Dynamic Routing: A New Shale Operating Model

Eagle Ford Shale operator Ensign Natural Resources has taken the operate by exception model a step further into the future, by developing what the company refers to as a dynamic routing operating model.

(Source: Ensign Natural Resources)

Oil and gas production field operations have transformed in the last 10 years. Historically, lease operators visited every well daily. While on location they would operate field equipment, check for pollution, check tank levels and gather readings from the production equipment. Calculating oil and gas is as important as producing it, so with the tank gauges and Barton meter readings the production totals collected in an operator’s tally book, which eventually showed up on the company’s production report. Visiting location was crucial in gathering data to calculate daily production. Even as telemetry became more commonplace and production totals were automated, operators were still expected to visit each location daily.

Enter the shale boom and the resulting commodity price fluctuation. With this challenge, companies had to become a little more unconventional in the way they operated, looking for better, smarter, faster ways to conduct manual and time-consuming activities—to evolve with the rest of the world into the digital workplace. The operate by exception model resulted.

Ensign has taken the operate by exception model a step further into the future, by developing what it refers to as a dynamic routing operating model, which has three major objectives: translating business objectives directly to the efforts of the field in real-time, making use of shared resources and gathering and analyzing data for decision making based on profitability, not just production.

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