The Performance Improvement Imperative

By Tim Wingham, Head of Performance Improvement, Exceed
A PennEnergy Exclusive

With the industry in a constant state of change, now is the time to invest in ways to optimize operational efficiency.

TENAGA rig crew gathered on the helideck.

With the oil & gas industry in a constant state of change, now is the time to invest in ways to optimise operational efficiency. The pressure on management is immense, demand for cost reductions is increasing, and the key challenge facing operators is having to do more with less.

Added to this burden is the requirement for operators to apply solutions which enhance safety, increase reliability and uptime and reduce well construction times and costs. Implementing a proven systematic approach to planning and learning is no longer a "nice to have"; it’s an essential component in helping the industry to maximise efficiency and become more resilient.

Having worked with oil & gas operators internationally as well as in the North Sea, Exceed has repeatedly evidenced that our proven performance improvement methodology achieves these efficiency aims, whilst typically delivering a return on investment in excess of 10:1. That’s a significant $10M saved for every $1M invested.

With clearly quantifiable benefits, now of all times is when investment should be made, into a solution that is guaranteed to deliver a return that significantly exceeds the initial investment.

Investing to Guarantee Results

Performance improvement is not about reinventing the wheel or introducing new technology. We simply help operators achieve more of their potential by getting the most out of their existing systems and processes, working alongside their team inclusive of contractor and service partners.

Exceed’s coaches work side-by-side with the rig leadership team to benchmark performance, identify improvement opportunities and ultimately accelerate the learning curve. The earlier the engagement, the greater the opportunity for early learning, particularly on shorter campaigns where the operator has get it right first time.

Dedicated expertise ensures the rig leadership team can confidently focus their undivided attention on managing operations and logistics, with the assurance that they have the resources in place to track performance, close out lessons learned and drive the optimisation process.  

Exceed boasts a ten-year track record. Over that time, the engagement and delivery model has consistently evolved and we now offer a tried and tested approach, with evidence that it works.

From engineering through to operations personnel and service partners, people are integral to the solution. A key focus for the Exceed coach is to promote a rig culture where the whole team have a common mission, are truly engaged in the campaign objectives and have a mindset that is focused on what is possible, front line planning and learning. In our experience, typically, this focus on the human factor will bring about a minimum 10% increase in productive time.

A recent example of the success of our approach was during a two-well project we completed earlier this year with an oil and gas supermajor in Southeast Asia.

Case study  

From April to October 2015, Exceed was contracted by the operator for a two-well campaign in Southeast Asia, to help alleviate planning and streamline processes for improved rig efficiency. The short project duration meant the Exceed team needed to make an immediate impact – effectively hitting the deck ready to go.

Readiness to Execute – improvement from the kick-off

Straight away, Exceed relieved some of the workload through the integration of offset analysis, risk management, HSE bridging documentation, drilling program and logistics plans and the transfer of plans to the rig team. Thereafter, we worked to engage the rig team and service partners during the Drill Well on Paper (DWOP) phase, sharing past experiences, incidents, successes and failures and considering potential risks to the project, both positive and negative.

Tim Wigham, Head of Performance Improvement at Exceed, shares why - despite the oil & gas downturn - investing in your people, processes and performance will yield significant long term savings.

TENAGA crew conducting a planning meeting on the rig floor.

The Exceed team placed a strong focus on what contributed to inefficiency and how time and cost savings could be made. Offshore we facilitated advance planning meetings focused on planning the work ahead, editing work instructions and ensuring offline preparation tasks were completed ahead of the critical path.

Weekly conference calls from the rig to the onshore team provided a forum to discuss and close lessons learned. Most importantly, solutions were applied to the correct governing documents to benefit future operations.

Engaging at the Coal Face

The key to getting the most out of people is to genuinely invest in them. This project included a diverse workforce from Japan, Malaysia and Europe, so we developed a team identity that transcended all cultures and supported a legacy that will live on long after the job was complete – with a unifying team brand helping to instil pride and belonging.

The brand for this project was ‘TENAGA.’ A regional word for dragon, a protector of the sea, this clearly embodied team spirit and a culture of safety – both vital for the project. With many challenges and significant learnings, the TENAGA team used each obstacle as a launch pad for tighter teamwork, better communication and continuous improvement, with a true sense of pride and satisfaction at a “job well done” when the project was completed.

Tim Wigham, Head of Performance Improvement at Exceed, shares why - despite the oil & gas downturn - investing in your people, processes and performance will yield significant long term savings.

Lessons Learned and Working Smarter

A safe and productive work place relies on inspiring leadership, strong teamwork, committed crew and good morale – all of which were achieved on this project.

Going back to basics with the rig teams helped them embrace new ways of working, and resulted in impressive savings. As it was a two well project, we were able to learn from issues that arose on the initial well and immediately implement and apply key improvements.

Research consistently proves that visual learning is the most effective means of transferring and retaining information. First to introduce videos as part of our performance improvement process, Exceed coaches are experts at filming, editing and producing rig activity and safety videos.

Tim Wigham, Head of Performance Improvement at Exceed, shares why - despite the oil & gas downturn - investing in your people, processes and performance will yield significant long term savings.

TENAGA crew attaching Centralisers to casing in the Moonpool area.

The resulting videos are used as planning and learning tools, integrated with the relevant work instructions and accessed via iVISION — our online knowledge management platform designed to enhance safety, accelerate learning, encourage transfer of best practice and promote standardisation,

With zero recordable incidents throughout the project, 350 lessons were captured, closed out and implemented, with a further 170 WorkSmart ideas submitted. This led to the project coming in safely on time and under budget whilst the TENAGA team spirit improved throughout the campaign.

By dedicating a committed resource and developing a continuous improvement model from DWOP through to final review, sizable cost savings were achieved on the two-well project. Overall, the project team realised savings in excess of $15M on the two-well campaign.

Consistent consideration for continuous improvement

In the current climate where operational efficiency is key, performance coaching should no longer be considered an optional luxury. Combatting inefficiency and waste is a responsibility. It is an essential part of rig operations which demonstrably instils an improved safety culture and increased productive time, and has proven to pay for itself many times over.

About the Author

With the industry in a constant state of change, now is the time to invest in ways to optimize operational efficiency.

Tim Wigham joined Exceed in 2007, bringing with him a wealth of management experience and a strong track record in operational leadership, performance coaching, and facilitation. His early career includes nine years as an officer in the British Royal Marines where he developed a strong strategic mind-set and proven project management and conflict resolution skills. Having completed a full-time MBA in 2001, he went on to co-own a Leadership and Teambuilding consultancy in South Africa. Tim is highly skilled at coaching leaders at various levels. Tim has unwavering commitment to delivering excellence while maintaining strong, lasting working relationships with colleagues and clients. 

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