Service Quality is clearly recognized as one of the primary keys to success in the directional drilling service industry. However, while many directional drilling service companies acknowledge the importance of providing Service Quality; very few follow through with the establishment of the necessary inter-company processes and procedures along with the close attention to detail, that is required to make Service Quality an integral part of their business culture.
From its inception, Intrepid made the conscious decision to focus on a single directional drilling market, the U.S. Domestic marketplace. This decision was made with the clear understanding that the domestic market was extremely mature and as a result, highly competitive from both the technological and personnel expertise perspectives. To truly compete and differentiate itself from the competition, Intrepid must not only consistently perform the complex tasks related to actually drilling a directional well; but also must excel in performing the critical task of providing consistent and informed service to the client.
Achieving Service Quality for a directional drilling service company is a multifaceted undertaking that is accomplished by focusing on a number of key fundamentals:
- Exceed Expectations
The actual performance results on the project well must meet or exceed the performance expectations of the client. However, these expectations can not be subjective; but based on mutually agreed quantifiable standards, by which the service provided can be objectively measured.
- Continuity & Consistency
All facets of the directional drilling services provided to the client must be consistent and repeatable. This includes the consistent and reliable performance of the equipment, the performance and continuity of the personnel and the uniformity and accuracy of all documentation and support services.
- Continual Improvement
The Company must continually strive to improve its operational performance; both in the actual directional drilling of the well and in the accuracy and quality of the support information supplied the client. Through careful analysis and critique of a completed well, with both field personnel and client, the Company can identify potential performance and process enhancements that may improve the overall performance and lower the cost of future projects.
It is critical that the Company and the client communicate during every phase of the project; including pre-job planning, preparation and mobilization, job execution and post well follow up. Due to the nature of the drilling industry and the directional drilling industry in particular, unforeseen operational problems routinely arise. It is critical that heightened communications occur during these periods to insure that the client is fully informed and consulted on all potential loss time possibilities.
- Confidence & Trust
For true Service Quality to be attained, the Company must earn the trust and confidence of the client. In the final analysis, Service Quality is delivering to the client what, by mutual agreement, was promised by the directional service provider on each and every well.
Intrepid has developed a number of inter-company processes and operational procedures to insure that these key fundamentals of Service Quality are recognized by its employees and will become ingrained in the culture of the Company. These include:
- Client Pre-Spud Meetings
Intrepid requests a Pre-Spud meeting be held with the client prior to the preparation and mobilization of any project. This meeting should include all companies providing products or services that could impact the drilling of the directional portion of the well and clearly define the responsibilities of each. Whenever possible, the Service Quality Team Leader (lead directional driller) should attend the meeting along with the responsible Intrepid operations management. In addition the following topics should be discussed:
- Establish project objectives and performance expectation of the client.
- Discuss critical issues and possible contingencies related to the project.
- Review initial Well Plan, including geologic and geographic restrictions and target accuracy requirements and adjust if required.
- Discuss Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA) selection, including bit selection.
- Discuss planned drilling fluid; well bore lubricants and hydraulic requirements.
- Review planned drilling procedure and anticipated time vs. depth curve.
- Identify required Intrepid or third party equipment, services and assign supply responsibility.
- Discuss operating parameters and potential damage to equipment and responsibility of repair.
- Declare intention to accept / decline Lost in Hole insurance coverage.
- Coordinate personnel housing and transportation of personnel and equipment.
- Establish lines of communication, reporting requirements and reporting frequency and both office and field reporting relationships.
- Discuss project timing and anticipated start date.
- Staff Pre-Spud Meetings
Prior to the mobilization of a directional project, Intrepid requires that a pre-spud meeting be held with the assigned directional drillers and MWD personnel for the project at the local operations office or well site. The purpose of the field staff meeting is to review the information obtained at the Client Pre-Spud Meeting, identify any additional operational issues and resolve any discrepancies.
- Service Quality Teams
Teamwork is another important aspect of Service Quality. In order to take advantage of the leverage that teamwork can bring, Intrepid has organized its field operations staff into Service Quality Teams (SQ Teams). These teams are made up of the Intrepid directional drillers and MWD personnel who provide service at the well site. The team structure provides a platform where Service Quality is given the highest visibility and focus and results in a couple of significant benefits:
- Focus and Oversight
To achieve the Company's Service Quality goals, the entire field operations staff, directional drillers and MWD personnel, must work together as a team and focus on the company's Service Quality objectives. Each team has a Service Quality Team Leader, usually the lead directional driller, who is assigned the task of insuring that all Intrepid processes and procedures are followed during the course of the job.
- Continuity and Consistency
SQ Teams utilize the same individuals well after well. Other than routine personnel issues of illness, vacation and off days; the Company strives to keep the same staff as part of a SQ Team. Consistent use of the same personnel on SQ Teams, allows them to develop group continuity that results in both improved efficiency and experience in specific applications. Particularly, when drilling repeat wells in the same geographic area, for the same client or clients, staffing continuity can be a major contributor to the continual improvement process, by eliminating operational problems which reduces the time on the well and lowers the cost per foot.
