Operational Efficiency, Tech Propels Diavaz’s Role as OperatorBy Peter Appleby | Wed, 11/04/2020 - 10:29
Q: How has Diavaz adapted its operational and drilling processes to achieve higher levels of efficiency?
A: We have been working in the Ebano field under different contracts. We have acquired a great deal of drilling experience in Ebano. Since 2018, we have been the oil and gas operator. In the past, we hired outside companies to cover the risk of drilling. Now we are taking that risk by hiring companies directly for individual services, and this has helped us decrease our costs, since we have extensive experience in the field as well as very experienced people.
Initially, we used underbalanced drilling (UBD), which we learned was not giving us the results that we had hoped for, so we switched to managed pressure drilling (MPD), which in turn helped us to have better control of the well and fewer drilling problems. This technique provided greater consistency and higher productivity. Technologies like this and other strategies related to excellent well planning helped us to drastically improve our operations and reduce costs. We can say that we have developed our own system of efficient drilling activities.
Q: What are the most important decisions Diavaz makes as an operator?
A: Some of the relevant issues that we have had to face as operators include appropriate selection of professionals with experience and knowledge to manage, coordinate and supervise operations, with a high HSE standard and application of best industry practices; establishment of an integrated management system that standardizes our operations in line with current regulations; interaction with the state security forces (police, army, public prosecutor, etc.) to ensure their presence in the operational areas as required; experience contribution to the current regulation to support the training and development of our subcontractors and aligning them with the CEE contractual model; service contractor selection process in accordance with the contractual requirements of the CEE Project, including being aligned with the current legal and regulatory framework; ensure that all our personnel assigned to the project know, stay updated, apply, and enforce current regulations; establishment of a program for the use of associated natural gas to help minimize gas emissions and flaring during production operations; develop and maintain an excellent relationship with the communities in the contractual area to ensure operational continuity and the execution of work plans in the field; advance planning for the preparation and presentation of work plans and environmental permit applications to regulatory entities, considering in this process the approval times taken by the different regulatory entities; and continue systematizing and/or automating the company's processes with its own or commercial software that allows managing and delivering in a timely manner the volume of administrative information that contracts of this type require.
Q: What is the role of technology in ensuring cost-efficiency for Diavaz?
A: Unless we change our way of working and thinking in handling data from oil fields, the optimization required for the industry will not occur. For this reason, Diavaz is going digital. For example, our people on the ground directly input well data into our mobile apps via smartphones and that links to a central database, which can be checked by the production and geoscience engineers in real time. We have been able to remove the data entry time lapse, which has allowed us to make decisions faster and, therefore, react in a shorter time.
In a pilot project, we are using satellite technology to transmit data directly from our wells, use data from sensors and through machine learning algorithms infer other parameters that would be impossible to measure in each well. We are able to perform tests on several wells simultaneously, meaning we do not need to visit them as many times as we did in the past, decreasing the number of driving hours in the field, thereby decreasing the risk of accidents. If the pilot project is successful, we aim to apply the technology to more wells by the end of the year.
Technology has also supported our efforts to reduce theft from our sites, with the use of video cameras, well and gathering stations monitoring, and specific GPS monitoring, all of which has helped us to drastically reduce those problems in the field. In addition, we are able to tightly monitor the oil transportation and auditors can check the transportation process and its information using our systems. The operating contract that we signed in 2018 has pushed us to have everything backed up by technology.
In terms of document management, all subcontractors working for us are supposed to present the information required by us on time using our special software platforms. One of the technologies we are using is SAP Fieldglass. This software has allowed us to reduce the number of middlemen who were previously required to carry out administrative tasks. Technology has allowed us to decrease the administrative time frame for data gathering, so that information can be presented in a timely fashion to avoid potential extra costs, and allow decision-making in real time.
By using technology, we have been able to significantly improve the quality of the information, reduce the effort for its acquisition and processing and above all to empower our employees to focus their talent on the best analysis of the operation and the search for improvements.
Diavaz is a Mexican company whose business units focus on exploration and production, gas, marine operations and integrity of installations in the oil sector. It was jointly created through strategic and commercial alliances among energy-sector leaders.