Performance improvement creates value. For the driller, this means achieving a better performance with each new hole. But what defines a "better" performance? It is common practice to use a few offset wells as a benchmark of expected performance, but this up-front effort to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) requires specialized resources and a significant financial commitment normally justified on only the largest projects. Others, begun without establishing clear benchmarks, often leave untapped value behind.
There are many features and benefits of a systematic approach to benchmarking drilling performance. KPIs are established and statistically analyzed for central tendencies and convergence, which together serve as benchmarks. A database is created and is readily accessible for effective offset analysis. The KPIs, with their associated probabilities, can be used to generate risk-based authorizations for expenditures (AFEs).
This method paves the way for a probabilistic approach to planning new wells. It also serves as a yardstick for measuring the performance of ongoing operations and provides consistent, fact-based data for selecting the optimal approach for each well.
Several case studies demonstrate the use of this database. These studies illustrate the ability of the database to combine drilled surveys, lithology information, and drilling data from offset wells to establish formation-specific directional tendencies before a well is planned. This ability to correlate drilling parameters facilitates the process of drilling optimization. The combined knowledge of formation tendencies and drilling parameter optimization forms a solid foundation for selecting the right technology for the right well.
It is a truism that any performance that cannot be measured consistently cannot be improved. The systematic creation and application of a drilling performance database provides the clear benchmarks by which performance can be measured and constantly improved.