Production Optimization Horror Story: A Cautionary Tale

A fair warning for all who dare to read

Beware of this tale that lies on the shelf GEO PSI blog
It’s not for the faint of heart or the weak of health
It tells a tale of horror and dread
Of ghosts and ghouls and the living dead unfortunate realities of developing assets without real-time data

If you dare to open its pages and read
You’ll feel a chill in your spine and a drop in your speed
You’ll hear a whisper in your ear and a knock on your door
You’ll see a shadow in your room and a bloodstain on the floor

So heed this warning and stay away
From the book that haunts you night and day
It’s not a story for Halloween fun
It’s about the loss of production and profitability that can’t be undone…

(The following story is based on true events)

Exciting Beginnings

Paul had always dreamed of becoming a production engineer!

He loved designing and building things, solving problems, and improving efficiency. Growing up in the modern world he was excited to be a part of a future where data and technology made the world a more efficient place.

He was thrilled when he got hired by a large energy company, where he hoped to learn from the best and make a difference!

He was assigned to work under Mr. Jones, the senior production engineer, who had been with the company for over 20 years.

At first, Paul was eager to impress his boss and show him what he could do. He came up with new ideas and suggestions to improve the production process and reduce costs. He saw how real-time data could make changes big and small which could transform the way they developed their assets!

GEO PSI Orange Ghost 1

Resistance To Change

But Mr. Jones was not impressed. He was a grumpy old man who hated change and innovation. He had been doing things the same way for decades and saw no reason to alter them.

Though Paul had begun to see the incredible value of monitoring downhole parameters in real time, Mr.Jones was too prideful and stuck in his ways to change.

While Paul made compelling proposals to put a gauge in every one of their wells, Mr.Jones would always respond harshly, unwilling to accept there may be a better way.

“I don’t need that junk in my well!” he’d say.

“I don’t need some gauge to tell me what I already know!” he’d shout.

“This well has produced 30 barrels a day for the last 10 years, there aint no changing that!” he’d exclaim.

He dismissed Paul’s ideas as naive, impractical, or risky. 

And in the face of compelling data and real-world case study’s proving the many benefits and profitability of using real-time downhole gauges to track fluid level and the performance of their reservoir and artificial lift system, Mr.Jones would respond with pessimistic speculation and old wives tales.

GEO PSI Orange Ghost 2

Paul soon realized that he didn’t really care about increasing efficiency or doing things better. He was only interested in maintaining the status quo and protecting his own position.

Rather than risk doing something right, Mr.Jones was more comfortable doing things the same way they’d be done for the past 40 years…

Paul felt frustrated, demoralized, and disillusioned. He even began to wonder if maybe Mr.Jones had a point? What if the benefits of real-time downhole monitoring were too good to be true?

Accepting The Status Quo

He stopped trying to impress his boss or improve the production process. He stopped coming up with new ideas or suggestions. He stopped dreaming of how to improve their pad development for stacked multi-letteral formations through detailed reservoir analysis and distributed pressure monitoring.

He started doing things the same way as his boss, without questioning or challenging them.

He became content setting their VFD’s off a bi weekly fluid shot. Was that data accurate? Were contaminants and gas throwing off the reading? With a sigh and a gloomy look on his face he concluded it didn’t really matter anyways…

Management had become content replacing ESP’s and PCP’s faster and faster without ever knowing why. Though they would talk the talk about reducing downtime and increasing their MTBF nobody ever seemed to be willing to make significant change…

He became a grumpy old man who gave up on the hopes of change and innovation.

He became his boss, Mr.Jones.

The spark in his heart and the skip in his step were now gone.

GEO PSI Orange Ghost 3

Loss Of Millions Of Dollars

As the years went by they burned through pumps at an unprecedented pace.

They left oil in the ground and their price per barrel continued to climb as they struggled to manage production costs.

They guessed wrong on their well spacing which negatively impacted the inflow characteristics of their reservoir.

And because he had to rely on periodic readings from the field all through the year rather than monitor parameter’s in real-time from his desk they could never stay on top of maintenance and well optimization.

Paul’s job became reactive instead of proactive, and by doing things the same way as Mr.Jones he unknowingly lost his company millions due to lack of optimization.

But This Doesn't Have To Be You!

As spooky as this tale may be, you don’t have to fall to the same fate as Paul!

At GEO PSI we have the most extensive catalog of real-time downhole gauges in the world! We have fit for purpose solutions for almost every application out there.

Our systems are making real change for energy companies around the world. Increasing production, recovery, operational safety, and reducing both production costs and capital costs for users around the globe.

To learn more about how the reliable real-time data from our systems can prevent this same production optimization nightmare from becoming a reality for you, be sure to contact us!

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