Abelardo Sanchez
Director General
Tanis Technology & Services Mexico
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View from the Top

Analyzing Failure to Achieve Success

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 20:09

Q: Given your experience at PEMEX, what bottlenecks have you identified that your service offering addresses?

A: I can say with confidence that PEMEX’s problems are not technological. The technical expertise of its teams is up to what I can comfortably identify as a global industry standard; they are more than capable of addressing any technological challenge, in my experience. PEMEX’s issues are administrative and bureaucratic in nature. Due to its structure as a NOC, the play analysis and decision-making processes related to issues like project evaluation has a heavy political component, and lawmakers are not always possessed of the necessary technical knowledge to make these kinds of evaluations. At the same time, PEMEX does not have access to its own funds or control over its own resource allocation that it could use to evaluate its own exploration opportunities and comfortably characterize its own resources. Its revenue gets turned over to the state and its potential projects need to be weighed by our lawmakers against other projects in additional areas of strategic interest to the country.

Part of our service offering does attempt to use the management of project documentation to make the most relevant and up-to-date data available to operators ondemand throughout the life cycle of their projects, hopefully providing some of the agility that is required. We can use information technologies to model your project in term of its workflows and data flows to identify potential inefficiencies to be addressed or alleviated.

Q: What role do your well post-mortem services play in optimizing drilling activities in ways that other services cannot?

A: This service is crucial to the success of exploration and drilling operations. The drilling of a well can conclude without reaching its objective; however, that does not mean that its results are conclusive. Without a well post-mortem, your play objective was not adequately investigated by your failed well, so whatever conclusions you drew as part of your determination of the well as unsuccessful are incomplete and they are not giving you the information you need regarding the objective you are still trying to reach. Every well you drill represents a significant investment. Before you make the decision to drill the next well in a way that will bring you closer to your objective, you need to be able to extract as much information as possible from your previous well so as to know how it affected your portfolio of opportunities and your knowledge of the reservoir, and for that you absolutely need a post-mortem. Without it, you might drill your next well wholly unprepared for the geological and technical challenges ahead, leading to repeat failure in your hunt for your objective. Mechanical incidents might prevent well completion or obstruct production testing. Root cause analysis of all of these factors as part of a well post-mortem are vital to prevent their repetition in the next well. To put it in simple terms, drilling preparation is good; drilling feedback is better.

Q: How do all these factors turn your well monitoring and post-mortem services into the optimization of your clients’ drilling standards and practices?

A: That is at the heart of our unique value proposition: the technical expertise to see our clients’ path to success in their failures, and also the ability to give them the tools and data to see it on their own as well. This integrated service begins with a general risk analysis of your project and your drilling activities. From there, we move on to analyzing all the wells you have already drilled and the problems you faced in each one. We analyze this data to build a statistical model that details which issues impacted your operations the most. This model can then be used to present a probabilistic risk analysis of the issues that could most gravely affect future wells and the exact nature of that affectation expressed in time and cost. Finally, we focus this analysis on the next well to be drilled. We tested our methodology through a technological test with PEMEX. Our model strongly disagreed with its expectations and preparations for its next well. According to our analysis of its statistical performance, the NOC could not drill that well in the time and within the budget it was expecting to drill it in.

Tanis Technology & Services is a Mexican venture focused on exploration and founded in 2014. It integrates play analysis, time and cost drilling monitoring, post-drilling results and data management into a comprehensive offering.