- Satellite Communications
Intrepid provides real time satellite hookup on all directional jobs. This communications link provides the ability to transmit all types of data and reports; including Daily Reports, e-mail, logs, and pictures, on a real time basis, to the operations office and the client. Further, This method provides dependable data transmission and eliminates problems associated with verbal communications and poor radio and cell phone reception.
A key element of communication is the routine, accurate and timely reporting of the operational status of the well. Intrepid provides this information, via satellite communication system, in a number of ways:
- Daily Operations Report
This report contains the chronological history of the directional drilling activities on the well for the last 24 hrs; including, drilling parameters, BHA, Slide vs. Rotating and accumulated costs. The report is sent each morning by 6:00 AM, via e-mail, to the Intrepid operations staff for review and then forwarded to the client in the office and simultaneously presented to the Client Representative at the well site.
- Daily Survey Updates
This report contains the actual recorded MWD surveys; including, direction, azimuth, inclination and dog leg severity (DLS) for the last 24 hrs. The report is sent each morning by 6:00 AM, via e-mail, to the Intrepid operations staff for review and updating of the survey plot with plan vs. actual and then forwarded to the client in the office and simultaneously presented to the Client Representative at the well site. Survey Updates are available more frequently by request of the client.
- Log Updates
Gamma logs are provided in two formats, LAS (ASKI) and PDF at the client's request. Log strip charts and LAS files are provided at the well site to the Client Representative, Geologist and Mud Logger on a demand basis for correlation purposes; while PDF files are prepared and e-mailed to the client in the office at the frequency specified by the client.
- Daily Briefing
In an effort to insure that the client is fully aware of the current and pending directional activities at the well site, Intrepid believes that a verbal briefing with the client is also required on a daily basis. This communication is performed at two levels; the Lead Directional Driller will conduct the briefing with the Client Representative at the well site, while the Drilling Manager will conduct the briefing with the client in the office.
- Critical Period Reports
In addition to routine daily reports and briefings, Intrepid believes that heightened and more frequent communication is required during critical periods; specifically, any event that causes lost time at the well site. Critical Period Reporting requires a verbal briefing at the time the event occurs and follows up briefings until the problem is resolved; This is then followed by a written report, outlining the event, resolution and plan to minimize reoccurrence.
- Website Posting
As an additional service to clients, Intrepid will post, at the clients request, the various daily reports to a separate and secure folder on the Intrepid Website (www.intrepid-dds.com). Each client is given a secure username and password, which allows them to login to their own personal client area and view or retrieve the current or past reports of wells in progress. This service is particularly helpful while traveling, on weekends and vacation; as clients can view the information from any computer with web access.
- Service Quality Inspections
Intrepid is committed to the success of its Service Quality program. One of the most effective ways of accomplishing this objective is routine inspection and verification that Company processes and procedures are enforced at the well site. Management conducts periodic, surprise inspections of jobs in progress to insure that all equipment, documentation and safety measures meet the standards set by the Company.
- Service Quality Surveys
Feedback from the client is another key element of maintaining Service Quality and enhancing the continual improvement process. Intrepid accomplishes this through Service Quality Surveys, completed by client personnel, both at the well site and in the office. These surveys are designed to provide feedback regarding a variety of personnel, equipment and procedural aspects of Intrepid's performance, following completion of the well.
- Post Well Analysis
Continual improvement is most effectively accomplished by clearly understanding the performance on past wells and applying the lessons learned to future wells. Intrepid prepares a detailed Post Well Analysis on each well to provide the client with the lessons learned and recommendations for improvement. Each Post Well Analysis contains the following information:
- Well Summary / Plan vs. Actual
- Performance Analysis and Recommendations
- Service Quality Surveys both Field and Office
- Copy of Proposal
- Daily Reports and associated Well Site paperwork
- Directional Driller Summary and Report
- BHA Reports / Slide vs. Rotate Analysis
- Final Survey Report and Governmental Submissions
- Condition of Equipment Report
Assessment of Service Quality on a well by well basis may not fully highlight all possible areas of improvement. Particularly, with clients who have long term, multi-well programs and where various Service Quality Teams and client representatives have been involved, additional enhancements may be possible by collectively reviewing the performance across a series of wells and taking the best of the lessons learned and applying them to the client's total directional drilling program. Intrepid provides Service Quality Reviews to its multi-well clients to allow them to take full advantage of these possible enhancements. Service Quality Reviews are prepared on a regular basis (quarterly), depending on client activity, and include a comparative analysis of drilling parameters, BHA, bits, hole size, build rates, slide vs. rotate, drilling fluid properties, anything that might have an impact on directional drilling performance.