Frequently Asked Questions

Actenum Frequently Asked Questions

Products/DSO Maintenance

What is DSO/Upstream?


DSO/Upstream is a configurable, interactive application for scheduling and optimizing sequences of oil and gas exploration and production activities. It incorporates a drag-and-drop Gantt chart user interface, together with sophisticated data management capabilities, and makes it easy for you to develop and manage complex integrated operations schedules that are aligned with your business objectives.

Use DSO/Upstream to schedule onshore or offshore upstream operations, where resources—such as rigs, cranes, barges, trucks, and crews—must be assigned to activities—including construction, drilling, fracturing/completions, workovers, tie-ins, logging, and maintenance—according to various constraints. DSO/Upstream incorporates a comprehensive model of your upstream operationsl environment, and together with the fastest optimization engine in the industry, this enables you to:

  • Automatically assign rigs, other equipment, and crews to exploration and production activities in an optimal sequence, rapidly and reliably
  • Interactively adjust your schedules to reflect operational changes and disruptions, using the drag-and-drop Gantt-based interface
  • Optimize your results to aligned with important objectives, such as cost, production output, and equipment utilization
  • Collaborate effectively with your colleagues, using a consolidated operations model focused on corporate objectives
  • Create and evaluate scenarios rapidly to identify an optimal alternative

Who uses DSO/Upstream?


DSO/Upstream users range from the largest oil & gas companies in the world to smaller in-dependent operators. Some use DSO/Upstream for scheduling drilling operations only, while many use it to manage all aspects of the well delivery process: leases, milestones, pad and facility construction, spud/drill sequences, fracturing/completions, tie-ins, and field maintenance.

What are the benefits of using DSO/Upstream for scheduling?


DSO/Upstream eliminates the need for error-prone manual data entry and un-auditable collections of spreadsheets and project files. Instead, your equipment and well activity information is centralized in DSO/Upstream’s database, which is designed to handle all upstream activities, and which makes information available to your other team members through Actenum’s companion web-based application, DSO/CX.

By coupling Actenum’s advanced optimization software to DSO/Upstream’s internal operations model and sophisticated GUI, scheduling is rapid and automatic (for example, to assign appropriate resources to specific activities while satisfying all operational and technical constraints), while errors and inconsistencies are eliminated.

  • Easier management of operations complexity (hundreds or thousands of wells, rig fleet growing or diminishing in size, multiple types of activities to schedule);
  • Increased confidence in your ability to achieve business objectives, such as production output and cost targets;
  • Improved ability to rapidly respond to budget constraints, equipment breakdowns, or crew availability limitations;
  • Reduction in risk of non-compliance with lease obligations;
  • Increased drilling performance and efficiency through insight into critical milestone dates;
  • Reduction in costs associated with rig movement or idle time;
  • Immediate clarity on the impact and risks resulting from schedule changes;
  • Improved team alignment and collaboration around the well delivery process.

How is DSO/Upstream deployed?


DSO/Upstream is usually deployed as a standalone application on a user’s workstation. The DSO/Upstream database may be installed locally or on a remote server, using Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle.

You can also deploy DSO/Upstream using Citrix.

What data is needed to use DSO/Upstream?


DSO/Upstream incorporates an operations model that accommodates a wide range of data about your upstream operations, and it uses this data in the scheduling process. The minimum data needed to use DSO/Upstream effectively is:

  • Approximate durations of activities;
  • Information about equipment or crew resources, such as working calendars, environmental restrictions, and dependencies;
  • A way to determine what resources are compatible with an activity (for example, what type of rig may be used on a particular well, or in a specific area);
  • A way to approximate the travel time between activities (only if this is of interest);
  • A way to measure the quality or value of the resulting schedule; this might include measures of cost, resource use, production targets, priorities, deadline violations, and so on.

How do I get started with DSO/Upstream?


Prior to deployment, Actenum conducts a Configuration/Integration (CI) Workshop with you to determine specific configuration and customization requirements. We also explore integration with external applications for data import and export purposes.

Following the Workshop, Actenum configures DSO/Upstream for initial use, and deploys the software to users. During the initial use period, Actenum works with you to ensure that your data is imported successfully, and to conduct user and administrator training.

How do I load data into DSO/Upstream?


You can load data into DSO/Upstream manually, or automatically. Most electronic forms of data are loaded automatically: DSO/Upstream can load MS-Excel and MS-Project files directly, for example.

For data stored in relational databases, Actenum provides a connection mechanism for import/export.

Will DSO/Upstream work with my company’s workflow and business process?


DSO/Upstream has been designed as a flexible application with an open architecture for ease of adaptation and integration. It may be used as a stand-alone application for management of schedules (replacing other tools such as MS-Excel or MS-Project), or it may be integrated into an existing business process through the available data interchange facilities. You can rapidly and effectively configure the software to meet your operational needs, and take advantage of available data.

Can I share a DSO/Upstream schedule with other team members?


A companion application, DSO/CX (Collaboration eXchange), provides all team members with web-based access to schedules and related information, via a workstation, tablet, or smart phone. DSO/CX enables users to view schedule Gantt charts, track activities on a map, create reporting dashboards, and focus on the aspects of a schedule in which they are most interested.

For each schedule, DSO/Upstream will also generate a Gantt chart representation as a customizable PDF file. You can email this, or publish it on a corporate intranet.

You can also export DSO/Upstream data to MS-Excel, and integrate it with external databases, using a connector provided by Actenum.

What reporting capability does DSO/Upstream provide?


DSO/Upstream enables you to build custom reports for specific requirements, and supports common reporting tools, such as Spotfire and Business Objects.

As well, data may be exported to other applications, such as MS-Project and MSExcel, for reporting purposes.

What training is needed to use DSO/Upstream?


Getting started with DSO/Upstream is intuitive for most users who are familiar with other scheduling applications. Actenum provides an initial 2 day user training program at the time of initial software deployment. At the same time, a short training class for application administrators is usually scheduled.

How often are updates to DSO/Upstream released?


Usually there is one major DSO/Upstream release each year, providing new features and support for new operating systems and database platforms. Interim releases or patches are normally issued to address other issues as they arise.

What hardware and software is needed to run DSO/Upstream?


Client Workstations

  • 2.5 GHz Pentium CPU
  • Minimum 8 GB RAM, 40+ GB hard drive
  • 100 Mb network connection to server
  • MS Windows 7/8 (64 bit preferred)

Database Server

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005, 2008, 2012
  • Oracle 10G or higher