Drill Well On Paper
Drill Well On Paper (DWOP) is the process of analyzing each step of the well construction process to generate ideas for improving performance and reducing costs. As with any simulation, the process takes us to the brink of reality while maintaining a controlled environment. Drilling the Well on Paper allows us to identify exposures in a setting where exposures do not become actual losses. The DWOP workshop explores opportunities where nonproductive time can be eliminated or risks reduced by dissecting the proposed program and sharing experiences. This last aspect of the DWOP never fails to impress; the average DWOP group will contain in excess of 500 years of experience. Tapping into five centuries of experience is important not only because it improves performance, but also because it trains new talent. IRG personnel offer two different services for DWOP.
DWOP encourages participants to ask: Why do we do things one-way and not another? How can we interact better with others? How will new or unfamiliar equipment be run? Deviations from pre-agreed processes will result in a cost during actual drilling, brainstorming will not. A particular case study cites a cost-reducing example generated during DWOP. The saving was achieved by combining two sequential steps into a simultaneous activity. The operator had planned to drill through the shoe track, enter 10 ft (3 m) of open hole and then increase mud weight by 2 lb/gal to perform a leakoff test. A member of the rig crew suggested mud weight could be increased gradually while the shoe track was being drilled. This enabled the operator to realize an 80% reduction in circulation time.
With DWOP, each team's targets are checked against those of the whole group and a consensus is reached. The first definition is the technical limit for each activity, or minimum time required to complete each task in a best man/best day scenario. It serves as a theoretical value only and can never be achieved as an actual target. Next, a realistic target based on the best past performance is established, which becomes the performance benchmark for the well. The simulation environment gives people the luxury of time to think about operations without the pressure of being on the rig and without the pressure of having to make instant decisions. The consideration and identification of potential problems such as supply chain delays related to importation, environmental or linguistic obstacles were once a byproduct of the group discussions. These are now an integral part of the modern DWOP. This has become invaluable in flagging issues for operators and companies entering new markets.
A significant and often unappreciated benefit is the creation of a team atmosphere that helps eliminate silos. Our industry tends to compartmentalize service companies, many of who do not see a beginning, middle or end to the process. A common complaint leveled at the drilling staff addresses their obsession with drilling and casing the hole with little or no regard for what happens afterward. DWOP considers the program in its entirety.
Once the project has been completed, the closeout meeting enables the operator to review service company performance and transfer lessons learned.