May 11, 2020
Why is scheduling well delivery operations like playing chess?
When you’re scheduling drilling operations, there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of players to think about. Making the right moves is critical to whether you optimize operations or have them result in a stalemate. Or worse.
Like chess, in well delivery scheduling you’re working in a constantly changing environment as you try to reach your goals. You have to be ready at all times to respond to any operational or business changes. Got blindsided by equipment breakdown? If you don’t have a way to accurately and rapidly re-schedule you’re looking at deferred production, cycle time delays, and increased costs. Not a winning strategy.
Is that really the right move?
The art of chess strategy is knowing how to formulate a plan for the game and arranging your chess pieces to execute this plan. And it’s the same with well delivery. But surprisingly many operators still use spreadsheets and 1990s-era project management tools for managing their scheduling instead of using advanced schedule optimization software. Wrong move.
Yes, spreadsheets do allow users to import and display data in a tabular form, and may be used to create simple Gantt charts … manually. But they don’t offer any real support for making effective decisions about how to schedule, or provide an easy way to evaluate schedule scenarios to determine the impact on capital and production of adding or redeploying rigs and other resources.
And what about project management tools? While they provide interfaces to a calendar, catalogs of activities (defining work to be done) and resources like people, equipment, and services, they understand nothing about well delivery scheduling. There is no automation available to help place tasks on a timeline, and no intelligence to help sort out complex situations or make decisions about critical issues. Want to forecast production as you bring wells online? That will be very tough. Need to be sure that you don’t miss a lease obligation? Forget it.
Gaining the strategic advantage
When IBM taught Deep Blue to play chess, it was capable of evaluating 200 million positions per second. Similarly, modern scheduling software, using AI, can rapidly run through the millions of possible alternatives to create an optimal activity sequence that reaches goals like production targets or capital budget ceilings, or both. That power allows operators to maximize the use of costly resources and respond to changes as they arise to re-optimize the schedule–not in days but in minutes–to ensure efficient well delivery.
Checkmate. You win.
Schedule optimization software provides a “single source of truth” for all drilling activities without having to rely on multiple spreadsheets or other applications. Everyone sees the same information as soon as it’s available. And everyone understands why you are making the moves you are making. A single platform that is accessible anywhere promotes collaboration between team members and 24/7 planning from everywhere.
At the end of the day, schedule optimization software puts you in control of the game. Ultimately, it elevates scheduling to a strategic advantage. Checkmate.
If you’d like to see how Actenum’s scheduling software can help you up your game, schedule a demo.