News & Insights

Fresh Eyes Needed to Overcome Lost Drilling Days

Feb 16, 2017

Author: Robert Mason

When your operation is stuck in a rut, it can be the result of the tired old way of doing things. It is easy to recognize that change is needed, but it takes much more to make and implement that change. In these situations, bringing in a fresh set of eyes can make all the difference.

One of RLG’s clients, a major offshore driller operating a fleet of modern, complex rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, saw this need in their well operations. Before RLG came into the picture, their planned between-well-maintenance (BWM) period averaged ten days more than industry average resulting in 160 lost drilling days across the fleet each year! The ability to address these lost drilling days was hampered by the mind-set that additional BWM days were due solely to increased maintenance requirements rather than lack of project management discipline, along with a lack of data to prove otherwise.

Their planned between-well-maintenance period averaged ten days more than industry average resulting in 160 lost drilling days across the fleet each year!

RLG partnered with this client’s office and offshore crews to implement Project Excellence™ (Px™), a long-lasting solution to enhance Planning, Optimization and Execution. The steps included:

• Articulating the Strategy: Developing a maintenance standard incorporating a fit-for-purpose stage-gate process.

• Challenging the Limits: Facilitating TMP™ (Theoretical Maximum Performance) workshops with contractors to identify, freeze and optimize critical path scope and schedule redefined what was actually possible.  Wringing out all conceivable waste drove performance to levels never achieved.

• Earlier Starts: Coaching the team to drive a habit of commencing key activities earlier in the planning cycle prior to a BWM period.

• Front Line Engagement: Visiting the rig during BWM to identify opportunities for improvement in project management and maintenance based on best practices. Observations were reviewed with contractor rig teams to jointly identify and implement improvements.

• Clarifying Requirements: Communicating the right information, to the right people at the right time in the right way through enhanced planning and execution work packs. The standardized work packs provided offshore teams with a complete set of information required for successful job execution.

• Staging the Work: Kitting of tools, parts and procedures to facilitate execution and minimize interruptions to work rhythm.

• Scanning the Horizon: Reinforcing daily look-ahead and critical path review meetings with on and offshore teams, including operators, to promote alignment, awareness, action and urgency.

• Continuous Learning: Launching regular After Action Reviews to support continuous improvement and to celebrate individual and team successes.

The goal of every Px™ implementation is to improve project performance by enhancing existing processes and behaviors to produce more rigorous planning, schedule optimization and execution. Within two years, the client achieved $434 million in cost savings from a 41% reduction in BWM duration and fewer unplanned pulls.

The goal of every Px™ implementation is to improve project performance by … more rigorous planning, schedule optimization and execution.

“These workshops have been extremely helpful in bringing the right people into the room with a common purpose and the right scope to drive improvements to the maintenance plan. The results speak for themselves!” - BOP OEM Leader

RLG has over 30 years of experience being a “fresh set of eyes”. Although each project has its own challenges, RLG coaches are focused on one objective - they listen, understand the current environment, offer valuable perspective and help implement change.