As political and cultural forces press hard against traditional means of energy production — and rising prices leave consumers frustrated and irritated — oil and gas producers no doubt sense that these are not the best of times. Still, almost everyone recognizes the essential need for petro-energy in the immediate. In this context, producers do well to reduce their costs. This not only demonstrates goodwill to the public, but it can also offset, if only modestly, the extent to which they must boost prices. Four strategies help energy businesses lower their inputs while improving their overall production, conveyance, refining, and administration.
1- Adopt Improved Metering
Up until recently, the only way to apply human-machine interface technologies (HMI) was by having two independent systems: one for metering and one for distributed control systems (DCS). In effect, this is two separate dashboards and represents unnecessary redundancy. In addition, older meters were installed without any instructions as to their specifications, maintenance requirements, and adjustments in calibration. As a result, operators might neglect the meters when, in fact, they should attend to them. This invites breakdown or malfunction, costing the company time and money. As commodities rise in price, producers should invest in updated flow-rate measuring systems and related technology.
2- Better Drilling Performance
Higher rates of extraction success come from superior surveying, better seismic analysis, and without a doubt, more productive drilling techniques. Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are, of course, two of the most significant improvements in recent years. The use of proppant materials that help to maintain and extend fracture openings lead to increased yield from subject wells. Moreover, drillers can open wells faster and, in fact, drill less because of greater productivity. So, more oil from fewer wells exemplifies efficiency in the field of energy production. Advanced diamond-based drill bits also facilitate better performance.
3- Allowing No Escapes
Leakage and spillage are the banes of many energy companies. Not only are they illustrations of money lost, but they can also inflict wounds upon a company’s public image when the seepage results in environmental degradation. Fortunately, systems are available today that provide early detection capabilities. Ground-penetrating radar (GPR), for example, gives evidence of early intervention with regard to losses of material in pipelines. In addition, some companies invest in specialized training and education for employees — continuing education on preventive measures against spillage. In these ways, both infrastructure weaknesses and human error receive remedial attention.
4- Efficiency in Administration
Away from the field and the pipelines, oil and gas companies can still stimulate productivity while controlling expenses — this time in the corporate offices. There are multiple areas of administration where time and funds are dissipated without notice: financial reporting, payment processing, tax calculations, property management and leasing are all areas of lesser or greater efficiency. Outsourcing administration services is sometimes worth the investment given the savings it can harvest. Even the most competent company staff benefits from the long experience and business knowledge of professional productivity specialists.