Hydraulic fracturing has been around for many years; however, more recently, it has jumpstarted new technologies and ideas for improving access to the shale deposits that were believed to be unobtainable. An important aspect of accomplishing this is understanding what technology—in the field and in the office—is needed for increased productivity and improved fieldwork.

Four-way match standard
In operations, there is a standard known as the “fourway match” that ensures an accurate quote produces the right field ticket. From this, the correct invoice is created, which is pulled from the pricing book. Achieving the four-way match is a critical concept due to the complexity and high costs associated with pressure pumping jobs. Relying on the four-way match is crucial for the specificity of billing associated with pressure pumping. Cross-referencing invoices can take countless hours and a lot of work to ensure all have been accounted for and correctly documented. Reducing that amount of time, while still maintaining accuracy, is vital for businesses to bill as precisely as possible. Implementing technology that can guarantee the four-way match helps companies manage their services and uphold their standards.

Well design management
Well designs are important for safe and innovative drilling, especially in potentially unstable areas. Designing a successful well allows better productivity and the ability to gather data on areas with potential leakage or other failures. Software solutions can be implemented into a well design for gathering this information and maintaining workbook data integrity. When looking at the software of a digital solution for managing well design, it must be easy to use. While on a pressure pumping job, field operators need to be able to quickly input the information not directly obtainable from the well into the system so the back office can process that information. Companies could be losing out on important information if field teams are unable to input or collect data retrieved from wells if the software and platforms are too complicated to understand.

Streamlining processes
Companies rely heavily on spreadsheets and other documents to organize the data they are receiving from jobs. Job tickets can average six rounds of approval before they are invoiced, causing delays between completion and invoice. Implementing a streamlined digital process incorporates everything from operations to field personnel and depicts the details and pertinent information needed for invoicing at the time the service is performed. This information can then go through the approval process quicker because all of the information is readily available and documented. Implementing technology that accounts for streamlining a process keeps companies accountable for maintaining their workers and equipment while also deciphering the data that are collected all in one vicinity.

Invoicing for projects requires accurate logging and quick return. Reducing the time it takes to send out invoices allows for decreased days of sales outstanding. Operators can be selective about how they want the invoice formatted (i.e., where some require a great deal of information and a breakdown of each subtotal, others prefer minimal information). Priority is placed on technology that works with customizable invoicing and keeps track of clients and their needs. This keeps invoicing efficient and puts time back into fieldwork rather than a focus on determining pricing and layout of invoices.

Real-time data
Gathering data in real time allows companies to understand job performance and prepare their strategic decisions. Technology that has the ability to track jobs in real time can determine how productive a team is and where improvements can be made. Information gathered supports management to intervene where needed to keep workers efficient and job performance at its peak.

Data gathered from jobs keep management accountable for reviewing and evaluating peak performance overall for the company. Technology that provides insight into everyday work in the field, shows requirements for operating more efficiently and explains how strategic planning could be implemented for prospective projects can greatly impact the business. For example, tracking the time line on the failure of generators can allow management to intervene before it causes a problem in the future. This saves time and money for companies by implementing appropriate actions before something happens, rather than wasting time waiting for the problem to be fixed at a potentially higher cost.

Liquid Frameworks
The FX Analytics module provides real-time access to powerful business intelligence. (Source: LiquidFrameworks)

Pumping equipment and other machinery are not the only tools used for fracturing. Technology for field operations management maintains standards and improves performance in the field. Integrated software in the fracturing industry is crucial for achieving the best strategies and moving forward with projects. New innovations for data collection, invoicing requirements and streamlining information make a major difference in the efficiency from office to fieldwork.

Mobile field operations software
Safeguarding the four-way match is critical for pressure pumping companies because of the complexity and high costs associated with each job. Companies cannot afford billing mistakes and therefore spend countless hours ensuring each invoice is accurate.

LiquidFrameworks’ FieldFX technology is a cloud-based, mobile field operations software suite designed to guarantee the four-way match. The four-way match ensures that an accurate quote produces an accurate field ticket, which leads to an accurate invoice with the price book serving as the common foundation throughout the process.

Liquid Frameworks
FieldFX captures job data both online and while disconnected from the internet. (Source: LiquidFrameworks)

In addition to reducing the time associated with the billing approval process, FieldFX provides insightful data into each job, allowing management to keep their finger on the pulse of their business-making.

Many oil and gas service companies use FieldFX because it is flexible, scalable and allows them to make changes that very day—even offline. This software gives users the power to connect from the field to the office from anywhere in the world, even when they do not have a network connection. FieldFX streamlines communication between accounting, field operations and office management while shrinking revenue leakage and accelerating revenue capture.

Have a story idea for Tech Watch? This feature highlights leading-edge technology that has the potential to eventually address real-life upstream challenges. Submit your story ideas to Group Managing Editor Jo Ann Davy at jdavy@hartenergy.com.