Is Drilling Performance just a Cliché?

Regardless of geographical location of operations, Oil and Gas Operators are faced with the challenge of delivering wells efficiently in spite of increasing well complexities, inexperienced personnel, unconventional and less accessible hydrocarbon reserves, factors, which, all put together, lead to increased non-productive time (NPT) and associated trouble costs.

~ 30% average NPT (1998-2003) Trouble cost:  $1058 MM/6 yrs. = $176 MM/yr. (Source: Major IOC)

Best performing operators (Top Quartile) report average NPT of 10 – 15% of overall well construction time. This represents a per annum savings in the order of $30-$60 Million in the example of the operator outlined above.

An enabler towards creating a step change that drives Non-productive time and associated trouble-cost reduction is the introduction and entrenchment of a performance culture within well delivery (drilling & completion) teams.

Consistently, well delivery in Nigeria is found to underperform what obtains in most other regions with active drilling operations. While there are several localized, contributing factors to excessive well costs, that may be somewhat difficult to control, performance gains can be inherently obtained when leadership teams deliberately adopt and permeate the organization with a performance culture.

Understanding key success factors, establishing key indicators & metrics, clear communication guidelines & protocols, driving accountability & not just responsibility, as well as adoption of the right technologies are all factors that enhances productivity of drilling teams when fused together with the new culture.

With multi-disciplinary expertise and knowledge, we help operators improve the quality and speed of well delivery planning and execution. Clients stand to benefit from several years of partnering with Operators to implement Drilling Performance Consulting, encompassing tactical business process improvement activities, such as internal and external benchmarking studies, performance optimization, crew engagement & coaching, failure/trouble analysis, Lessons Learned Management etc.

While Drilling Engineers are subject matter experts who must continue to focus on the technical aspects of the drilling operation, there is a place for consultants who will focus on introducing, fostering and driving performance within the drilling teams by executing the various elements of the Drilling Performance & Measurement Services (DPAMS), a model, underpinned by “Technical Limit Drilling“ principles.

Technical Limit Drilling process strives towards achieving optimum performance in all phases of the drilling operation, using the best possible people, planning and technology while challenging existing practices.

Potential gains are apparent where a 50% reduction in NPT (e.g. reducing from 30% to 15%) translates to a net savings of 15% in rig time and cost. As NPT reduction stacks up over multiple rigs, there comes a time where these performance gains would give an operator an extra rig free of cost.

Drilling Performance and Monitoring – DPAMS

The Drilling Performance and Measurement Services (DPAMS) model is geared towards unlocking hidden value within our client’s drilling teams. This is achieved via the strategic integration of technology, robust processes and engaged personnel in a coordinated, sustainable program.

DPAMS encompasses a portfolio of strategic and tactical assessment and implementation activities overarched by the critical step of leadership enrolment within a 4-phase structure.


Ofserv DPAMS Methodology

Fig 1: Ofserv DPAMS Methodology


Leadership Enrollment

The high-level business case for the program is determined through internal benchmarking and gap analysis, which identifies current state while qualifying and quantifying the improvement opportunities and the cost – benefit to closing identified gaps. This is carried out at the Leadership Enrolment phase of the program. With the Business case established and action plan developed, we work with the client leadership to take ownership of the process, clarify accountabilities as well as supportive behaviours critical to the success of the process.

Challenge Workshops

The overview of the upcoming well program is presented at a facilitated pre-spud or pre-activity workshop where a challenge culture is officially introduced to the entire well delivery (operator and service company) team and DPAMS process is formally launched and its connection to safety outlined. Opportunities to optimize the well program at both the pre drill as well as the operational stage of the well are encouraged. Operator, rig crew and service company personnel are engaged in a highly collaborative session designed to utilize the expertise of everyone in the room. Every individual connected with the planned well is helped to see how critical his or her role is to the success of the upcoming operation.

The well program is broken down into discrete activities for easier challenge and analysis. Activities are challenged for latent risks, while technical limit opportunities and risk mitigating factors are discussed and agreed. At the conclusion of the challenge session, target times are set and incorporated into the well program. Each group representative presents his or her updated program and new target times set. Ofserv Performance Engineer assigned to the project, is introduced for the first time to all stakeholders. The Performance Engineer takes final responsibility for collating all the various group’s input into the well program and ensure that any lesson learned from discussion is incorporated within the program and a lessons learned register started.


Figure 2: Technical Limit

Figure 2: Technical Limit




This is the phase where our Performance Engineers begin to perform tactical tasks of implementing the well program from a performance standpoint. They work side-by-side with the rig leadership as well as rig crew and service company personnel. They begin to actively drive a continuous improvement and performance culture and embedding the DPAMS planning, performing, measuring and learning ethos.  The phase consists of 4 iterative steps as follows:



Examples of metrics tracked and reported

  • Non productive time (NPT)
  • Invisible lost time (ILT)
  • Feet/meters per day
  • Days per 10K
  • Flat time
  • Rig moves
  • Realized value of “lessons learned”
  • Cost under AFE
  • Time under AFE
  • Riser running speed
  • BOP test times


Figure 3: Performance Data Used for Bench-marking and Further Performance Optimization Initiatives

Figure 3: Performance Data Used for Bench-marking and Further Performance Optimization Initiatives




Our goal on any project is to identify the exit path and agree upfront with the client the timing and strategy for disengagement and process sustainability.

DPAMS is unique in its ability to be tailored to the client’s unique needs and helps both customers who need to build a performance optimization program from the ground up as well as those needing to enhance and focus performance improvement initiatives in order to realize optimum value from their existing programs.


Typical Results

Our proven approach to Drilling Performance consistently delivers sustainable business results placing some of our clients on the way towards Top Quartile performance.


You can reach your drilling performance goals; you just have to define them:

If you have been wondering how to improve your company’s drilling performance and reduce well delivery cost, contact us for a no obligation consultation session. We would like to work with you to:

  • Select a rig to pilot DPAMS
  • Phase 1: Conduct Benchmarking / Gap Analysis – Leadership Enrollment
  • Phase 2: Establish the business case, achievable ROI & Develop Action plan to reach improvement goals.

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