In the last few LinkedIn posts, we have talked about project value, what’s possible when you think outside of the box and using that mode of thinking to create innovate solutions to engineering problems which maximise the value of your asset. Great stuff – but it all hinges on the rigorous application of fundamental engineering principles. Engineers often speak of getting it right first time or “flawless execution”, but that does not happen without time and effort spent on “the basics” such as:
- Understanding your risks and building a model of what you plan to do.
- Validating your model against field data.
- Developing suitable procedures for your activity and measuring your results against the model.
- Understanding what deviations from the trend mean and how to mitigate them operationally.
- Recording and integrating your results into the next plan.
Nothing revolutionary there for your average (insert Country here) Drilling Engineer, I’m sure you will agree. When we translate those high-level aspirations into line items in the program, things often go awry. During modelling we are often presented with black-boxes – do we understand what a reasonable output is for a given input? We should. With the great crew change and recent down turn, are all of our colleagues as technically competent as we believe our ourselves to be? How do we know we are competent? At the rig, how do we ensure that the team there understand why we’re planning to do things the way they’re written? How do they manage their response when the situation gets sticky? New technology can be the step-change we’re looking for to push the envelope, but it all falls over if we forget about hole cleaning, for example. It all comes back a firm grasp of the basic engineering premises and time spent bringing everyone up to speed on them. There is no magic bullet out there.