History of Integrated Activity Planning

Integrated Activity Planning (IAP) got its start in the Offshore Oil & Gas environment. Integrating key activities there is critical given the significant constraint on space and the premium placed on operating in a safe manner. There is only so much room for materials and workers to occupy on a platform so Integrated Activity Planning became the vehicle to coordinate disparate functional activities into a singular, well-orchestrated series of events focused on maximizing productivity while ensuring safe and efficient operations offshore.

Fast forward to the onshore tight gas plays. Due to the larger pad size (approximately 5 acres) and the relative ease of logistics – as compared to an Offshore platform – Integrated Activity Planning is necessary but for entirely different reasons. Many operators in tight gas plays employ upwards of 10 drilling rigs – split evenly between air and fluid rigs – and multiple frac crews and construction crews. They work across a broad geographic area – normally hundreds of thousands of acres spread over many hundreds of miles and – very often – in close proximity to areas with moderate to high population density.

The situation is made more difficult when multiple landowners per drilling unit, strict permitting requirements, lengthy lead times to install gathering systems, weather, topography and many other factors are folded in. Meeting business plans becomes a monumental task. This is where Integrated Activity Planning comes in.

In order to meet the challenge of delivering multiple-well pads in a tight gas play companies need to get them pulling together to meet the same goal. Metrics such as wells which reach target depth (Drilling), stages frac’d per day (Completions) and other functional-based measures are made secondary to the primary target; asset performance. No matter how you measure it – wells put online or MMCF/D – the asset needs to have one goal which transcends all others. Getting the asset to not only know what their goal is but to act towards meeting that goal is critical. We will be creating a series of blog posts to further explore this issue.