By David Zahn, COO
Late-night snacking was my fitness nemesis. This year, I’ve worked hard to end this bad practice, but it took some time before the urge to snack abated. In fact, they say habitualization takes 66 days on average and as much as a year to establish.1 With a good habit now in place, I remain on guard for what I think the corollary is, which is it takes far less time to fall off the good habits wagon.
Developing good fitness habits is hard as are most things in life really – even when the potential for positive results is obvious. Take the following example. Ambyint software provides setpoint recommendations for production optimization that E&P operations personnel can review and accept. Upon acceptance, our software product writes those changes in real-time back to well controllers. Typically, the manual recommendation review acts as training wheels for operations during initial use of our product. Once engineers have confidence that the recommendations effectively optimize well production, they typically choose to auto-accept recommendations allowing our product to bypass manual review and change setpoints autonomously. Our product then maintains an optimized well state over time.
In the diagram to the right, fillage increases as soon as personnel begin accepting setpoint recommendations. Sometimes, good results don’t always yield good sustainable action though. For some reason – possibly more firefighting activities than usual or new, untrained users – the percentage of recommendations accepted dropped after 8 months. The drop was enough to cause fillage levels to fall back to pre-Ambyint implementation ones. Fillage increased briefly as recommendations were accepted again, but dropped once that effort dissipated.
What’s the lesson? First, Ambyint-generated setpoint recommendations have a meaningful impact on fillage and well optimization. Second, and more importantly, operations teams are smaller today than they were a decade ago, and the number of wells that they manage goes beyond their daily capacity to optimize. Wells consequently remain unoptimized far too long – something E&P companies cannot afford in this economic climate. Automating a high value, repetitive task, such as setpoint management, just makes sense and has important implications in driving bottom-line performance. Forget going to the gym more frequently or saying no to snacks after 8:00 pm. Should automated setpoint management become a good habit for you to adopt?