Oil & Gas (Upstream & Midstream)

Certitude Group has deep experience in the Oil & Gas industry. For our Upstream clients, we have developed two specific methodologies that provide techniques and tools that we believe are very useful to both oil and gas producers in conventional and unconventional plays. We also have extensive experience in Midstream operations from Gathering, Processing, Fractionation, Transportation, and Wholesaling.

Learn More

Certitude Group has deep experience in the Oil & Gas industry.  For E&P producers, we have developed two specific methodologies that provide techniques and tools that we believe are very useful to both oil and gas producers in conventional and unconventional plays.  Our services are targeted toward critical times in the lifecycle of a production field from planning to tertiary recovery. For Midstream operators we can assess and assist with business process and design improvement that support gathering system operations. Our approach to capital project management; turnaround planning and execution; maintenance and reliability; contractor management; and operations improvement are applicable to Processing, Fractionation, Transportation, and Marketing.

Field Development

Our Field Development services are targeted to all the activities required to move prospects all the way from Exploration / Geoscience through to drilling, completion, and tie-in.  We recently found by surveying clients and others that there are often two serious gaps in metrics used to management the Development process:

  • 57% of the respondents stated that they have no method in place to track cycle time from geoscience to RTD
  • Understanding there are numerous functions and handoffs required to progress a planned well to completion, do each of these groups have performance targets and goals as part of the process?  88% said, “No” or “in some areas”
  • Up to 70% of all work in this process can be categorized as low or non-value adding

So, it’s not surprising that many E&P businesses struggle with overall process execution up to initial production from a well.  This manifests itself in exceedingly long cycle times (sometimes up to one year), confusion at handoff between functions, and a large percentage of initially proposed locations that drop out for one reason or another.

Shortening the cycle time and minimizing drop outs between location selection and RTD ensures that first production is online as expeditiously as possible for as many locations as possible.  The operation is rewarded with revenue sooner and improved return on capital spent in development.

Field Management

Our Field Management oriented services focus on maintaining daily production at the well head and treatment plants.  A working assumption is that most of the capital for the operation is “sunk” and barring significant negative fluctuation in commodity pricing, it is in the best interest of the operator to make as much product as possible.

Many operators focus primarily on well work.  What we have usually found in these operations is some combination of the following:

  • Absence of rigorous economic standards
  • Lack of rigor in periodic well reviews
  • Incomplete data to support decision making
  • Informal or no prioritization methodology
  • Unclear definition of roles and responsibilities
  • “First In / First Out” workover scheduling
  • Functional silos impeding collaboration
  • Ineffective capture of lessons learned

We have found that the best operations have three critical success factors in common:

  • A tight “partnership” between production teams and production engineers… to the point that these two groups jointly “own” wells
  • Utilization of hard production data to select options and set priorities for well work based on value of production
  • A business process for management that is applied with uncompromising discipline

A significant amount of work is required to deliver complete production and loss data to the operations personnel.  Sometimes this is available by aggregate loss category and sometimes at a much more granular level by well.

The aim in our work with Production operations is to use all available analytics to prioritize daily work.  Ultimately collecting and trending data also contributes to understanding the true capacity of a particular field or area.  Armed with loss data and an understanding of true capacity brings an opportunity to set records for any production asset.  These come in Revenue, Rates, Daily Volume, Reliability, and ROIC.

Midstream Operations

We are catalysts for change and as such we develop our projects to deliver significant financial returns from important improvement to operations.  Our Management Operating System is a customized approach to your operation that provides timely, relevant performance data to your team in a way that they understand what actions to take (or not) and when.  Your team has the ability to continuously improve performance but often we find that there are insufficient or no disciplined approaches to accomplishing that task.  We have found that midstream operations can benefit greatly from the following Certitude capabilities:

  • Turnaround Optimization – planning and execution
  • Capital Projects – FEL, Budgeting, Planning, Justification, and management
  • Operations Excellence – Planning, Shift Turnover, Contractor Management, Lean
  • Reliability – Equipment planning, RCFA and Corrective Action programs
  • Maintenance – Planning, Scheduling, and Execution, Work Order Backlog Management, Preventive and Predictive, MRO Management
  • Supply Chain – Strategic Sourcing, Inventory Management, Logistics, Distribution
  • EHS & Regulatory Compliance – Risk Assessment, EHS Policies, Emergency Response
  • Organization Effectiveness – Leadership Development, Redesign, Capacity Planning, Skills and Training

Project Examples

E&P Field Development:  Designed and implemented improved business processes supported by detailed decision matrix and Management Operating System.  Reduced cycle time by 62% to 97 days (well location selection to spud).  Capital deployed in development projects realized revenue when put on production 12 to 18 months earlier.

E&P Field Management:  OPEX was too high for the production revenue in a CBM gas field.  Developed and installed a work prioritization system that guided lease operators to high value wells with production problems.  Mechanics were dispatched according to priorities:  1) HSE risk, 2) Revenue risk, and 3) Routine maintenance.  Within one year, ROC increased by 5 points on a 7% increase in rates (mmcf).

Gas Treatment MRO:  Designed and implemented maintenance and repair warehouse inventory and replenishment procedures that increased parts and supplies fill rate by 36% with 99% order accuracy.  Operation enabled 3.7% improvement in asset availability (additional 6 hours of run time per week) and delivered an additional 50mcf capacity for pipeline nominations.

E&P Field Management:  Streamlined crude oil production management through redesign of business processes and organizational roles and responsibilities.  Primary focus on integrated functional process management and roles/responsibilities.  Cost savings of $34 Million improved value of asset for divestiture.

Oil and Gas Production Reorganization:  Streamlined development, partnership operations, and exploration processes resulting in $1.8 Million fixed cost reduction and $28 Million variable cost reduction (based on then-current J.V. activity).  Exploration group focused 16 Geologist FTE’s on new discoveries at no additional cost.

U.S. Independent producer expanding Bakken asset. Along with growth came the usual issues with Field Management process integrity, management of downtime, and regulatory compliance. Our principals developed a framework for integration of new staff to maintain process integrity. Once integration was initiated, the team set about addressing downtime through implementation of a prioritization process to ensure the largest production elements in the asset received rapid attention when off production.

Preventive maintenance practices were instituted and the MMS was reconfigured to support the adjusted priorities of the asset. The MMS was also utilized to support compliance requirements and where possible minimize lease operator travel to locations.

Production was increased 6% (off the baseline) within the first 6 months after lease operator training was completed.

Global Major producer was experiencing greater than planned decline in mature tight gas field. Analysis showed that well-work techniques were being applied without significant analytical rigor. Almost a “try this and see” approach. Analysis also revealed there existed four key well-work applications that consistently increased or maintained production over a period of 12 months. Reorganizing the production teams to more formally include production engineers and utilizing loss codes from production data, the cross functional production teams stabilized decline and then increased rates.

Revenue benefit exceeded $16.5MM in first year above plan.