Bridging the Information Gap Between Operations and Engineering
- C.L. Dunham (Shell Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 1973
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 411 - 418
- 1973. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.6.8 Well Performance Monitoring, Inflow Performance, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 3.1.6 Gas Lift, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing
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Advances in computer and communications technology have often been cited to justify greater consolidation of staff functions. This consolidation, however, tends to widen the information gap between Operations and Engineering. That trend must be reversed, and the gap can be bridged by applying the latest developments in the very technology that caused the problem to begin with. problem to begin with. The Information Gap What Is It?
The information gap between Operations and Engineering is a communications gap. It is a failure of Operations to gather and communicate pertinent, timely information to Engineering. It is a failure of Engineering to formulate and communicate relevant, timely designs and operating guidelines to Operations. It is a failure of each group to define clearly its information needs to the other. It is a failure of each to understand fully the information needs of the other.
Why Does It Exist?
The old saying, "Out of sight, out of mind," describes one reason why the gap exists. Following are some other reasons: 1. The time lag before information reaches the field or central office makes the information outdated. 2. The operator's priorities often allow him little time to worry about the content or the accuracy of the information. 3. The engineer's priorities often involve him in other projects for extended periods during which he ignores the field. 4. The volume of data generated by the fields can overwhelm central clerical staffs. 5. A lack of adequate feedback causes engineering recommendations to seem irrelevant; as a result they are ignored by personnel in the field.
Why Should It Be Bridged?
All of the causes of the information gap can be surmounted - and occasionally they are, when special problems arise-by personal visits or telephone calls. problems arise-by personal visits or telephone calls. However, efficient operations require continual, routine solutions to the information problem. When information is required, either in the field or in the central office, it must be available. So long as the gap exists, there is much important information that is never transmitted, hence never used; this can lead to a continuing spiral of poor decisions and inefficient operation.
Closing the Gap - An Approach
This section describes an approach taken by Shell Oil Co. to help bridge the information gap between Operations and Engineering. The system has been in use in Shell's Southern Region (New Orleans) for more than 2 years. It serves more than 1,700 wells in 12 fields. The company is currently expanding the system to encompass approximately 2,500 wells. Expansion of the system throughout the company is being studied.
Three factors contributed specifically to the company's decision to build a field production information system: (1) It was recognized that consolidation had caused a widening information gap.
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