The time is NOW to take a fresh look at upgrading technologies
Since late-2014, the price of crude oil has consistently been dropping lower and lower. Already, we’ve already seen a decrease in drilling, fracking and production cuts, not to mention thousands of layoffs. The predictions of when prices will be back into the $70 BBL mark have ranged from July 2015 to the second quarter of 2016. While this may seem like a cruel (short-term) eternity, this could actually be a blessing in disguise for the industry.
With dropping crude prices, it’s the ideal time to look at what technologies are used in well completion, production and pipeline transport. The industry, as a whole, needs to take a deep breath and look at how they can cut costs, increase safety and still meet environmental regulations while at the same time increasing productivity at a lower breakeven point.
How can you significantly cut costs while still improving your system?
With new fracking systems, although we are seeing smaller footprints when fracking a well, we’re still lacking proper management for the fracking components like water, proppant and chemicals.
Correct management of the proper instrumentation can dramatically cut transport handling cost and demurrage fees. I have personally seen sites where the trucks have waited between 10 and 20 hours to deliver water and/or proppant. Cutting these fees alone would provide immediate payback for the proper instrumentation, in addition to a reduction in fracking costs.
On many production sites, we are still seeing turbine meters used for flow measurement and pneumatic float to control the interface level and dump cycles of separators. These instruments can easily be upgraded to technologies that require less maintenance and offer increased accuracies over the existing systems in place. There are other benefits too like the ability to eliminate the bleed from the pneumatic devices reducing the overall emissions of greenhouse gasses.
In addition, as output and communication systems continue to improve, companies are now able to monitor remote sites from one central location, which allows for better utilization of resources with less downtime.
The list of where an upgrade in instrumentation is a benefit for the future of the industry is too large for a blog; however, you’re in luck! Siemens is holding their 3rd Annual Siemens Oil and Gas Innovation at the Minute Made Stadium in Houston, TX, on April 22- 23, 2015, and this will be a hot topic! We invite all who are in the Oil and Gas industry to join us, and not only network with others in the industry but to see what Siemens is doing to help decrease costs, become more efficient and safe, protect the environment and work toward shrinking the breakeven point.
Let’s work together and have it where we can all be profitable - whether crude is at $100BBL or at $30 BBL.