This paper explores how the oil and gas industry has applied systems engineering and lean product development principles to develop a Configure-to-Order strategy and enable supplier-led solutions. The purpose has been to enable shorter time to delivedy and lower cost. We have developed a life-cycle model for customer and supplier needs. Our model from the subsea industry is based primarily on own experience and needs to be further explored and validated. The paper also exemplifies challenges connected to a successful implementation of a Configure-to-Order strategy. There are three essential elements. The first element is that customers must communicate functional requirements with associated performance requirements. The second is that engineers must consider modularity during product design. And, the third is that supplier gets access to relevant operational data in a way that does not harm the customer. The principle of respecting both customer and supplier need and viewpoints is a key to success when it comes to supplier-led solutions.
Operators of long natural gas pipeline networks with multiple gas compressor stations are looking for ways to optimize operations, reduce fuel consumption and costs, and maximize producer and consumer throughput in real time. This paper introduces a unique method to optimize these complex natural gas pipeline total value streams and achieves the stated objectives by integrating turbomachinery algorithms into a high-fidelity simulator to improve total model and simulation accuracy. Through much trial and error, the authors discovered how to account for the physical network size and how the combination of turbomachinery and gas pipeline algorithms as well as advances to auto-tuning methods may be used to solve the challenge of simulating complex natural gas pipeline networks in real time. Auto-tuning algorithms and the simulator results were validated with real field data from natural gas pipelines to ensure model and simulation accuracy. Technological advances incorporated into the pipeline simulator included a new parsing engine, advanced regulatory control, and incorporating turbomachinery algorithms for mixed mode operations (gas compressors driven by gas and electrical turbines as well as reciprocating engines). This paper describes our method and these advances and demonstrates how they may be applied to all natural gas pipelines to significantly improve operations, reduce costs, and improve the operating envelope.
Natural gas transmission pipelines transport large quantities of gas across long distances and deliver it to major consumers (local distributors, large industrial end users, electrical generation facilities). Natural gas is introduced into a pipeline transmission system at various points, such as LNG terminals, processing facilities near supply fields, and interconnections with other gas pipelines. This gas is transported in high-pressure pipelines and a series of compressor stations. Compressor stations provide the power required to transport the gas in the pipeline from one location to another and usually contain more than one compression unit. A unit is defined as a combination of a compressor and its engine. A gas compressor station may have a diverse combination of units, resulting in a more complex operational envelope not possible to solve using traditional optimization techniques. The methodology presented in this paper is unique in that it was designed to model diverse unit configurations and to generate optimization results based on multiple objective functions.
Lean Thinking is a generic version of the Toyota Production System, which was cobbled together just after World War II. The system was how a resource-poor Toyota, staggering with broken processes and a low-skilled workforce, scrabbled through the harsh post-war economy to become one of the most successful and highly respected enterprises of the 20th century. The 1996 book, Lean Thinking, introduced lean to mainstream business. Since then, lean has propelled operational excellence in construction, software development, healthcare, financial services, state government, and more.
Lean Thinking is a philosophy that engages everyone in systematically solving problems. However, like “eat right, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep,” lean is a simple concept difficult to live daily. Companies typically struggle through distinct levels of understanding and application of lean. Beginners dabble with lean tools in superficial ways that yield slim results. More developed users imbed lean more broadly across value streams and deeper into business systems to get greater returns. Advanced lean thinkers go much further and get dramatic results by building lean into their culture. Like safety, lean for them is not another project to be implemented; lean thinking is part of how they do everything.
Oil and gas companies have begun to use lean tools in isolated processes aiming to increase business efficiency. There have been measurable benefits in improved drilling times and reducing the cost of bringing a well into production. But what are the benefits beyond drilling and completions, and applying lean across the extended value stream?
Put another way, think about your corner McDonald’s: It fixes some glaring problems at their moneymaker, the drive-through window. But how competitive is it if the orders are incorrect, the assembly is sloppy, and it cannot get ingredients to the right place at the right time? Oil and gas is still in the lean tools era: Lean tools used in the business’ most manufacturing-like processes. A windfall of returns await those who can expand their scope of application and depth of understanding.
Lean Across the Value Stream and the Enterprise
There is clearly business benefit to drilling and completing a well faster. If a land well costs USD 10 million and if you can drill and complete 20% faster (without sacrificing safety or environmental performance), the company could complete five wells for the cost of four. But what about the rest of the value stream and the rest of the cycle? We recognize the many variables in prospect development time: The nature of the well, wildcat vs. infield drilling, onshore vs. deep water, unique company practices, and more. Nevertheless, we can point to the huge potential that makes this worth considering.
Abstract Drilling operations within the oil and gas industry can be very complex and expensive; and while directional drilling and well placement are critical in the well delivery, additional complexities and time consuming processes must be followed to drill and deliver the wells, as desired, following the trajectory. It is desirable to evaluate the implementation of best practices to improve well delivery efficiencies, minimize nonproductive time and transfer lessons learnt from one well to another. Lean thinking has existed for many years; it was first developed within the automotive industry in the 20th century, and then began to be applied within other industries. The lean concept is based on eliminating waste by more closely examining processes to identify and eliminate waste in every stage of a process, thus improving efficiency and lowering production costs. Lean thinking has become popular amongst senior level management within the oil industry, and has become part of core strategies for many companies, with dedicated resources to systematic lean implementation in many areas of business with clear goals and objectives. An operating company began lean implementation in different areas. An opportunity to lean and standardize the development drilling process was recognized in the south of Oman, with improvements to be replicated in the other fields, as applicable. This paper describes the implementation and outcome of a lean philosophy for directional drilling. By adopting and engaging in simple lean thinking, improvements can be achieved in many areas. The value of lean implementation and workflow is presented. Also discussed are results obtained that led to significant savings in the survey time, contributing to faster well delivery and improved efficiencies.
