A new reality for E&P companies set in during the past month with natural gas prices hovering around $1.70/Mcf. Some companies hedged production at higher prices for a limited time but after that, all are at the mercy of market pricing. Drilling capital has been slashed and production from many existing gas wells is declining by at least 7% per year.
As these wells age, they are more likely to experience issues that negatively affect production. Dedicated production teams work to spot these issues – yet the repetitive process of individually scanning hundreds of wells a day, day after day, is not efficient. Leading indicators of future problems and opportunities for improvement are easily overlooked. Also, due to the number of wells and repetitiveness of the process, operators struggle to remain vigilant each day, day after day. Reducing headcount would lower costs, but put the teams even further behind in optimizing production.
And yet, optimization remains imperative to success. Numerous recent success stories document significant lifting cost ($/mcf) improvements when basic plunger lift principles are applied to a defined number of wells by knowledgeable people. If those successes are true for a controlled number of wells, it seems logical the same results would be possible for an entire field. Operators are asking, “How can my team find the production diamonds in the haystack while reducing operating cost? How can we dramatically slash lifting cost?”
If this scenario rings true for your organization, there is a way for you to find those diamonds. It starts with truly understanding the root cause of optimization, and letting people do what people do best and machines do what machines do best.
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