The Design of Integrated Activity Planning

In the first blog post on Integrated Planning we talked about IAP’s roots. In this entry we are
going to talk about what feeds those roots. IAP can be considered the Operational
– or Execution – end of the business unit’s strategy. It is, in essence, the Operational Strategy.
It is what turns the Field Development Plan (or any other long-term asset plan of 2 or more years) and Business Plan into a realistic, executable plan.

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The easiest way to picture Integrated Activity Planning is as a manufacturing process similar to the way a car is manufactured. It has raw materials, or inputs, in the form of sub-surface and surface and functional plans and outputs in the form of revised functional plans and schedules. As the product – a well pad – goes through the manufacturing process it is assembled (i.e. changes are made including sequencing of activities and overall place in the integrated plan), a finish is applied (i.e. schedule is frozen) and it is tested (feedback from the work being conducted on the pad results in small changes and adjustments to the schedule) until the end of the manufacturing process; when the wells are turned online on the pad.

To continue the analogy let’s imagine the well pad as a discreet product such as a car; going through a bespoke production environment such as Rolls Royce. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variables and options available. Everything from lateral lengths, well spacing, pad placement and size, noise abatement issues and much, much more are factored into the decisions whether or not to proceed through development, how to lay out the pad and where to place the pad on the schedule.

The diagram shows how the Integrated Activity Planning process is initiated at the Asset Development Plan (ADP) or Field Development Plan (FDP) level. Those documents inform where to build a pad and how much gas needs to be extracted from the unit where the pad is located. Geologists, Petro Physicists, the Land department and many others decide on the “options” of the pad and it is entered into the initial phase of the manufacturing process.

The IAP goes through a number of phases (normally three) including a Long term view (6 mos. to 18 mos. away), the Medium term view (1-6 mos.) and the Short term (the next month worth of work). The pad is refined and, ultimately, locked into a schedule as it passes from one phase into the next. Further, scrutiny of the pad – the level of functional detail you review each time the Integrated Planning team meets – is increased at every level.

Once the product is finished (wells turned on) the pad, essentially, rolls out of the factory and the keys are given to the customer: Operations. The pad has reached the second stage of the Integrated Plan; the Operational stage. Going forward, the pad is in the hands of Operations and yet the pad continues to be linked to the larger, asset-centric world. That, and much more, will be discussed in future Integrated Activity Planning posts.