Abstract From a drilling contractor point of view, drilling operation should be always at least on schedule and on budget. However, drilling in challenging environments with different drilling problems (technical and un-technical) causes a lot of non-productive time (NPT), i.e. time where the rig is not drilling, which pushes drilling operation behind the schedule and results in a lot of money lost. However, the new low oil price environment put a pressure on drilling contractors to focus on improving drilling efficiency and to be more innovative in reducing NPT during drilling operations; knowing that costs arising from NPT typically account for about 10% to 15% of total drilling costs, and can rise as high as 30%. In another words, drilling contractors will have to learn how to operate differently in order to weather the low oil price environment. The authors strongly believe in today's climate, lean manufacturing methodologies could offer the sought solution. Essentially, lean is a way of thinking centred on locating and eliminating unseen or unnoticed ‘waste’ occurring across the entire drilling operation. This work in hand demonstrates how the concept of lean manufacturing can be applied to reduce NPT of drilling operations. In this paper, drilling time for 6 workover and 3 drilling rigs has been analysed. A Pareto chart was used to analyse the NPT which accumulated to 27.6% in order to know the most common (highest occurring) sources of such NPT. The crew competency represented 42% of the total NPT, followed by 27.6% due to mechanical equipment failures, while wait on material accumulated to 17.2%, the operational equipment failures summed 12.7% and finally accommodation scored 0.5%. Next Ishikawa (fishbone) diagrams has been utilised to show the causes of imperfection in crew competency to identify these sources of variation. The analysis revealed areas of immediate intervention such as crew competency program and work related performance incentives. Therefore, training programs were created and work performance related promotions were introduced. Simply, authors believe these countermeasures have focused on causes behind how crew behave, which is the most difficult challenge of all. As without the proper behavioural principles and values, lean methodologies will be totally misapplied and fail to deliver results.This has resulted in 0% NPT materialised within 3 months only of implementing LEAN manufacturing methodology in drilling operation.In this paper, the LEAN methodology reveals an important tool which is able to find simple and effective solutions to the problems encountered in operations such as lack of performance and waste of time.
These days, nearly every organization is striving to 'do more with less', especially given the challenging economy of recent years and uncertain economic climate for future years. Business executives and operations managers are constantly looking for ways to reduce operating costs while improving efficiency without damaging customer satisfaction and quality. One of the most common ways in which organizations are trying to achieve “operational excellence” has been through the use of Lean (methodology and management system) that is focused on reducing waste and costs while simultaneously improving speed, quality and customer satisfaction.
Depending on the organization, Lean may or may not directly involve safety. If Lean doesn’t involve safety, safety tends to both stay by itself and come in after the “Leaning” has been done or becomes a part of Lean projects during their later phases. If Lean does involve safety, it is oftentimes in the context of 5S, sometimes called “6S” or “5S+S”. In the first case, those organizations are technically going against Lean as they are not practicing and implementing value streams. There should be no question that safety has a part in every aspect of the organization and as such, should be included and integrated into Lean. In the latter case, although better than not being included into Lean, safety can be perceived as an “add-on” to a single Lean tool. When used this way the effectiveness and sustainability of safety is limited.
The safety professional needs to understand the foundational concepts of Lean and common Lean tools so s/he can apply them to his/her safety practices and department. Then s/he can utilize Lean to embed safety into all areas and value streams of the organization.
Summary Aera Energy LLC was formed in 1997 to be a low-cost operator and producer in California. However, the low oil prices from 1998 to 1999 forced an examination of all operations in the office and in the field. Cutting costs, improving timekeeping, or reducing the scale of operations would not be sufficient without a step-change gain in efficiency. This step-change gain came from the use of principles and concepts developed in the automobile and construction industries. Toyota's twin pillars of just-in-time production and the ability of anyone to stop production rather than pass on defects, coupled with level-loading of work processes and reducing waste, were introduced. Toyota's principles were enhanced by the addition of “Last Planner” concepts developed for the construction industry. When both were implemented for reservoir-characterization and reservoir-development work, significant process improvements resulted. The resulting improvements are now being used throughout the company to improve quality by removing waste and reducing errors, to measure processes, and to improve cycle times. The unconventional diatomite reservoirs and oil-sand reservoirs at the giant Belridge field produce 65,000 BOPD from 5,300 producing wells and 2,100 injection wells. The many drilling, completion, and workover rigs have a constant appetite for new wells. To maintain production and cost targets, everything in the office has to run reliably and efficiently at all times, as well as support field operations. Different aspects of Toyota's principles and “Lean Manufacturing” are illustrated by use of project work for reservoir characterization, day-to-day reservoir surveillance, and the development work needed to plan and schedule new wells. The processes and projects typically have multiple customers and suppliers—internal and external. All involved, including knowledge workers (those who think for a living), need to work as a single system with a manufacturing mentality and to strive for continuous improvement. Customers of the knowledge work supplied by the geoscientists and reservoir engineers have benefited greatly from the introduction of the lean processes and the resulting smoother and more-effective workflows. In 2011, the Development Team's lean activities were recognized by the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, and the team received the Manufacturing Excellence Award that recognizes “continuous improvement, best practices, creativity, and innovation.” The oil industry has a reputation of being slow to adopt new technologies and techniques. However, a Lean Manufacturing mentality introduces new ideas and ways of performing knowledge work that may change this paradigm while contributing to the bottom line with reduced cycle time and improved quality. A significant additional benefit is that geoscience and engineering professionals can spend more time doing creative work and less time fixing problems or reacting to system upsets—as they simultaneously reduce waste. However, to realize all these benefits and the step changes they provide, a thorough understanding of Toyota's principles and a Lean Manufacturing mentality are essential.