All’s Well That Ends Well?

In our last thrilling episode, I discussed a bit about the PPDM Association and the eponymous Data Model. Now it’s time to discuss some of the fruits of their labour in the gardens of the workgroups. I should point out that geoLOGIC has members contributing to almost every PPDM workgroup.
Without a doubt, the most unusually named workgroup in the PPDM is the “What Is A Well” (WIAW) workgroup. Now, I know what you are saying. “What is a well? What kind of idiots are you? Everyone in this industry knows what a well is!” Really?

As it turns out a Well can be many different things depending on where you are in the industry.

What is a Well?

Consider this scenario. You work for a large E&P and your boss has asked you for a list of all your company’s wells in a certain area.

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So, you check with the Land Admins to see if they have a list. And they do:

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But as you’re heading back to your desk they mention that the folks in Reserves have a different list. What? So off to Reserves where you find that the list is truly different because their criteria for wells is different from that of the Land Admin group.

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Oh, and the Production Accountants have a different list.

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Of course, G&G has yet another group of wells.

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And, in Drilling, all they care about are the wells that they are drilling or planning.

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In the end, a mix of all these wells looks like this:

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Adding to the confusion

Of course, this doesn’t even begin to cover variables such as re-entries, work-overs, multi-zone completions, whipstocks, pilot holes, and a huge number of other sophisticated methods that this industry has come up with to get hydrocarbons out of the ground.
And then there are questions such as where does a well start? When the well is drilling on land, it may seem fairly obvious where the well starts, but what about off-shore? And when the rig is gone does that change the concept of the well? And should it?
These and many more questions were considered by the workgroup, simply because there is business impact and an economic cost when there is no clarity on something that is so foundational to the industry.
Phase 1 of the WIAW workgroup project resulted in a set of consistent high-level baseline definitions that identify, illustrate, and define the important components of a well. The basic definitions have been made available to the industry-at-large in hopes that they will help to eliminate some confusion and ambiguity within the industry. If you are a PPDM member then there are additional online and printed resources that are available which further illustrate these definitions and document their usage.
In addition, WIAW Phase 1 also evaluated regulatory body practices for a number of provinces and states in North America within the context of the baseline definitions and that information is also available, with examples for each regulatory body, to PPDM members.

What is that Well?

Phase 2 of WIAW expanded on the regulatory agencies to add additional international agencies, with over 30 agencies world-wide being reviewed. The other key focus of WIAW Phase 2 was to address another aspect of wells – that of well status and classification.
Again, on first glance this would seem to be a “no brainer”. Everyone knows what we mean by well status. Don’t we? As it turns out, no. Within the industry we tend to be fairly “loose” in our usage of terms where we end up using the same term to describe several different conditions, and rely on the context of the use to impart additional meaning to that term. This is, of course, a recipe for confusion when we are sharing conversation with people who do not understand that the same term may have different meanings for each of the speakers.
For example, the term “Operated Wells” may mean the wells in which a company has an interest which are currently in operation, or it may mean those wells which the company is operating, even when they do not have a royalty-based interest (e.g. “Contract Operated”). Or it may mean those wells which are being operated (on a contract basis) by a 3rd-party for a company. And in all cases, this would be an example of a well status which is not a well status in the sense of regulatory agency context.
Phase 2 of WIAW defined rules to apply towards implementing a standard set of well status classifications that can be applied across a vector of business activities over the life of the well. The workgroup also defined a process and created a set of standard mapping-use well symbols which tie back to the well status classifications. The symbols that were created were developed on a baseline provided by the members, including the geoSCOUT set that our clients are quite familiar with.

Next time around:

The Unique Well Identifier isn’t. Unique, that is…

About Sean Udell

Sean does not like to write about himself in the 3rd-person. He’s been with geoLOGIC longer than almost everyone else in the company, and some of the new hires weren’t even a gleam in their parent’s eyes when he started.
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2 Responses to All’s Well That Ends Well?

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