Continuous Process Improvement in Drilling

In order to understand the role of drilling data in field development, we need to look at a well’s life cycle. One simple form is using PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act), which are the four basic stages of the well operations process, as shown in figure below.



PDCA was created by W.E. Deming. It is designed to lead to continuous process improvement. In this cycle companies:

  • Plan the next well to drill;
  • Do (execute) the well;
  • Check what went right and what went wrong; and
  • Act with proposed changes based on this analysis, so the next well will include improvements.

Drilling data plays a fundamental role in Planning and Checking the process used. For planning users can use historical offset data from wells in similar context of the new planned well.

The checking phase uses internal and external benchmarking data to compare the performance of each operation in terms of time and speed. The identification of anomalies in this comparison can lead to changes in the workflow and create improvement actions for the next well.

Data needs to flow from one stage to another. If it stays stagnated in one place it has no value. The faster we can loop through PDCA the more value we can add to the business.


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