by Amy Moore
Oil & gas volumetrics is a machine with many moving parts. Like a digital gathering system, it all starts at the wellhead where data begins flowing, either from automated supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) equipment connected to metering stations or hand entered by field staff. The accounting movement of hydrocarbons must be tracked along transportation systems to final points of sale then net backed along labyrinthine allocation networks with measurement staff striving to resolve system imbalances and validate measurements before volumes become revenue.
Despite digital oilfield advances, many oil & gas teams rely on a mix of manual, automated, paper-based, and digital processes to move hydrocarbon volumes from field to balance sheet. For those who do it well though, leveraging the right volumetrics technology and best practices to accelerate the flow of reliable data from the wellhead into production accounting has profound benefits for E&P business performance. This includes more accurate volumes that lead to higher margins, the ability to integrate mergers and acquisitions more efficiently, enhanced cybersecurity, and greater agility to meet interest owner obligations with fewer underpayments and prior period adjustments.
Arriving at volumetrics excellence requires more than simply going all digital or upgrading to the latest software – it requires understanding your current state technology, processes, and people. You can’t manage what you can’t measure, which is why it’s critical to benchmark your organizational digital maturity around field data capture (SCADA and pumper), measurement, and production accounting in order to create a plan for all of the moving parts to work in concert.
All too often, your team can’t see the forest for the trees. Even the largest organizations with dedicated It and measurement teams are overwhelmed with the scale of daily volumetrics complexity and lack the bandwidth to step back, assess, and align on a path to advance their digital maturity. Smaller E&Ps face tough challenges too from limited IT or absence of dedicated measurement staff with field data capture often at the mercy of the contract pumpers and lease operators that share well routes across multiple producers. Just remember though, no matter the scale of your organization, you are the master of your digital destiny.
To help E&Ps keep their volumetrics technology and processes continuously in balance, Stonebridge introduced EnBalance, a full-service advisory that draws on our 20+ years of experience in assessing, implementing, and supporting successful volumetrics programs.
EnBalance provides your team with an independent and objective review of the current state business processes and systems that you rely on to capture volumes and transform those volumes into revenue. Our volumetrics assessment includes a review of your master data management policies, systems integration approach, data flow efficacy, and reporting capabilities. Working side-by-side with your team, our EnBalance advisors will develop a future state plan with a roadmap for digital transformation, scalability, and sustainability.
In the digital oilfield, your choice of software determines just how agile, productive, and competitive your team is. Our assessment process focuses on vendor engagement and understanding how effective your technology partnerships drive your business goals. Advancing your digital maturity often requires technology consolidation, which is why our EnBalance advisory also assists with volumetrics software selection, the topic of my next blog post. My first post in this series on maximizing oil & gas profitability explored how oil & gas companies lose money to bad data, so be sure to read or revisit it.