Too Busy to Look at Your Oil Wells? Know the Feeling?

Jul 24, 2020 4:38:28 PM / by Sandy Williams

Are meetings and emails taking up so much of your time that it’s hard to get down to the basics of production optimization - modeling your wells? In a recent mentoring session with an operator’s engineers, I had the engineers write down what they do on a daily basis. The answer shocked me:

  • Reports
  • Invoice processing
  • Cost reporting
  • Phone calls
  • Read email 
  • Respond to email
  • AFEs
  • Installation procedures
  • Supervision of well operations
  • Field visits
  • Design reviews
  • Look at SCADA
  • Revise well tests
  • Meetings
  • Troubleshooting wells
  • Troubleshooting facility issues
  • Workovers
  • Frac jobs
  • Supervise kids, working from home

Less than 5% of their daily or weekly time was dedicated to optimizing existing wells.

I’ve taught 150+ workshops related to production optimization and diagnosis of artificially lifted wells. When I would run into a class attendee a few years later, they usually made a comment along the lines of “that was a great class,” to which I would reply “are you using the analysis methodology?” and the answer is always the same no, we’re too busy for that.” 

This frustrated me for many years, as I knew that there were wells begging for attention, that could be produced more efficiently. 

Make ‘looking at your wells’ happen automatically

Determined to do something about it, I set out on a mission in 2012 to make it ‘automatic’ or ‘inevitable’ that oil wells can be optimized automatically on a daily basis. It took us two years to design and build our Pump Checker® software, focused on management by exception processes, physics-based models, and analytics to optimize ESP wells. 

Not being content with just having a solution for ESPs, in 2019, we rolled out a gaslift module that extends the same proven workflows to study and optimize gas lift wells. And there’s more to come, we’re working on plunger, PCP and rod pump modules.

As co-author Matt Hackworth says in one of our technical papers1:

 “The work to perform true ESP optimization is mundane and tedious; if not automated it does not get done” 

It’s not just ESPs that this applies to - the management of all wells can be ineffective and time-consuming unless it’s automated. The ability to continually optimize wells efficiently is an absolute requirement if you want to be the best in class low-cost oil producer.  

Analytics: Longer runlife, fewer failures, and more oil

Wells with artificial lift are complicated. Diagnostic software helps to pinpoint opportunities and prevent typical gas lift and ESP issues. Software diagnostics can catch issues at inception and mitigate repetitive problems—allowing engineers to laser-focus their time on getting more oil, reducing LOE, and improving equipment runlife.

Did you know 2 out of the top 5 oil companies in North America use Pump Checker? An investment in analytics will provide an impressive ROI for companies looking to ‘do more with less.’ One of our clients recently saw the evidence and results of this in 2019, when a 3-month pilot on 135 wells resulted in a confirmed additional revenue of $3.1 million (documented by them) from implementing ALP software recommendations. 

True Production Optimization

Real-time reporting provides engineers with a constant stream of data on performance, problems, and opportunities - extremely important in high-density oilfields, where there are simply too many wells to watch over individually on a daily basis. 

Reduce risk, lower OPEX, increase operating cash flow. To learn more about the ALP approach to True Production Optimization,” download our brochure. Begin your artificial lift management today with Pump Checker - improve your diagnostics and discover opportunities to drive the lowest cost of operation on your wells. Can you afford not to automate the process to look at your wells?




  1. 181219-MS Realtime Decision Making for ESP Management and Optimization

Tags: more oil, lower costs

Sandy Williams

Written by Sandy Williams

The company was founded by Sandy Williams, an international consultant and trainer who has spent more than 30 years in the oil business working for organizations such as Amoco, Phoenix and Schlumberger and in markets across Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.